Monday, 7 January 2019

Smile and Wave

You’re condemned if you do,
And condemned if you don’t,
You’re condemned if you will,
And condemned if you won’t,
You’re condemned if you smile,
And condemned if you cry,
You’re condemned saying who,
Or condemned asking why.
You’re condemned if you hope,
And condemned if you can’t,
You’re condemned for believing,
And condemned if you shan’t,
You’re condemned for beginning
And condemned for the end,
You’re disliked for your hobbies,
And despised for your friends,
You’re condemned for the good,
And condemned for the bad,
Your condemned for the happy,
And destroyed for the sad,
You’re condemned for being straight,
And condemned being gay,
You’re blamed for the night,
And condemned for the day……

……..Let’s face it, you’re never going to win this crap,
Just smile and wave everyone, smile and wave.

Bobby Stevenson 2019

Monday, 26 November 2018

An Uncivil War

Connor Tray is the hero. That much is true. He needs to get back to the East Coast of the US to start college, but these are strange days, indeed. The cheapest method he can find is to go by Greyhound bus from Los Angeles to New York, and that means through every square state there is. But the rules have changed, and Connor is a stranger in a strange land.

An Uncivil War

Jesus, I feel like breaking down and crying most days. I kid you not. To think that this is the land of Washington, of Dylan (Bob, that is), and the country where Woodstock happened.

Shit, how I miss the old country. The old times. When a soul knew what was bad and what was good, when you didn’t need to ask what was true and what was false. Not anymore, no sir, not anymore, those days are long gone.

The last thing I remember seeing that evening, as we left the city, was the glow from the distant bonfires, spitting out angel-like embers into a dark, hollow night. Travelling always caused my guts to feel empty, and my heart to sink to an all-time low. I honestly cannot tell you why that would be the case, but this travelling in anticipation was not what lit my dreams, nor would it be in any of the days ahead.   

I had been hanging out back west with my buddy, Shaker, but eventually the time had come when a soul had to head home. In my pocket was the last of the greenbacks, the money had long slipped into that pleasure-filled abyss, along with the creeps who helped me spend it.

I suddenly get an iced shiver in my spine, and I wonder: when did all the good folks disappear? Where are they all living?

Some say the good hearts left just after those Saturday night riots on the Sunbury Heights, and others think it was when the troopers started kicking in doors in the middle of the night.  Me, I reckon it was while I was passing though Omaha, but then, that’s much later in this story: so let me just start at the very beginning.

Okay one more thought, before I start, I mean really start. Was all of this the fault of weak skulls and weaker souls? Sometimes I lie awake at night and let that little rat of a thought burrow into my brain. You see good folks still defended churches, even when their little ones had been raped by hundreds of their own monsters. People still voted for Presidents when it was obvious to everyone else in this screwed-up world that they were biting on the wrong side of the moral biscuit. Heck, even Hitler fooled the people for a while. So who were the stupid ones? The ones who voted them in, and who supported them? 

Or the ones who always believed that, one day, good people would surely come riding by and put it all back to the way it was?’
 “There, there, little one, there, there”.

When it all started I was only eighteen summers and looking to get across the country to my college, back in New York City. My family lived just a gnat’s spit out of Sacramento, which is, or was, in the great state of California and I, Connor Tray, was going to be a Doctor of Medicine. Because that’s the words that made my daddy smile when he told his friends. ‘My boy is going to be a doctor’, and they’d all slap the gargoyle on the back and they’d all look back at me and wave. My stomach would go 360 inside, but still I’d smile and still I’d return the gesture.

You know, I used to think that the middle classes were a necessary evil, that they were the glue which held all this society stuff together. But the longer I walk this planet, the more I realise that they are just the fire blanket that suffocates life.  What could this planet have achieved, if the majority of folks hadn’t been shit stupid?  We could have surfed the stars and jumped the suns, but instead we drowned in banks, and mortgages and wars. Surely that has got to be the greatest sin going - being a dumb ape who steals and breaks folks so that they can have a pure gold toilet to shit in?

There was a time in this great country, when to pull out a cigarette was considered a greater crime that showing-off an automatic rifle. Not anymore. When the politically correct forgot to stop at the borders and kept on marching over the toes of the morally stupid – something had to give and give it certainly did. Folks started lighting up weed and cigarettes in bars and stores and even hospitals – hey, hadn’t it been those liberals who had caused all this correctness? I remember, in a sad, stinking, bar, downtown, a guy sticking up for the liberals by mumbling something about the fact that Jesus would have been a liberal. I thought to myself, that guy’s right, He would have. Then a monkey with a gun, shot the guy dead. Folks just moved up the bar some, they didn’t even call the cops.

