Jacques Van Kelst, by Sophie



As I stretch my arm to catch the bartender’s attention for another cider, my shirt lifts and reveals the inside of my wrist. Someone at the bar points at the tattoo that’s been there for ten years.

“What’s that then? What does it mean? Is it Hindi or summin’?”, he asks

I stare back at him, with no expression on my face, feeling annoyed he asked.

“It’s Lao, not Hindi. And it’s a name,” I reply drily.

As a young man, Jacques enrolled in the Army and spent several years in Laos (South East Asia) where he actively helped the local populations build new houses, bridges and roads after the First Indochina War destroyed all they had. His help and compassion towards the people didn’t go unnoticed and the King of Laos, Sisavang Vong, awarded him with a medal, the “Order of the Million Elephants and the White Parasol”. He was always very proud of this medal and had a certificate with it, written in French and translated into Lao.

When he passed away in 2005, I had the Lao version of his name tattooed on my right wrist. I wish I hadn’t. At least not somewhere people can see it. They always ask what it means and I don’t want to tell them. What was ours is now mine and I don’t like to share. More importantly, I don’t like to be reminded he’s gone.

I was born in a small town in the North of France. Empty streets and small red brick houses, everything looks the same and, day after day, under grey skies, life goes by without a sound but the rain. There is absolutely no entertainment for children over there but if that’s where you were born, you don’t know any better. Once the heart of coal mining in France, the area is filled with the painful memories of its history. Charcoal ‘mountains’ and abandoned mine shafts overlook the desolate towns and canals where nothing surprising ever happens.

Yet, I consider myself very lucky. Jacques was in my life. He was a tall, handsome man, always wearing a hat and always with a cigarette in his hand. Everybody knew him in town and even further away. He was heavily involved in the community’s activities, be it bridge lessons, the old factory worker’s symphony or keeping the mine museum alive. He was also the editor of our local newspaper and the creator of the crosswords section. Often too busy to be at home, I was trying to make the most of my time with him when he was.

He called me Soshia and I called him Papy. We loved spending precious moments together, just the two of us and here are the ones I cherish the most.

Lille’s football games.
Jacques used to be a football referee and when he was not on the pitch, he would take me to the stadium with him to watch the game. He would sit me down, hand me some greasy chips rolled in paper and tell me to keep my scarf and beanie hat on to avoid catching a cold. I never knew who had won the game, all that mattered was to be with him and watch him complain about the referee and players’ skills while chain smoking.

Jacques was very often seen sitting at his desk. It was in the conservatory at the back on the house, overlooking the garden. He would spend hours writing tons of pages. He was planning his upcoming trips, writing articles for the local newspaper and he even wrote a whole book about his time in Indochina that he self-published.
I would sit at my small desk next to him and write poems, short stories and other screenplays from the age of 6. We never talked. The sound of pens scratching the paper was music to our ears.

The cemetery.
Once a month, he would take me to a tiny cemetery where his parents were buried. I would draw flowers and write a poem before going and would stick it on the tombstone with Sellotape, replacing the one I’d left before and that the rain had washed away. He would say a prayer and I would recite my poem out loud.

Jacques lived for a few years in Germany, way before I was born, and had a strong bond with this country. Over there, he learned the art of outstanding Christmas celebrations. From choosing the tree to decorating the windows with spray snow, I always took my role very seriously. I never cared too much about presents and even less about food but I was always very excited about Christmas, knowing I was going to spend the whole day singing German carols with him and our all-time favourite French song “Le Temps Des Cerises” over and over again.

Seaside days.
As a child, I wanted to be a mermaid. I wanted to be in water all the time and loved nothing more than swimming. Jacques knew that too well and would take me once a year to the northernmost beach in France. Even in Summer, these beaches are very windy and not always warm. As for the water, it’s always cold, no matter when you go. On the beach, he would always point at the horizon and say “You know, that’s England over there. Can you see it?” and to me, England was that mysterious island somewhere at the end of the Channel. I didn’t know at the time that’s where I would settle down as an adult.
Even though I could swim, I knew the drill. Jacques would pick me up in his arms and would walk for ages in the wind to finally reach the sea. He would then make sure we caught all the waves, by going up and down and making silly sounds pretending he was drowning, but never letting go of me. I would cry with laughter for hours and neither of us ever complained about the cold.

