I’ve raided the archive. I still have a number of unpublished books lurking in there. This one – Farther from the Sun – was a sequel to Reflections from a Ditch. I dug it out and started editing it. It’s quite fun – rather like visiting with myself as I was twenty years ago. I’ll share a couple of samples as I go along.
Here’s the beginning of the first chapter:
Memory is a terrible thing. It betrays you. I can remember my father’s face clearly. He is always smiling. But then I realise that it is not his face I am remembering; it is the photographs of him that I see with my mind’s eye. He is some shadowy figure lurking in the background and I cannot remember him at all. But this is the man who gave me life, who stayed, and looked after me until I became a man.
‘Turn that music down!’ I can still hear him bellowing from the other room, so, so very unreasonably.
‘The 60s was a great time,’ I can hear my mother saying. ‘All that fabulous music and excitement.’ Yet she forgets she also yelled at me to turn it all down.
So why is it that my memories of my father have shrunk to auditory echoes and cameo snap-shots? Why, when I picture a scene I know he was part of; does he only smile back at me through photography? Is it because he has ceased to exist?