Recollections of my Father

AT SOME POINT in the late 1950s, Dad ordered a woman’s magazine to be delivered to our house each Wednesday. We lived in rooms behind and above a tiny wool shop in Syston, a small manufacturing town north of the East Midlands city of Leicester. We soon learned Woman’s Weekly wasn’t worth holding your breath […]

Island Fever!

THE ISLAND’S ONLY PUB had run out of cigarettes yet again. Just in my hour of need. Island fever had struck. It’s  a bit like cabin fever only on an island. A contradiction of emotions had me feeling like Ben Gunn, Sinbad the Sailor and Lemuel Gulliver all rolled into one. It was like being cast ashore and marooned, […]

Pedersen’s Last Dream – Ten

FOLLOWING MY RUN IN with the gorilla at the Aker brygge shopping mall, Kari called a taxi and told the driver to take us to Majorstua. If only my arm hadn’t been in a sling I would’ve knocked the gorilla’s block off. Nobody messes with Knut Pedersen and walks away with his body intact, I […]

Pedersen’s Last Dream – Nine

I’M ON A TRAIN. It’s late at night. Or perhaps it’s midday and the train is an underground train. Sometimes, in dreams, you can never tell. “Look at our friend over there,” I say to someone, who suddenly appears at my side, while pointing to a drunk talking to himself further up the train, “I […]

Pedersen’s Last Dream – Eight

THERE IS A SECRET island far beyond the Arctic Circle where people don’t lock their doors at night for there is no fear and there are no thieves. An island where small children play on homemade rafts in sparkling waters on summer days that last forever. A secret island where sea-mist clouds roll lazily over mountain tops […]

Pedersen’s Last Dream – Five

“LAST NIGHT I DREAMED I’d fallen onto a railway track just as a train was pulling into a station.” Glancing towards Dr Finkel I saw he was staring at his fingernails like a man who’d never seen fingernails before. He grunted for me to continue. “It was in London. There was nothing scary about it. […]

Pedersen’s Last Dream – Four

THE ODDEST THING on the day of the accident occurred at the hospital. Well, not the oddest, exactly. Suffering an accident in the first place was fairly odd for me, insofar as I don’t have them every day. Not major ones, at least. In fact, thinking about it, it was probably the very first serious […]

Pedersen’s Last Dream – Three

THE DREAM MY LANDLADY chooses to wake me into, has her deciding not to feed me any longer. She doesn’t tell me of her decision. Judging from experience, women hardly ever do. I get back from town one evening to sit at the kitchen table waiting for a meal that never arrives. I sit for […]

Pedersen’s Last Dream – Two

“I’M SURROUNDED BY PYGMIES,” Dr Finkel informed me, “And you are the biggest pygmy of all.” Was there the hint of a compliment? “Ever since  I can remember I longed to be a concert violinist. The idea I’d end up being a bloody psychiatrist never even entered my head.” He was pacing up and down the […]