So, I ask you, again, where did all the good people go?

The bus is the only option I can afford. Trains in the States? Forget that. Flying? Well, you know how that song goes. So, I leave downtown LA on a bus that is going to take me right across the country. I should have guessed it was never going to be straight-forward. There already had been trouble in the bus station. Some dude had started shouting that they ought to shoot the President. A messed-up drunk applauded at the sentiment, so one little old lady went off and called a cop over. The cop told the man to cease or else. The man chose the ‘or else’ and got dragged out of the bus station. I think I heard a scream coming from the direction he disappeared, but I couldn’t swear to that.

I like sitting next to the window, so some putz came in a filled the other seat. He looked real kind of nervous. Maybe he had just been running a long ways for the bus, or perhaps he had a secret. I wasn’t caring either way – except to say that he was smelling real bad. I mean the guy wasn’t too bad for a bus companion, I suppose, except that he kept checking his watch as if he didn’t want the bus to be late.  So, when the bus started up and pulled out of the station, I could see the relief on the guy’s face – well he looked happy, that’s all I can say.

As we turned out into the main street, I could hear the rat-tat-tat of gun fire – I stood up to get a better view, but it soon became obvious that they were making some kind of movie on the far corner. That’s LA for you – you can never tell what is real and what is fake. Jeez, that’s America for you.

The guy next to me, the guy who sweated a lot, was called Prince (well, that’s what it sounded like). He said he was traveling back across the wilds of this country to get a job in Kingston, upstate New York. Leastways that’s what he said. As the bus headed out of the city and towards the great playground of Las Vegas, he started to loosen up some and eventually he gave me the whole story. Seems had married a crazy looking ‘American lady’ for thirty thousand big ones – and now he was on his way to putting as much distance as he could between her and him.  He hoped it would let him stay in the country as the husband of the crazy woman. I sneered a little, because I wasn’t too sure that they would let him stay but I wouldn’t say that to his face. No sir. I wished him well but all the time, I knew.

I’m reading a book. Well it all kind of came back into style a while back – didn’t it? Prince or whatever his name was, is watching a movie or something on a cheap imitation iPhone – one that came out of China. Those bastards copy everything these days. Least that’s what my daddy said on the last night I saw him alive. But hey, I’ll keep that story for later, there is still a lot going on down here.

I ask this, Prince if he ain’t scared that the immigration folks will catch up with him, because these guys (and gals) seem to be on a bounty bonus these days. Kicking in doors. Stopping folks in the street. Throwing people off buses. Yeah, I had to remind him of that point. So, it was just as the bus was about to leave the LA area, that a car slows and pulls up in front of the bus. Man, the bus comes to a halt with a screech. The driver shouts something in Spanish, sees that it’s the immigration mongrels getting out of the car and changes to English. I kid you not.

They come on like some Gestapo officers from a black and white movie, asking for papers from those who don’t look like white Anglo-Saxon protestants. I look at Prince. He is sweating. I mean that’s the whole caboodle running down his face. One of the immigration officers, a woman, can see he’s nervous and asks for his papers. He’s got them, but he’s just married and he’s sitting next to a dude on a bus.
“Where’s your wife?” 

Prince mumbles something about being back in LA, she took sick and he decided to go on the honeymoon on his own – yeah, I didn’t believe it either. The next thing I know they are dragging him off the bus – dragging, as in his feet are scrape along the floor. Man, this guy is cooked. The car moves off and the only thought going through my head, is that at least I get a free seat next to me, at least until the next stop.

What kind of selfish is that?
Somewhere after we hit the desert, I must have dozed off, because the next thing I know this woman is sitting next to me, shaking me hard and telling me I gotta wake up. Why for god sake? Know what her answer was? Seriously, she woke me up to see the mountains. Like I’d never seen them before.

Before I took this bus, I had gone with my bud up the Big Sur and there were folks on that bus who had never seen the sea. Okay, I mean in real life. They’d all seen them on television but here they were staring at the waves.  Like some kind of miracle was going to blast out of the water and then they would have to applaud. I might have clapped under those circumstances, but these bus-riders were just staring at the quiet Pacific waves and saying ‘wow’ under their collective dumb-ass breaths. Sometimes it’s tiring sharing the world with idiots.

