Radio New Zealand, National

Wake up with me, Dinah Priestley, travelling from Wellington to London in an accident-prone WW2 truck called Leviathan. Friends said to us “You are mad! Those toddlers of yours will be dead before you reach London.” But we were lucky.!   We survived, with help from peasants and prostitutes, missionaries and maharajahs.

For God’s Sake Saddle Me a Donkey: Radio New Zealand, weekdays 6.45 a.m. from 26th December 2016, to 19th January 2017.



  1. Hello Dinah. I stumbled upon this morning’s reading part way through. Very interested to hear you talking about Colin ans Shirley Bickler whom I got to know through my partner some years ago. Very interested in the journey you took together but not sure I can wake up in time to hear the rest – we are supposed to be on ‘holiday’? Is there any other way we can hear this, eg: podcast?


    1. Dear Michael,
      I’m working on the book of FGSSMAD as we speak and will let you know when its out. In the meantime you can listen to the separate chapters on my website dinah dinah
      Kind regards


  2. Tuned in only a few days ago. Absolutely loving listening as I pedal to work in the gorgeous mornings.
    Are you going to allow us to download the whole reading at some point?
    My wife will love to listen to the journey. We had some time aboard our Royal Enfield in India a few years back. Memories are brilliant even now.
    Being from the UK, the thought of an overland return via motorcycle in the distant future is irresistible.

    The diary is totally refreshing.

    Thank you

    Andy Ball


  3. I’ve so enjoyed listening to you on RNZ but your book isn’t listed in the library catalogue. Is it possible to get a copy please?


  4. In the early sixties, As a young newcomer to New Zealand, I read maybe in 1962 somewhere about you overland journey to London.
    For many years I wondered if the journey ever eventuated, how ever listening to the radio I now know it did happen. My question is there a book about those travels, were to buy?
    Please can you inform me?


  5. Thanks for sharing your thrilling journey from Wet n Windy to Slough via untold escapades! The journey is one I have always wanted to do, in either direction, but have never got round to it. Nothing more exciting than hitchhiking London to Istanbul and back again in 1969!


  6. Dear Dinah,
    Fascinating story! Is it available in text form (book, ebook, script, etc)? So far my local library has been able to source it.
    Regards Julie Patty


  7. Hello, I looked forward , daily to your meanderings up the track with “Leviathan” over Xmas and New Year. Great audio !! I cant find any reference on RNZ where I can listen again on demand. Is it not available ?


  8. Dear Dinah

    I am so very much enjoying the stories beautifully told. I am not quite through them as each is an experience which I like to savour!!

    Although I confess it feels just a bit surreal to listen to you on the radio telling of events which evoke sudden flashes of crystal clear memories, even tastes and smells but as though looking backwards through a telescope!

    You may not recall but that kind old lady by the Klong took me off and dressed me in one of her grandaughter’s dresses (rather too big I recall) and distracted me while you were all desperately trying to get Nicky out through the window of the truck (I was on the upper bunk). The lovely ‘ladies of the night’ we stayed with afterwards served us pink rice – which made quite an impression at the time!

    Incidentally – that wretched snake outside the back door in Bangkok caused more havoc than perhaps you realised! Mum was up early on her own one morning making breakfast at the oven and I wandered out and on to the backstep to find my feet encircled. I got quite the shock. “Its a ‘nake ..its a ‘nake” I hollared and mum pulled me up into the air while screaming “Colin!!!”. Dad rushed out (hastily tying up his sarong which served as his sole nightwear) and raced out after it with a stick!

    I hope to be in Wellington in early August with my daughter – it would be lovely to see you after so long!

    all the best


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