When my mother called me at work that day to say “It’s cancer”, my immediate reaction was to say he was going to be fine and I believed it. Six months down the line, I call him and the only words he manages to let out before hanging up are “I love you, Soshia”. I was working in the South of France then and I immediately jumped in my car to drive all the way up to my Northern hometown.

I arrived too late.

When his personal belongings were made available to whoever wanted them, I chose his Laos medal, his referee whistle and one of his hats.

I never went back to the tiny cemetery. I hardly ever write, all my poems and stories are stuck in my head. I avoid Christmas at all costs.
I permanently moved to the mysterious island and I have not been to my hometown for years. It will never be the same.
I sometimes wish I was a mermaid and that maybe deep in the sea, I would find a way to see him again. But all that’s left now is a faded tattoo on a wrist.

I never told him I loved him, I never told him how much he meant to me. I’m sure he knew, I’m sure he knew.

Sophie worked in media in London, trained Western horses in Hampshire and is now looking for her next adventure in Manchester.

David Firkins, By James



A Letter To My Father,

I want to begin with an apology: I’m sorry. I’m sorry for not realising that you were just a child who thought that you would find the answers you searched for. I’m particularly sorry I never was able to find out your questions. I’m sorry that once, when you rebuked me by the airing cupboard, I asked why you wouldn’t just chastise. I’m sorry that I misconstrued your hesitation. I’m sorry that I thought I had won. I’m sorry that I wondered why my dad didn’t hit me, because I was different from the other boys. I’m sorry that your father had fifteen epileptic fits a day, and when he was lucid he spent his pent up aggression upon the penny arcades of your mothers’ face, your sisters’ head, your troubled soul. I’m sorry that you were taught how to be a man by the army, and subsequently passed that knowledge on to a son who was unable but willing, and another who’s freedom was more important than order. I’m sorry I didn’t know your name until I was maybe ten…

I was loading your fridge into a new house, when we got the call. We ran to the car whilst my brother apologised over his shoulder to the friend of his who helped us to carry your white appliance. His friend nodded, lit a cigarette, and headed on the miles-long journey home, alone. He knew you well.

My mother brought the engine to life like magic, her wrist flickered in tandem with your eyelids. Her legs kicked out, like yours, as a baby testing space. Her hands gripped, again like yours, as a child grasps for comfort. Before, she had promised you inside of her, and in return she would give you life. But there is no time for life on this day.

I’m sorry that when I watched you leave us I screamed. I was vaguely aware of the nurse saying to be quiet; that it is someone’s hearing that is the last sense to leave. I’m sorry I filled your last moments with emphatic, frantic blather; and a scrabbling sound as I put a CD into the player: Echoes by Pink Floyd.

Skip! Skip! Skip! Quick! No! No! Please don’t die yet! No! No! Please! No! Please, no! Skip! Please don’t die yet! Please! Please don’t die yet! Please don’t die!

I remember you fitting, and now I think of how you must have remembered your father. I remember you ceasing to shudder, like a new-born wreathed within the love of a mother. Your choking ceased, making way for such a gentle exhalation. I don’t know why, but I didn’t open a window; and now I wonder how long your soul swam within that room. I’m glad it did because your mother arrived, wheelchair-bound and late, to find you gone. Later, she would claim to still see you.

And before the curtain was drawn, I remember your eyes were blank, half open; like when I was a child on a Saturday morning using my thumbs to pry open your sleeping eyelids, enquiring if it was time to play.

James Oliver Firkins is currently studying Illustration and Creative Writing Joint Honours at the University of Worcester.

