granada la bella
where anything is possible
Simon the Writer
<<<- This is the cover of the novella, a reconstruction of a young man's life on the road to self-fulfilment, or perhaps not.
There is a lot of memoir in the story and it tries to caapture the reality of how it was to live in the last year of those 'Swinging Sixties'.
It portrays the life of someone who had little time for or interest in politics, yet who was not immune to the effects of political events on the world stage, even when they seemed remote from 'sleepy London town'.
The thumbnails at the bottom of the cover page represent three such political upheavals: the consequences of the Prague Spring in Czechoslovakia, the fight for civil rights in Northern Ireland, and the American War in Vietnam.
From ANDREWES WITH AN EXTRA 'E'.
My father’s name was Francis Nesfield Andrewes. It says so on my birth certificate. It did not occur to me that my parents had not been married even though my mother’s name was given on it as ‘Florence Elsie Kirk formerly Ashmore’, Kirk being the surname of her legally-wedded husband.
In 1964 I was working for an insurance company in the City and was bored out of my head one afternoon after a boozy lunch. ‘I’ll look up how many Andreweses with the extra ‘e’ there are living in London,’ I thought. There were five. And there among them, the entry ‘Andrewes, F.N. (Vet.)’ with an address in East Finchley.
I called the number. ‘Is that the veterinary practice of Mr Francis Nesfield Andrewes?’ (I said carefully.) ‘Yes.’ (My father answered, impatiently). And I put the phone down. There it was then. Certainty. I had eliminated the remote possibility that FN stood for something else. I already knew my father was a vet, and that he had this strange middle name that sounded like a surname.
My mother had told me that my father had died in a car crash. Otherwise she didn’t talk about him and I didn’t ask. Yes, my father had had a traffic accident, it turned out, but he had not died; he had broken both his legs. After the accident, he could not handle the big farm animals and had gone back to London where, before the War you know, he had had a practice that dealt with household pets, which he could more easily cope with in his invalid state.
Was it a traumatic experience, to find out my father was alive in this way? After this revised account of his car crash, I actually buried my father, metaphorically speaking. I remember this posture of defiant pride, telling myself, well, if he never wanted to know anything of me, I did not want to know anything more of him. And that was that.
And I got on with my life: through several decades in fact, and into the new millennium, I rarely gave my father and anomalies related to my early years another thought. Now, I have to ask myself: what brought on this on-and-off obsession with my father and his lineage at such a late stage? Something to do with identity, no doubt. But this intermittent obsession that led me, a good while ago now, to start researching and writing this genealogical record? It is as if there is a vacuum to be filled.
Will it be? Almost certainly not, I suppose. But never mind, here goes.
My current work- and breakfast space
Ready to get down to some writing - and breakfast
The cover page of the collection of poems:
Paco Quirosa of Granada did the cover page design for all three publications, for which I herewith thank him.
This page was first published on 26/04/2020
For many many years, I used to be a teacher of English as an international language, but then I retired, and now I am just a writer, a full-time writer, you could say. My new identity will be marked by the launching of three publications as Smashword e-books. The titles of these ebooks are