One Man and his Dog

  This story tells of an episode that occurred in a tiny village in Brittany. It is here, in Tréguennec, that we now spend much of the year and where we witnessed a series of events that brought feelings of pride and shame in equal measure. Although the episode is now over, thoughts about it…

Creditworthy

    I find walls endlessly fascinating and, knowing of my interest, my wife Rohan beckoned me over. She was standing on a tiny enclosed terrace and suggested I take a close look at one of its surrounding walls - there was something special that I should not miss. Staring at the massive, regular, cream-coloured…

When Time Stands Still

  Klim and I first met when we were eight years old. We lived in different parts of town, went to different schools and were in different gangs, but our lives were always criss-crossing. In our twenties we grew closer as first we shared ‘digs’ at university and then a flat in London. A lifetime’s…

Pillars of the Establishment

  As is often the case, a large part of our evening was taken up discussing health. Next day, no doubt prompted by knowing that I was once a doctor, Erica took me aside to ask my advice - she was very anxious. She told me about her symptoms and her treatment; I took her…

Time traveller

On trips abroad my mother-in-law would wear two watches. Wherever she was, she needed to know at a glance exactly what the time was at home. I would tease her - surely she could work it out for herself! And why did it matter anyway? But she never changed. Then, one morning last week, I…

Don’t mention the …

When cycling near my cottage in Brittany my mind often conjures up images of German soldiers. In the Second World War there were many thousands stationed thereabouts. I see them in their ones and twos strutting along roads and across fields in their 1940s uniforms. No doubt these persistent images would have been seeded in…

Thieves of time

Memorising lists of monarchs and ministers, of dates and dynasties, has never been my scene. How very different is the history of my local environment, of my living space - to me this is fascinating. Knowing that my house in Richmond was built in the nineteenth century, that the road outside was being used in…

Short back and torture

I reckon I have had my hair cut every 6-8 weeks since I was four, which makes last week’s my 500th. The trouble is that I have disliked each and every one, finding them at best unpleasant and at worst, plain horrible. I have nothing against barbers, I just don’t like keeping still and I'm not…

The child within

To passers-by I would have appeared a normal adult, but for an hour or so I became a reticent school-boy dragging his feet. I just did not want to go to school. The immediate background to this metamorphosis was straightforward. Some weeks earlier my wife had asked what I wanted for my birthday. I plumped…