Once things had calmed down, our bus slid over the mountains and into that road which sits above Las Vegas. Man, have you ever seen Vegas from this angle? It is breath-taking. It looks like a city on the moon. A big glorious, neon encrusted, paradise of joy whacked straight down into the Sea of Tranquillity. 

Put it in your list of things to see before you die. You won’t be disappointed.

Vegas is one crazy, sonofabitch place to visit, never mind live. Nothing is real but then again perhaps they should make this the new capital of the new united states, because nothing is what it seems any more. Nothing.

Can I just state right here and now, that I never took to gambling. I knew that there was no way an ordinary person could win. I mean they built Vegas on all the suckers who thought they had a chance. You take a few bucks with you into the casino and when it’s gone, so are you. But that isn’t the way they work. 

They tempt with a little win here or a little win there and soon you’re hooked.
Just as we pulled into the bus station in Vegas, I could see a couple of tanks - army ones – pointing at something down the strip. I sometimes wonder if, as Americans, we went to war just after 9/11 and no one had the curtsey to shout ‘start’. We just slipped into it without ever noticing. Most days, I just feel like breaking down and crying. I tell you.

As I was getting off the bus, the driver looked at me, as if to say, ‘what could I do about your friend?’.
“I didn’t know him.” Was what I said, as I stepped down from the bus.

I think it’s safer these days to keep your distance. I’ve heard of folks whose only relationship with an outcast (so to speak) was on social media – getting picked up because they were a ‘friend’ of a deportee. You just don’t know who to trust anymore. You just don’t.

I have a half-hour to kill while they change over the drivers. Each one does their own little section – driving the bus one way, then returning on a bus going the other way. So, I walk up the strip to where I saw the tanks. There must be twenty armed soldiers hiding in the shadows of those beasts. Something is out there.

Turns out (and get this) it’s a demonstration supporting the new President. I kid you not. Supporting! I ask the guy ‘why the tanks?’, and he tells me ‘it’s to protect the good folks who are standing up for their individual rights to free-speech’. I thought he meant the other lot – but he didn’t. He meant those supporting the President. Is he crazy? What can the other lot do against tanks? Someone does what they did in China all those years ago and puts flags in the barrels of the guns. He gets hit and knocked to the ground. So much for free-speech, I’m thinking. What a load of baloney. Nowadays, free-speech is whatever backs up with what those in charge are thinking. Jeez, I’d probably get hit for just thinking that.

What happened to my country? When did it get so divided? Did too many good people keep quiet? Is this the beginning of the end? Because it sure feels like it.
It’s a strange old place, is Vegas. All about the gambling and the shows. 

Everywhere you go there are machines to play this and try that. But try to find out the time – and you can’t. So perhaps, this place would work just as well on the Moon.

I go into a small café for a pee, then a coffee and before I’ve got time to sip one drop, a brick comes straight through the store window. Some lady and a kid, sitting at the window, get hit and I can see blood trickling down both their faces. Before I can even cuss, two cops look in the café, then chase the guy, who threw the projectile, down the Strip. No one comes in to see if we are all okay. Guess that’s what we’ve become. A country that likes to catch those who disagree with it – and if you get caught up in the middle of it all – well, you’re just collateral, plain and simple.   

Now don’t you ever misuse my words and get me wrong, I love my country. I mean I love my country from the tip of my hairs to the nails on my feet and all stations in between. But something happened while we were sleeping. Those crazy folks who you would meet in malls or on buses, the ones who used to spout all sorts of crazy stuff, started to vote and when they tasted a little bit of what that could do, they voted some more. Right, I hear what you’re saying: it’s their world too, but just because you think a man is wrong because of his skin, or who he sleeps with, or what tongue he speaks – don’t mean you are right.

Once the genie is out of the bottle there ain’t no going back. No sir. Getting rid of a President don’t fix things. It surely doesn’t, because once you realize you are hungry, all you want is more of what you need.

This country, my country, is split right down the middle and nothing is going to fix that.

It’s just then that I get brought back with a bang. The guy the cops had been chasing is dragged back up the Strip. He managed to kick out and hit our window on the way back. Guess he’s going where Prince is going.

