episode one: endings and beginnings

in which the end of one life signals the beginning of another, and I recall a road trip to the south of France…

This is what I remember…

I remember the busy corridor jammed with people. I remember the nurse, in something of a panic, asking us to wait before going into the hospital room. And I remember the doctor skidding round the corner, breathless and clearly relieved to have caught us in time… Continue reading “episode one: endings and beginnings”

episode two: falling for a photograph

in which love arrives unexpectedly, in the form of a photograph…a photograph of a woman I recognise and yet have never seen before…

It was full night when we arrived at Phil’s broken down farmhouse.

Nothing had changed. In fact, everything was just as it was when he’d moved in twenty years before. A Belling oven, peeling wallpaper dating back to the thirties, concrete floors painted to imitate tiles, bare wires protruding from the walls. The window of the French doors was still broken, just as I remembered, held together with peeling yellowed Sellotape, the result of an incident involving his ex, the psychiatric nurse, and a shotgun that fortunately didn’t go off. Continue reading “episode two: falling for a photograph”

episode three: a resurrection…of sorts

in which my father comes back to life, only to face a ruthless assassination attempt by his faithless son…

We sit either side of her, me on the piano stool, my sister in a resident’s chair that happens to be empty. That’s maybe the spookiest element of this place. Sometimes the residents disappear without warning or it seems, mourning. There one time, gone the next. The transience sits uneasily with the monotony of the long unchanging days… Continue reading “episode three: a resurrection…of sorts”

episode four: reflections on love

in which, I, or rather we, ruminate on love at first sight and Genie’s photo in particular…why did she choose it? Am I reading too much into it?  And what would Genie herself say?

Last time, I promised a break from family matters and especially the war between fathers and sons…so, in keeping my word, I want to take a little time out from our story to create space for, well…reflection, speculation, thinking time if you will……those of you who can’t wait have my blessing to skip this episode and move on to the next…but for those of you who, like me, spend more time than is absolutely healthy, thinking, analysing, wondering, about life and love, please stay a while… Continue reading “episode four: reflections on love”

episode five: through the wardrobe

in which an ‘outing’ leads to an unlikely bond between adversaries and the reservations of well-intentioned parties rattle my confidence…

My sister is cleaning my parents’ bungalow with my ex-wife as enforcer. I can hear their exclamations and appeals to God from the other end of the bungalow. I’m in the kitchen clearing cupboards as they shout out their first finds, making me squirm for my father, for myself and for all men, especially those who should be resting in peace… Continue reading “episode five: through the wardrobe”

episode six: what am I doing here?

in which I finally break the news to my mother, who remains calm throughout, and face the scorn of drunken cavaliers alone…for now…

“What are you doing here?” says my mother.

She’s smiling, as if relishing my surprise. Her head is bowed as usual and her shoulders are almost in line with her ears so she’s looking up at me, one eyebrow raised as if to say, ‘gotcha’. I’m taken aback as always when she pulls this trick…  Continue reading “episode six: what am I doing here?”