Mar
2014

A Night Walk

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He’d been out across the Thames a couple of times, at night in his bare feet. Padding near-silently over the erratic wavelets, just to see if he could still do it. It came to him the second time that it might just be a dream; it was probably a dream, it was a dream when he was a child and he played out there, running under the bridges to hide, and wandering past the moored ships, touching their massive sides with his fingertips, wondering how they stayed afloat.

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Mar
2014

Cold War Diplomacy

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It had been cold for as long as any of us could remember, but memory is short when you’re a child. Four months of bitter winter felt like four years; imprisoned in duffle coats and bobble hats, playgrounds icy, gloomy battlegrounds where we fought with the very concept of fun.
It was 1986 and we were ten. Well, Martin and I were ten – Peter and his twin sister Dawn were both nine, and the distinction was powerful. They would be ten in the summer, but the summer was a lifetime away. Dawn was, as these things go, taller than all of us already so we grudgingly let her play in our gang. That, and Peter’s Mum said we had to.

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