Me and Debbie McGee – or, Life and Death in West Ruislip

I know what you’re thinking. What does Debbie McGee, diminutive relict of the late pint-sized prestidigitator Paul Daniels, have to do with anything? And, more specifically, what does she have to do with me? Just a few weeks ago, I’d have wondered the same thing. And then she turned up at the auction of my … Continue reading Me and Debbie McGee – or, Life and Death in West Ruislip

Advertisements

Re-mapping the world: grief and its aftermath

I want to think of it like this: that learning to live with death is the last gift our parents have for us. When we were spring, they were already summer. Now their year is over we can see the full extent of life's horizon before us for the first time. We have a chance … Continue reading Re-mapping the world: grief and its aftermath

The library of lost conversation

My father died in May, seven years after my mother. We are slowly emptying the house the two of them lived in together since the autumn of 1966, a couple of months after I was born. The house contains my childhood, of course, and those of my older brother and sisters – but mostly now … Continue reading The library of lost conversation

Memory and identity: a personal history

My father is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. He will be 90 this year. He grew up close by the docks in Beckton, East London, which are now long gone. He remembers seeing the first wave of German bombers flying over London on September 7, 1940. He was stationed in the Pacific when he … Continue reading Memory and identity: a personal history

The Massacre At Paris: Kit Marlowe, the Rose Playhouse and me

As some friends may know, I spent last week acting in the final six performances of The Dolphin’s Back production of Christopher Marlowe’s The Massacre at Paris at the Rose Playhouse on London’s South Bank. The offer to do so came out of the blue, so much so that - as much out of surprise … Continue reading The Massacre At Paris: Kit Marlowe, the Rose Playhouse and me