The Rescuer

Seagulls wheeling, crying, waves breaking against the shore, the sun’s warmth embracing his body… Erik yielded to the creeping languor and stretched out on his beach towel, hands folded over his stomach, cap shielding his eyes.

Lynda lay face down alongside him, bikini top unhooked, reading a paperback she’d borrowed from the library.

He was drifting off when he caught snatches of an argument in a foreign language. He waited for it to subside, but like a tennis match it carried on – one […]

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The Stud

At the age of sixty-three, Etienne Duval fell deeply in love for the first time. Liliane was thirty years younger — a fact that flattered him no end — widowed, childless, adrift on a sea of melancholy until they met.

Each evening, after closing his boucherie, he visited her at her tiny flat above Boulangerie-Patisserie Gregoire where she worked. He brought her pork cutlets, lamb shanks, or sweetbreads for her supper. She would ply him with tartellette au chocolat, pain aux […]

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The Snake That Sneezed and Sneezed

This is a children’s story that was published in Health Matters (Patient UK, 2008).

A mouse was scurrying through the jungle when – “Atishoo!” – he found himself lying on his back. As he scrambled to his feet, he saw a snake staring at him with sad, watery eyes.

“Sorry,” sniffed the snake. “I can’t help it. I just can’t stop – Atishoo! – sneezing.”

The mouse picked himself up off the ground again. “You should do something about it, then. You could […]

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The Bantam

I’ve not been to a funfair since I was a ten-year-old in Sydney. Now here I am, twelve years later, in a Queensland country town reliving the excitement and near bewilderment of that occasion as Gary and I follow Frankie into the annual fair.

We are immediately assailed from all sides by throbbing diesel engines, rock ‘n’ roll music, screams from the Steamboat, the Ferris wheel, and the reckless dodgem cars. The smell of diesel competes with fried onions and frankfurters […]

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