The Kite

When your common language is flight.

When you’re travelling, which you do a lot for your business, everything seems so bright and new and whole and real. You’re in Tiananmen Square watching all these men in grey clothes flying their kites. You stop to take a picture. One of them sees you, comes up to you, hands you his kite. He […]

Sea Mist

Atlantic fog dissolves regrets... 

It was almost spring when the sea mist landed, passing up the valley like a barbarian army, razing everything in its path. Simon Abelson was in the courtyard watering his tomatoes when he saw it gathering over the Bay of Balarés. It was a solid wall of vapour, almost like a nuclear cloud. He and […]

River Story

Baby lost, baby found. Love redeems.

FROM THE FRONT window of my home I can see, almost hidden between the outlines of buildings and the contours of hills, the meanest view of water. It is no more than a postage stamp, a square inch on the pane. If I hold a thumb at arm’s length I can obscure it completely. By […]

The Boy Who Breathed Water

"One day, the boy came to him and asked, 'Father, what would make you happy?'..."

A LONG TIME ago, in a town beside the ocean, where the evening wind blew so hard it struck people like needles and the morning sun was grey and thin, there lived a boy, who was curious, and his father, who was careworn and had forgotten how to smile. The boy was full of questions […]

The Sea as Past

ON THE FIRST day of January, Jacob woke to find that the harbour had been drained of its water and filled with golden light. He stood at the window, overlooking the hooked fingers of land, the glistening high-rises, the layer of cloud, all tinged mustard-brown by the strange glow. ‘Louise!’ he called to his wife. […]

The Snowman

A disappearing act, a mysterious message, and, yes, a snowman...

A little over three years ago my dear friend Tobias disappeared while he was walking his dog Lucy by the Paddington canal. It was a dull afternoon in June and not many people were about: just a few walkers and cyclists, a skateboarder or two. No-one saw anyone fitting Tobias’s description, either near the canal […]

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