Never Ask Mum

Never Ask Mum

It was a mistake. Coming home one evening, I slumped into an armchair beside Mum. “Can’t go on this way. I’m so depressed. No-one at work likes me. I’m failing all my exams. How can I become an accountant when I can’t even add up? Can I go see a psychiatrist?” At that...
What Brings You Joy?

What Brings You Joy?

Since his retirement several years ago, my client John and I meet every time he’s back in town. His greeting is always the same. “Oh! I have a whole bunch of bills to pay.” “John, they’re all for the trips you make. You have no mortgage. You spend $20,000 a month...
Last Train to Santa Margherita Ligure

Last Train to Santa Margherita Ligure

Lou’s best friend once told him “You’re lucky your father was born before you.” Over decades, his family had accumulated a number of rinky-dink 12-suiters across Calgary. In his mid-twenties, with no ambition, Lou became a caretaker of one of those buildings. Lou...
At the End o’ Me Tether

At the End o’ Me Tether

Lulu was Flo’s mum. Flo was my English foster mum. Attending North Town Primary School—a fifteen-minute walk from home—I dropped in every Friday afternoon, to visit Lulu from the age of five to eleven. “Tell Flo I’m at the end o’ me tether.” She would say this every...
Facing Down the Tiger

Facing Down the Tiger

Perhaps it wasn’t my home, but Hong Kong sure felt like it. From the age of twelve, I was showered with free airline tickets by my father, an employee of East African Airways. Although rich in tickets, we were poor financially. This meant sleeping on airport floors...