At Time, on Tune

We parted on bad terms, Grandad and I. He wasn’t a blood relation, more of an in-law, but he was ‘Grandad’ to all of us all the same. And one evening…


Jude the Unshrewd

Her name was Helen--- from Australia--- and it was all a very long time ago: the late 1960s. Helen managed a shop selling eastern ethnic goods near…


Black in Whiteface Black

We had a family doctor ---called Merrick---who came round whenever one of us was sick, and somehow always made us well again. That’s medicine at its…


Skooling on Sundaes

She was a beautiful silver-blonde girl, not exactly Swedish but not exactly not either, married to a most likeable guy, widely considered handsome,…


Ice Creamer, Part 2

XIX. Despite twenty years of strict Islamic rule, prostitution still exists in Iran. In some areas of downtown Shiraz, I think it was, for example,…


Ice Creamer, Part 1

I. Something very special about air travel: the way it bleeds fear into your soul. The tightening of the stomach. The queasiness. The hands around…


Ghost Queen

My quest for outré culinary excellence certainly did not begin with the standard fare dished up to us hapless fucking sheep strapped into our seats…


Love You, Zyra, Part 4

VII. I spent some hours in Karachi on my own. What a fucking dump. Christ. Siddiqi had gone off with some very unsavoury-looking characters to score…


Love You, Zyra, Part 3

VI. Now. At 3:30 in the afternoon, we ambled as a group, in single file, up a foot-path which skirted a mountainside. There were about 40 of us in…


Love You, Zyra, Part 2

IV. Closer. We caught a bus that took us into the foothills of the Pamirs. By now, I’d gone quite native and had put on my all-purpose Islamic grey…