Mercy

1978 IT came as quite the shock when Sheila traipsed through the front door with a succession of kittens in her mouth. Her fourth brood no less and such a mixed bag, all short-haired except the grey one that looked like a proper little Persian. My favourite, he was the plucky one that rummaged intoContinue reading “Mercy”

As The Crow Flies

MIDNIGHT had long passed and it was raining hard. Visibility was limited to that which was illuminated by the bright flecks of driving rain caught in the beam of the headlights. All else was black. The dance was now a distant memory. Despite the conditions and a bloodstream full of whisky, the man in theContinue reading “As The Crow Flies”

The Skipper

IT WAS still there then. My cardboard mattress topped with musty carpet still intact, thank God nobody else had found my refuge. The corporate umbrella, concealed by thick bushes and at full mast to shield me from the elements, hadn’t moved since this morning. Under it, still rolled up, was my four-season sleeping bag. TheContinue reading “The Skipper”

Communion

THE HOMELESS day centres were either closed or their books were full – my options had run out hours ago. Now it was raining again and I was pissing wet through. The hunger was excruciating. Rock bottom could not be any lower than this. Too weak to venture any further, I located the nearest availableContinue reading “Communion”

Communion

THE HOMELESS day centres were either closed or their books were full – my options had run out hours ago. Now it was raining again and I was pissing wet through. The hunger was excruciating. Rock bottom could not be any lower than this. Too weak to venture any further, I located the nearest availableContinue reading “Communion”

The Dalmatian, the Cactus and the Wormery

ALEX tells me he had a dream in which he has a dog. A Dalmatian to be precise. Only, it leaves him because he didn’t feed it properly. “Jeez, that sucks,” I say. “If a dog leaves you, you really have to be doing something wrong.” Nose in the air, bags packed, the Dalmatian saysContinue reading “The Dalmatian, the Cactus and the Wormery”

Analyse that

I STOOD in a house, the appearance of which I cannot remember. I stepped outside to look for something. It was dark and when I turned to go back inside, I couldn’t see a thing. I blinked and squinted in an attempt to see at least the outlines in front of me. That’s when IContinue reading “Analyse that”

Le Piroquet

THE SEARING Marseilles heat was a welcome change from the clinging smell of autumnal mildew that permeated Paris of an evening. It was morning, dawn but a distant memory for the flora and the fauna encircling my bedroom window. The sun already seemed high and there wasn’t a cloud in sight. I had just opened theContinue reading “Le Piroquet”

The Skipper

IT WAS still there then. My cardboard mattress topped with musty carpet still intact, thank God nobody else had found my refuge. The corporate umbrella, concealed by thick bushes and at full mast to shield me from the elements, hadn’t moved since this morning. Under it, still rolled up, was my four-season sleeping bag. TheContinue reading “The Skipper”

Dear Dynamo

THE other day I had a lunch date in Edinburgh with an old friend who I had just reconnected with after many years. The first thing I saw when I got off the bus near the top of Leith Walk was a massive German Shepherd with the shaggiest coat I had ever seen. Wow, it’s a bear! WithContinue reading “Dear Dynamo”