LETTER TO A FRIEND IN PRISON

April 18 2020 Kriminalvården Anstalten Tygelsjö Skiftesvägen 10 218 74 Tygelsjö Sweden Attn: Xxxxx Xxxxxx     Hallo my friend Well shit, if you had to go away for ten months for growing indoor plants, you chose the right time! We’re all in prison now. I don’t mean to minimise what you’re going through, but […]

RED

The boys had gone swimming and Red wanted to go too, but her mother wouldn’t let her. She was too young and didn’t know how to swim. So she waited for a while and then sneaked away, following the path to the pond. As she approached through the trees, she could see their backs, five […]

WARRIOR, MERCHANT, SAGE

    When I was looking after my father, I read a lot of books, at night or in the afternoon while he was sleeping. One of them was Merchant, Soldier, Sage by the Oxford historian David Priestland. The paperback came out in 2014 and I’d picked it up fresh off the presses at the […]

REFUGE

So I’m turning into this strange old hermit, this solitary farang living alone at the bottom of Lion Rock, waylaying tourists like the Guardian of the Valley of Death in Monty Python.  “Thou shalt not pass unto the sea  Until you answer answer questions three — What — is your name? What — is your […]

HAMADRYAD 

A hamadryad (Greek: Ἁμαδρυάδες, Hamadryádes) is a mythological being that lives in trees. Hamadryads are born bonded to a certain tree. Some believe that hamadryads are the actual tree, while dryads are the entities, or spirits, of the trees. If the tree dies, the hamadryad associated with it dies as well. For that reason, dryads and the gods […]

THE FABULOUS PANTHER

OF CATS AND CONSPIRACIES  The Orpheus Pavement (detail) “The idea of leopards still living in Europe is very powerful. Every year a new and ferocious creature turns up in England, one that exists only in newspaper columns, vividly imprecise eyewitness reports, blurry photographs of black pussy cats and our eternal appetite for monsters: the Beast […]

MY LIFE IN BLUE

When Dawan was born, Great Aunt Kung looked at her and said, ‘She is my successor. She has the gift.’ In her mother’s Cambodian culture, there must always be a ghost-keeper in the family. Blessed or cursed with second sight, the ghost keeper’s role was to perform rituals and exorcisms, appease spirits and tell fortunes […]

WHY I LIKE THE RAIN

Photograph by Sam Sherratt Sometime during the Eocene Era, India collided into Asia, hurling the Himalayas high into the sky, lifting up the Tibetan plateau, and giving birth to an unruly spirit called monsoon. Fifty million years later, I arrived exhausted in Bangkok, the City of Angels. I was met at the airport by a […]

THE DREAM OF A BEAUTIFUL HOUSE

Apsara was returning from the market, walking to the end of the street where the motorcycle taxis wait, when she heard crying. Deep, heart-broken sobbing, coming from somewhere nearby. Curious, she turned into a side street. She was going in the right direction, though now, strangely, the crying sounded further away. The street had a […]

HANUMAN

I found the place by accident, like everybody does.  I’d stayed in Phuket longer than planned, to keep an eye on Apsara’s kids while she finished up in Bangkok and got ready to move down here. I was living in a simple holiday bungalow and had rented another one for them. It was around the beginning […]