Paul Bevan, by Karen


On the 8th January, thousands of people were celebrating what would have been Elvis Presley’s 80th Birthday. A special day for many and one that has a special relevance for my family because it would also have been my Dad’s 60th Birthday. He too was a King of sorts, to us, anyway. Only his crown was a floppy canvas hat, or a pair of pants tied around his head when he needed to protect his bald spot down the beach.

To my shame, I’d forgotten that Dad shared his Birthday with Elvis. He’d always been very proud of that fact, because Elvis was his favourite singer. When I saw it  in the news I was completely mortified that I’d forgotten that little fact about him. But then I realised: it’s been a long time without him reminding us.

2015 marks the 15th year that he’s been gone, which means he’s been out of my life for as long as I ever knew him – and to be honest, that’s a thought that I struggle with. Sometimes, I worry that I never really knew him. I was still a kid when he passed, and so the role he played in my life was largely that of authoritarian. That’s not to say we weren’t close. We were very close, perhaps a little too alike in so many ways. But I don’t think you ever truly appreciate your parents as ‘people’, with lives and loves and experiences beyond you being the centre of their universe, until you’re much older. Until you can appreciate all the struggles and beauty of life. The sacrifices they made, and the joy that simple pleasures such as long walks and listening to music with loved ones can bring.


Every Sunday, we would be at home and dad would play his favourite LPs. He loved 60s music, and so many of the songs from the era hold a special place in my heart. I guess it’s fitting in a way that I would go on to work on a specialist 60s music radio show. The same part of me that used to dread being asked to change dad’s records, for fear of scratching his precious collection with my fat clumsy fingers, now longs to be able to sit with him and go back through the countless sleeves and introduce him to the new songs I’ve heard.  Every day, I’m sad that I don’t get to talk to him about the music we’re playing, the things I’ve learned and talk to him about his memories of that time. Not just as Father and Daughter, but adult to adult; friend to friend. Every day, I wonder if he would be proud of me. I think about what an amazing grandfather he would have been to my niece and nephews. I wonder if my life would have turned out differently – and sometimes, I still worry if there’s a slim chance I’ll go bald like he did. (I’ve done a lot of research, and it’s more likely that straighteners will be the ones to steal my hairline from me, not genetics.)

Every time I’m at a wedding, I feel a pang of guilt when it comes to the speeches. This little flicker of jealousy and sadness rises up inside me when I realise that I’ll never have that. I’ll never know what it feels like to have your father walk you down the aisle and embarrass you with stories about what you were like as a baby.  I’ll never know how it feels to see his eyes swell with pride when it dawns on him that his scratty haired little girl has grown up to be a scratty haired woman.

I carry a tremendous amount of guilt around with me, and it manifests itself in the strangest ways. I feel guilty that at one stage, I used to be happy if he had to work overnight on a driving job and would call to say he wasn’t going to make it home that evening. If he’d been in one of his moods, I’d be relieved that he wouldn’t be in the house for at least another day.  It physically hurts me to think that there was ever a time when I looked forward to the days that he wasn’t around.


I feel guilty that we didn’t force him to go to the doctors sooner, that we didn’t realise something more sinister than IBS was fueling his  noticeable weight loss and lethargy. I feel guilty that I didn’t spend that last New Year’s Eve with him, the Millennium,  just watching TV like we did every year, but instead went out to a house party and drank in the street with my friends, while he was sat at home, dying of cancer, fighting with every breath just to make it to a new day; let alone a New Year. I feel guilty that I didn’t realise that the only reason he let me stay out that night – way beyond my usual curfew –  was because he knew he didn’t have long left and he wanted me to go out, forget for a while, be a kid and have some fun.

Most of all, I feel guilty that I never realised he was going to die. Not for one second did I ever think that cancer would steal my Dad away from me. Even when that fateful day arrived and I was told to go upstairs and say my goodbyes at his bedside – I still didn’t believe it. Perhaps if I had, I would have held him for a little longer, said something a little more profound. Perhaps…


As I’m sure many of you who have been through such loss know, the pain never really goes away, you just become numb to it and learn to muddle on through life with this empty little pocket in the corner of your heart. You cope.