I remember once, long time ago, in my short life, me and my granddaddy were fishing in a creek out by the old docks. Now my granddaddy never fished in his life, but he used to like to come and keep me company while I gave it a try. To be real honest, I never caught anything worthwhile. Just little ones, from time to time, which I would throw back. But my granddaddy used to smoke his pipe and sit and think about the world.

“What if fish could scream?” He asked one morning.
“Well, would ya still keep on fishing if they screamed to high-heavens as they were being pulled out of the creek?”
“I guess not,” I told him.
“Then why do it?” He asked.

And do you know what? He was right. I never fished another fish again.  So, what’s the point of the story, you’re asking? The point is, people are getting away with murder these days because fish don’t scream. Folks are being pulled out of the river of life by thugs and no one is caring, because it’s not them – this time.
And we all know where that thinking leads.

bobby stevenson 2018

Friday, 16 November 2018

TheLittle Girl who Tried to Make the World Happy

Sabrina was nine summers old when she met the old woman. To be real honest, she hadn’t even noticed her at first as the woman was sitting under a large tree, eating an orange. Sabrina had smelt the fruit from a long way away.
The last thing her grandmother had told her was not to speak to strangers - but Sabrina was a young girl who liked meeting new folks.

“Sit,” said the old woman. “Sit by me and have some orange.”

And that is exactly what Sabrina did. The old woman gave her some segments of the orange, and they both sat in the cool shade, under the sycamore tree.

When they were all finished, the old woman asked what Sabrina would like in all the world. Without hesitating too much, Sabrina said to make everyone she knew happy.

“Give it a try,” said the old woman, and one day we will meet under this tree and I will ask you about your life.

Sabrina was about to ask another question but as she turned the old woman had vanished – didn’t they always in these stories?

So the next day, she set out to make everyone she knew happy. She cooked and cleaned, and helped and scraped and painted and carried and washed and cut. It seemed that people were only happy when you were doing something for them – but as they all seemed happy, that made Sabrina content.

One day, in the following Spring, Sabrina met the old woman under the tree. This time they shared a pear.

“How have you got on?” The woman asked Sabrina, and she told her what I have told you.
“Now I want you to make yourself happy,” the old woman told her.
“How do I do that?” Asked the girl.
“By doing only what you feel is right in your heart and head – no more, no less. We will meet again,” said the old woman.

The following day, Sabrina started to do what only made her happy. She stopped cutting, and cleaning and painting and helping so much and found more time for her own needs and her own heart. The downside was that people started to ignore her , or talk about her and whisper about how she had gotten so selfish.

“She was once a nice girl,” Sabrina would hear them whisper. “Gone to the dark side,” said another.

One unexpected day, Sabrina met the old woman for the last time and Sabrina – while sharing an apple – told the old woman how making herself happy had worked out.

“You have found out the truth. You cannot make the world happy. There are those who have turned their backs on you, but they were only using you for their selfish needs. People are lazy, and stupid, and wasteful. They could not see how much in your heart you wanted to help them. Sabrina, you must make yourself happy, regardless of who it upsets. And when you are truly happy, there are those who you will make genuinely happy. They will see the happiness in your eyes and heart and that will be enough for them. The rest are not your responsibility and they will only find another soul to pester and torment. Be glad of who you are.”

And that is what Sabrina did for the rest of her life. She never saw the old woman again but sometimes she would sit under the sycamore tree and eat an orange and smile that she had, at least, made one person happy.

bobby stevenson 2018

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

The Private War of Bobby Falkirk

Which war he went to (and came back from), isn’t important here, it’s just important to know that Bobby came back in one piece – well almost. His head was intact, as was his body – but it was a plain and simple fact that his brain and heart didn’t really communicate that well with each other. Whose does?

Ever since he was old enough to climb trees, Bobby had always wanted to be a soldier. In Bobby’s world branches became rifles, and clumps of grass tied to his head made him invisible to the enemy. He used to invade Mister Elder’s garden on a weekly basis. Mister Elder threatened to go to the police, but nothing ever came of it and Bobby kept on invading and taking Mister Elder’s flower beds prisoner.

Every morning Bobby would ask his mother if he was old enough to join the army, and every morning she would say the same things – ‘not long now’ or ‘when you’re a little taller’. Bobby even hung upside down from trees, for hours, just to make himself that little bit taller.

As he grew up and older, Bobby could see his mother looking sadder – she knew the time was fast approaching when he son would be off to wars overseas.

