Stories

MASKS MUST BE WORN AT ALL TIMES

It was hard to believe this was a wedding. Re-scheduled four times with numbers restricted to a maximum of 15 including bride, groom, witnesses and children and now so mired in rules of behaviour that ceremony and celebration were all but invisible. Read the story (pdf)

NEURAL PATHWAYS

It is impossible to imagine being dead, because it is impossible to imagine not being able to imagine. Why did this thought keep going round and round in his head? At his age so many of the people he had loved were already dead, perhaps it was this that gave rise to such persistent intimations of his own mortality. As if those that had gone were now sitting like ghosts on his shoulders, whispering in his ears. Read the story (pdf)

THE NAME OF THE DOG

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, of mouldering leaves and dismal hopelessness… the benefits of walking the dog in the dank woodlands, where the huge trees almost obliterated the afternoon light, completely eluded her. Take the dog for a walk, they said, it might help. But how did it help? It just gave her more time to brood. Read the story (pdf)

EVEN AGAINST INJUSTICE

It is 1968 and I am sitting in the garden talking with my mother. It is a beautiful spring day, the sun is shining and everything feels still as if it is holding its breath waiting to hear what we are going to say. And I am angry. Read the story (pdf)

TO DYE OR NOT TO DYE?

I first noticed a few grey hairs at the tender age of 26 – was it nature (genetic inheritance from my father who went grey in his 20’s rather than my mother who didn’t go grey until her 60’s) or nurture (involving a somewhat turbulent adolescence requiring rather too much responsibility when all around me were simply having fun)? Always swift to anger and slow to reason, I stormed to the chemist to purchase my first hair dying kit. Read the story (pdf)

BECOMING GERMAN

On 21st April 2021, at the age of seventy, I became a German citizen with dual British / German nationality. This was part of a remarkable move by the German government to offer citizenship to those who had been forced to leave Germany during the Nazi era – mostly, but not exclusively, those of Jewish background. Read the story (pdf)

ON BUYING A PAIR OF SHOES

Dirty city. Noise, bustle, more noise. Harsh roaring, dusty, dirty, suffocating not fit for a fragile child. Unstable, uncertain, tentative. Small hand in my big hand – don’t hold too tight don’t crush his fragile fingers… Read the story (pdf)