Analects …

a collection of short literary or philosophical extracts

Not all ideas fit neatly into the pages of a book. When I see, hear or read something that moves me—a news story, a snippet of conversation, a musical phrase, a storyline or cityscape—I capture the thoughts it provokes by jotting them down. From art and sports—whether Wimbledon or the World Cup—to politics, love and war, all topics have the potential to spark my imagination.

 

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...

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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...

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How the Wes was Won

How the Wes was Won

Wes was the most charming client in my menagerie of accounting clients—a great charm causing me the utmost stress and anxiety. Accounting records were not handed over until almost the very last day...

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And You Think Golf is Tough

And You Think Golf is Tough

Finally, I was free… at least for the summer. Laura had taken the boys home with her to the Philippines. I was left a bachelor. On my first Thursday evening alone, I rushed to my Scrabble club—a...

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The Wonder of Youth

The Wonder of Youth

Talking of restaurants, Europe isn’t like back home in Calgary. Despite being branded “Cowtown”, you can find whatever cuisine your heart desires, from Uzbek to Indonesian. In Spain, it seems every...

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I Don’t Like Mondays

I Don’t Like Mondays

Come what may, Team 2 of Collins Barrow, Chartered Accountants met religiously each Monday morning at 8.30 a.m. sharp. No one arrived late. On that morning, during my first winter in Calgary,...

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Band of Angels

Band of Angels

Christmas in Calgary is not always full of cheer. Relying on its oil industry, the city suffers intense cycles of boom and bust. One year, I lost both my business and family home. I had been...

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I Shoulda Listened to Mum

I Shoulda Listened to Mum

“Son,” she said. “Stop dreaming of becoming a writer. Be an accountant. You’ll always have a job and pay your bills.” At the tender age of 60, I decided to rebel. Now I’m miserable and broke. Why?...

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Love Kills

Love Kills

Joel died today of a drug overdose. Or, to be politically correct, from “substance abuse”. How can you remain “politically correct” over the death of a twenty-six-year-old due to horrendous choices?...

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A Real Angle

A Real Angle

As a child in England, every Sunday afternoon, I was sat at a table by my foster mum to pen a letter to my divorced dad in Africa. “Dear Father, I hope this letter finds you in good health.” In...

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Emil Rem Writes Headshot

Emil Rem, an eccentric accountant becomes a writer of eccentric characters, in exotic locales—each chapter taking us on a trip into his fascinating twisted world. Born to a close knit, middle class Muslim East Indian family in Dar-es-Salam, Africa in the 50’s, he is then moved to Maidenhead England at the age of five. The next twenty years are spent shuttling between England and East Africa, wearing a St. Christopher’s cross one minute and attending church, to wearing a green armband and attending Muslim religious classes in Africa the next. Moving to Canada, marrying a woman from the Philippines and having two boys only adds further texture to his stories.

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