But it’s ok, because, despite my mixed emotions, I’m lucky that I know he loved me and would have done anything for me. I’m lucky that I had him for the time I did, and that he and my mom gave us the best start in life that they could. I’m lucky that I can see so many wonderful traits of his in myself and my relatives. So I know that although there may be the odd little memory of him I forget, he will never truly be far from my mind.

Happy Birthday, Dad.

Love always, 



Karen is a Radio producer based in London, a woman of few hidden talents, but quite obvious vices.

Don Utton, by Dominic

Dominic DadDads are full of advice. It’s what dads do, in a way, what they’re there for. Mums do the practical stuff, the actual business of bringing children up – and dads, in the main, get to dispense wisdom.

My dad was never shy about giving advice – from the obviously useful stuff (“always magnetise your screwdrivers”, “never scrimp on a date”), to the esoteric, such as this gem, on the subject of flirting as a married man: “It doesn’t matter where you get your appetite, so long as you always eat at home”.

He also had his fair share of ridiculous/possibly brilliant philosophies too – the early bird may catch the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese; “sorry” is not as hard a word as “goodbye”; and perhaps best of all: never play poker against someone with a missing finger, or wearing sunglasses, or named after a southern state of America.

But if I had to pinpoint the best bit of advice he ever gave me, it wouldn’t fall into any of these categories. It wasn’t very funny, it wasn’t obviously clever, and it certainly wasn’t at all practical. And yet I’ve tried to live by it every day since.

First, a bit of context. In 2007 my dad Don, always a fit, healthy, active man, started getting headaches. He shrugged them off initially, then as they became worse, took the occasional aspirin. And then one day in August, he fell over and blacked out in the bathroom. He woke in hospital, where he was told he may have suffered a stroke.

He hadn’t suffered a stroke. What he did have was a huge, aggressive, inoperable brain tumour. And short of making him comfortable and perhaps trying to delay things by a month or two, there was nothing the doctors could do.

When he left hospital again, just four months later, it was to come home to die. He was 69 years old.

I had just become a father for the first time myself. Eithne was born at about the time the headaches got bad; she was just 10 months old when he died.

Watching, helpless, as your father loses his fight against a brain tumour is not an easy thing to do – and doing so while your baby daughter bounces and crawls over his hospital bed still harder. If ever I was in need of advice about anything, that was the time. But of course there was none. What advice can you give in that situation? Nothing anyone can say could make something like that easier to deal with.

Until… one afternoon towards the end, when he was drifting in and out of sleep, my brother, who was reading the paper, expressed his disgust with the fact that a certain Premiership footballer was planning to run for Parliament. Like a footballer knows about the real world, he ranted. Like someone paid to kick a ball for a living has any qualifications for a political career!

My dad let him bluster on for a while, before opening his eyes and smiling.

“It doesn’t matter, you know,” he said. “All this stuff – footballers and politicians and celebrities. All this stuff people think is so important, that they get so worked up about…” and he looked at Eithne snoring softly in her car seat by his bed, “it doesn’t actually matter.”

We laughed it off at the time, but something about the way he said it stuck. And later, after he died, in those initial awful few months, when I struggled to understand why, I kept thinking about it. And about that odd smile he had as he said it.

Because the thing is – of all the advice he ever gave me, I firmly believe that final pearl of wisdom was the one that really hit the nail on the head. All this stuff people think is so important… it doesn’t actually matter.

We get so wrapped up in all the minor dramas of our lives – work stress, arguments at home, frustration with the kids; we find ourselves getting angry with the actions of venal politicians, greedy bankers, vain celebrities, moronic footballers; we worry so much about the trivial things (hair loss, an extra inch around the waist) that we forget what’s really important.

We forget, in fact, that none of those things matter. Not in the long run.

What does matter? Family. Home. Love. Life. The simple things. That’s the advice my dad was trying to give me. Not to get lost in all the nonsense and focus instead on the fundamentals. To try to remember, when the boss is being unreasonable and the papers are full of idiots and the mirror is unforgiving… that none of these things actually matter.

