A FORMER local newspaper journalist turned author has published a new digital book after finding inspiration while teaching in Thailand and Vietnam.

Mark Beales, 49, worked for the Clacton Gazette from 1990 until 2001, before joining the Harwich Standard as a chief reporter, until leaving in 2004.

Following his departure, the talented writer, who boasted an impeccable nose for news, headed to Thailand where he launched a career in teaching.

He is now the headteacher of senior school at the Australian International School, in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, where he lives with wife Ann and their two children.

Since moving to Asia, Mark, who also works as a writer for popular travel website Lonely Planet, has collected hundreds of examples of trivia and strange facts.

He has now collated them all as part of his new e-book called Did You Know?, which includes trivia based around language, history, technology, food and drink, and sport.

It also boasts dozens of quizzical, head scratching questions and explores the history behind the most-famous nursery rhymes and idioms.

Mark, who still flexes his journalistic muscles as a freelance writer from the likes of The Guardian, CNN and the Bangkok Post, enjoyed putting the book together.

He said: "Researching the book was fascinating as I picked up a heap of new trivia, such as the fact that the word 'daisy' is a combination of 'day's eyes' because they tend to open more in the daytime.

“Or that the word 'huh?' is used in every recorded language."

Mark now hopes his digital publication will provide a sense of calming and light-hearted escapism for anyone feeling confined due to the Covid-19 lockdown.

He said: "I've always been fascinated by little-known facts and started sharing them with my students.

“They liked hearing these too, so I decided to put them all in a book. For those who cannot get out much at the moment, I hope it's an ideal lockdown companion.

Mark Beales’s Did You Know? is available now on for just £1.49.

To find out more visit markbeales.com or mybook.to/didyouknow.