Bobby had waited, as he had promised, until he was 18 years of age before he attempted to join the army. At that age he was over six-foot tall and built like a champion fighter. Bobby didn’t care if the world was ready for him, Bobby was most definitely ready to take on the world.

In all, Bobby spent ten years in the army and in that time, he saw many places, many cultures, and just as many ways to kill a man. His eyes grew tired and weary of the stench of death, and his heart grew cold and hard. By the time Bobby returned to his home, he felt like a man who belonged to no particular place. Something of himself had been destroyed and buried in those far-off lands and it made him confused, as a result.

In the ten years spent in the army his parents had died, leaving Bobby to feel that he was an orphan. He had a family while he was in the army – he had never been closer or felt more of sense of belonging than those army years, but friends had died in battle or had left.

For the first time in his life, Bobby felt totally alone. In his younger years, Bobby would sometimes travel with his uncle (really a kindly neighbour) up to St Pancras station and hotel on Euston Road. It had been falling apart for many years, but while his uncle worked on the railways, Bobby would explore the old buildings and the old hotel.

In the highest tower (and for reasons you will understand later, I am saying no more than that) Bobby found an empty room, full of cobwebs and rats. At each visit, Bobby would smuggle in little objects, pieces of wood (from which he built a seat), and some things to eat and drink. Over the next few years, it became Bobby’s home away from home. One weekend, when his uncle was taken unwell, Bobby sneaked up to the railway station and managed to get up to his den in the highest tower, unseen. He had always remembered this.

On his return from his war, Bobby had found himself with nowhere to call home, or even rest his head. It was then that he thought of his little room and wondered if it had been discovered during his absence, or if it indeed remained intact.

The station and the hotel had been transformed since last he had seen the place, and the chances didn’t look good for his den’s survival. Even the back stairs had been repainted and lit in electric light, but as he got to where the door was to his room, he found a brick wall. The entrance had been blocked.

The window to the left of the door was still in place and Bobby found he could still open it. The ledge was there and Bobby clung on to the guttering as he walked, carefully up the roof. The window to his den was still there and he managed to prise it open.

Would you believe it? Bobby’s den was still there, untouched, if a little unloved. The builders must have blocked the door and ignored the highest room in the tower. All his survival/army gear was there – even his little notebooks where he recorded all his height changes as he grew.

That night Bobby slept well, just like did when he was a kid. Tomorrow could look after itself.
It took him a minute or two to realise where he was when he awoke, as the sun shone through the window of his little room. When Bobby was ready, he went on a little walk of discovery and found that there was three other rooms next to his which had also been bricked off from the rest of the building. That was when the thought hit him – it would be possible to live up here, as long as he could come and go unseen.

He only had a little money, enough to keep him going for two or three weeks at most, and if he left the building in the dark then he should be able to survive for a while.

That first day, he ate what was left of the sandwich he had stuffed in his pocket. From up there, the highest room on Euston Road, he could see the world go by and the office workers impatiently watching the clocks on their walls. Bobby’s medication wouldn’t last more than a month or two. The army had handed him some tablets to keep his confusion under control, but in the end the self-control was down to him.

Bobby waited until past midnight before he made the walk down the ledge. He could hear the city screaming and shouting from the streets below; people with families and lives. People without the confusion that had swamped his thoughts. Would he love to be down there and normal? The thought didn’t last long as a breeze blew up and nearly knocked him from the roof. He managed to catch on to the guttering at the last moment. In that split second, he had imagined the newspaper report – ‘soldier returns from war and jumps from roof’. Bobby didn’t want that.

Bobby made it down to Euston Road and started towards Kings Cross. He went into the station and bought some chocolate to keep him going. Bobby was walking to nowhere in particular when, from the corner of his eye and across the street, he noticed a young woman being pushed about by three men. She looked to be in trouble. Bobby sped across the road.

Bobby shouted at the men. “Leave the girl alone.”
“Says who?” Asked one of the men. The one with a scar across his nose.
“Says me,” Bobby shouted back.
“Get him lads,” shouted the fat one.

At that point the three of the men threw the girl aside, making her bump her head against the wall.
It was easy for Bobby, he was fit and ready for them. He knocked two of their heads, literally together. One sparked out and one ran away. The one with the scar stood his ground and grabbed the girl by the neck.

“One move and she gets it,” he said with the girl blocking him from Bobby’s fists. Bobby rolled into a ball then quickly knocked away the man’s legs, Bobby managing to catch the girl as she was released.

