Scars are not signs of weakness, they are signs of survival and endurance.
― Rodney A. Winters
“Andela a mmi?” (Where’s my son?) my father-in-law shouted as he strode through the door of his family home in Kabylie. Married for just three years, T was his first-born son and, as such, doubly precious. Not only was he the first child, but he was a boy, the heir and, as such, the repository of all the family’s hopes. Continue reading
Another reworked chapter of the first book
Saying goodbye is a little like dying.
― Marjane Satrapi
All I can remember of 1968 is greyness. The greyness of the dawn light when I would get up early every Friday to take the early train to Manchester and then on to Liverpool. The grimy greyness of Liverpool itself. The lonely greyness of the small Sheffield flat in which I was spending the rest of my time. The overwhelming greyness of the two clouds hanging over my head. Continue reading
For those who haven’t read my book, an extract.
Bliss it was at that dawn to be alive, but to be young was very heaven.
Wordworth— The Prelude
A week or so after the party, T and I were still warily circling each other, unsure of whether to take our fledgling relationship to the next level. That is, I was the one who was unsure. I found him fascinating and unsettling in equal measure. Amongst other things, he had the kind of looks that could, at the best of times, knock me slightly off-balance. Continue reading
It’s hard being left behind. It’s hard to be the one who stays.
― Audrey Niffenegger, The Time Traveler’s Wife
I seem to have spent half my life waiting. Not the kind of waiting that brings a sense of calm, of nature taking its course, of things expected — the kind that is soothing to the mind and balm for the soul. No, for me, it was the kind of waiting during which a rising tide of panic would make me feel as though my insides were being twisted in a vice. Continue reading
Judo teaches us to look for the best possible course of action, whatever the individual circumstances.
“O, wind, if winter comes, can spring be far behind?”
– Percy Bysshe Shelley
“I don’t think it’s coming, do you?”
The snow was falling slowly, but so thickly that it almost obscured the view. Stamping our feet and rubbing our hands together to try and keep the blood circulating in our extremities, Helen, my mother and I, muffled up in duffel coats, woolly hats and scarves, were standing at the rear entrance of Manchester Exchange Station, waiting anxiously for the Sheffield bus to arrive. Continue reading
(The Grand Tour) served as an educational rite of passage.
The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page. – St. Augustine
“Tu ne peux pas te taire, oui? Tu commences à me porter sérieusement sur les nerfs!” (Can’t you shut up? You’re really starting to get on my nerves!)
T glowered at his friend, Mus, who was dancing along the pavement, snapping his fingers and singing off-key snatches of the latest American hit. To make things worse, he was slapping his thighs in time to the music in his head, the persistent, maddening thump-thump grating on T’s already frayed nerves. Mus was a little tipsy, having already consumed a few beers with their frugal lunch, and the alcohol had gone straight to his head. Continue reading