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 […]

HANUMAN

I found Jamrock 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 […]

THE COSMOGONY OF ERIC P DOLLARD

  “There’s an understanding that is not desired to exist”   It was 1970, and Eric Dollard was sleeping rough at the RCA-Marconi Wireless Station at Bolinas, California, where he had worked from the age of seventeen until it was closed down. On Green Street, nearby, there was a house where a guy called Philo Farnsworth […]

In BOCCA ‘l 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 […]

FAMILIAR GAMES

I lived for six years in Amsterdam. I arrived there a few weeks before starting my new job, and just hung out in the city. The first three conversations I had with strangers all went the same way. They’d ask me what I thought of the place so far, and I’d say great, really chilled, […]