Bobby stood and dragged the man by the ankles into a small lane. Bobby picked the man up and chucked him in a dump. Then Bobby returned to make sure the girl was okay.
She seemed to be okay and he found out her name was Elizabeth. She had no money, so Bobby went back and emptied the man in the dump’s wallet. He handed the money to the girl, taking her to a place where she could catch a cab. She asked his name, he told her it wasn’t important and then put her in a taxi.

Bobby could hear the station clock strike two in the morning, as he edged his way back to his den in the sky.

As he lay trying to sleep that night, Bobby wondered if everything happened for a reason. Maybe being a soldier and fighting the bad on the streets of London was why he had been put on this Earth.
Bobby, the hero? There was still a grin on his face as he fell asleep.

bobby stevenson 2018

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

The House with the Red Roof

One year, I decided not to walk the West Highland Way; a path of about a hundred miles leading from the central belt of Scotland into the glorious Highlands. Instead, I ventured out to the west coast – because here, it was much more remote and there was less chance of running into hoards of people. Not that I sought out loneliness, nor did I try to avoid it – I’d reached that stage in my life when I was relatively content with myself (regardless of my many faults). 

The problem with the north-west of the Scottish mainland is there are very few paths and even less places to take shelter, should the weather dictate.

That day, when I found the house with the red roof, that was such a day. I almost thought I was going to be wiped out in a snow storm. 

It was an old abandoned farm house which had transformed itself into a bothy ( a place of shelter if you should find yourself stuck out on the hills). Inside there was a little fire in the corner, and some kind soul had left a few twigs and branches to help start a fire. They had even left a few matches.

I managed (eventually) to light a fire – it is not as easy as they make it look in the books – besides, it was a damp room and the wood was slightly wet. I took out a bar of chocolate and warmed some milk I had brought. It made a lovely drink. Needless to say, I fell asleep almost immediately after my supper. The glow and crackling of the fire brought a peace to settle in the room.

For some reason, I opened my eyes – and to my shock (for that is what you told me later), a woman was sitting warming herself at the fire and rubbing her hands.
“Oh, hello,” she said. “I didn’t mean to wake you.”
“Who are you?” Was the only thing I could think of to say.
“Harry, pleased to meet you.”

And that night, started something that changed both our lives. We sat and talked all night (or what was left of it) about the stars, and the world, our families, our dreams and hopes. Before we both knew it, the sun had come up. You said you were heading off to the east and I was going to take the western path, along the loch.

It had been the wee small hours of the fifth of November – remember, remember.
I went back to my job of teaching in Bromley and you said you were taking a PHD course in Physics at some south eastern university.
I have no idea why, but the following 4th of November, I happened to be walking near the house with the red roof. Maybe I hoped to run into you again. If I was being honest, you had been on my mind for much of the last year.

You were already there when I arrived.
“Imagine meeting you here,” was what you had said as I entered the house.
Imagine, indeed.

It was an extremely cold night, and I had actually brought some wood up here with me. For if there was no one here, I was going to light a small fire and then leave the rest of the wood for the next lonely traveller caught by the weather.

But you were here. Somehow I knew you would be. It was like that book ‘One Day’. Although neither of us saw anything romantic in what we were doing. At least, not then.  And once again, all we did was talk and lie by the fire.

I met Susan the following Spring and by Autumn we were wed. I don’t know if you sensed the change in me, but I went to the little house the next November and you didn’t show up.
Something must be wrong – I thought to myself.

Then I saw it – a letter on the mantlepiece of the fire – addressed to Harry. I was surprised the letter had survived. It said you had come a week early to the cottage as you were taking your final exams the week of the 4th of November. I remember sitting by the fire and wishing you well (at least in my head).

The following year we met again and this time you looked tired. Apparently you had nursed your mother through Alzheimer’s and now she was gone. You told me that night, that the walk had helped with the sadness. The fresh Scottish air had diluted your troubles.

It was crazy, but we continued to meet up over the next eight years. In that time I had become a father to two boys and you told me you had met someone special.
You looked, and grew so much happier over that time.

I just want to say thank to you for your friendship and your beautiful soul – and our meetings which kept me going over all the years.

If you are reading this letter dear Sophie, it is because I can’t make it this year. Susan took the boys to the hut (probably because she was curious herself) and she left the letter I wrote for you.

I will be watching you from the stars. I wish you all the love in the world.
Harry x

bobby stevenson 2018