She lived on Highgate Hill, no less, right opposite the church. She was built like a mahogany wardrobe and she smelt like one, too. She boomed rather than spoke in a disturbingly deep smoker’s voice which had flecks of phlegm around the edges and she had a curious habit of addressing the wall instead of the person to whom she was talking. She was known as Mrs. W., although saying it out loud took longer than using her full name. She looked down her nose at Uncle.
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Grandfather George was a cook in the Great British Army. A veteran of several campaigns with the Royal Kents in the Boer war, he was, by all accounts, a popular man. As a ten-year old child, my father, another George, was fiercely proud of his Dad in uniform. He cut such a fine figure, with his clipped moustache and row of medals along his chest, a glossy metal identification medallion hung hidden around his neck. (more…)
After making a brash exit from St Denis – the provincial capital of the French overseas département of La Réunion – the RN1 widens westwards into an anxious dual carriageway road, complete with worrying warning signs and dazzling danger lights. Thus alerted, it penetrates into a skinny coastal strip of strewn boulders that runs in the shadow of an imposing stand of sea-cliffs. (more…)