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 […]

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 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 […]

IN BOCCA LUPO

I’m sitting outside the Ritzy cinema in Brixton, one of the few places in London I enjoy. I lived here in the eighties, when the immigrant population was still predominantly Caribbean and Portuguese. Forty years on, I’m waiting for my daughter, all grown up and successful now. She slept at her boyfriend’s last night, and […]