As philosophies go, I’ve yet to hear it bettered.

Dominic Utton is an author and journalist who lives in Oxford with his wife and two children. His novel Martin Harbottle’s Appreciation of Time is out now.

Alfred Downs, by Jackie.

Alfred Downs 1

Tuesday 13 February 1979

So, this is how it would have gone down. He’d have been sitting in his armchair, the one directly facing the telly. I’d have sat my ten-year-old self on his lap, or maybe on the pouffé (that’s what we called it in the 1970s) in front of him. He’d have given me a 10 pence piece from his pocket, and I’d have told him about my day. I didn’t talk to him for the money; I talked to him because we both loved having a chat between the end of teatime and my bedtime. But the money came in handy.

I can’t remember what we spoke about that night. Maybe we discussed the excitement of the next day – his and my mum’s 20th wedding anniversary. I know I was excited about it. I’d been saving those ten pen pieces and had used ten of them to buy a china bell from the local market. It was wrapped and hidden in my wardrobe and the next day he was going to see it.

Except he didn’t.

Because on his way home from work he suffered two heart attacks. The ambulance crew brought him round after the first one, but his heart wore out. The second heart attack killed him.

Wednesday 14 February 1979

I remember a lot about this evening from so very long ago. I remember us having our tea without him. I remember standing the china bell on the table with the anniversary card around it. I remember what I watched on TV while I waited for him to come home. I remember my mum going to the front door at regular intervals. I remember opening the door to the police officers. I remember saying to my mum ‘He never saw the present I bought him.’

That china bell.

Alfred Downs 2

Way back when

He was 59 when he died. I was ten. That’s quite an age gap. He was older than most of my friends’ dads, but there were reasons for that. We were his second family. He’d been through this before.

There are things about my dad that I never found out about until long after his death; things that made me think, quite simply: My poor dad.

This is how it went down….

When he was 13, he came home from school and found his mum, dead, in a pool of her own blood. My own mum told me this story when I was in my 30s. For obvious reasons it wasn’t something he ever spoke about to me. I was too young, and maybe even if he’d lived it wouldn’t have been something he wanted to dwell on. Somehow, somehow he managed to live with what happened, what he saw. He managed to go about his life, to form relationships.

One of those relationships was with the woman who became his first wife. They had a son. When their boy was a toddler she left, with my dad’s best friend. Somehow he managed to live with this, managed to go about his life, to form other relationships.

He met my mum, had another son, then me. And then he went to work one day and he never came back.

His life was one that was built around people not coming back. It could have made him closed and wary. But he found a way to make it not matter. Maybe those losses made him crave company and family. I’m glad they did, because it meant for ten years I had a dad who took me to the park, to the seaside, who built sandcastles with me, who watched me bounce and soar on trampolines embedded in south coast beaches, who read to me, who talked to me every night before I went to bed.

And so when I think about what he went through, how he suffered, what he lost, and what he was emotionally brave enough to look for again, I no longer think, ‘My poor dad.’ I think ‘My amazing, open, fantastic, optimistic dad.’

Jacqueline Downs lives in Crystal Palace where she is a writer of short stories, an editor of academics and a mixer of old-fashioneds.

Goodbye, by Lubi Barre


The man staring at me through my iPhone screen is old. His hair is completely grey and close cropped. He’s lethargic, his eyes heavy, his voice slow. He used to know several languages but now can barely speak his native tongue. A tongue he had passed on to me but that I barely use in my new life.

I say “Father it’s your daughter, Lubna”.

He hardly responds, looking back with low lids at the iPad shoved in his face. My mother goads him to respond and like a good school boy he says a rehearsed “hello how are you doing.”

I say “Father, it’s Axado” and suddenly he bursts into a knowing smile, remembering the special nickname he gave me as a child: Sunday.

I say “Father, it’s Axado, look at my baby son, we say hello”. His smile widens, his soul remembering his love for babies even if his brain can’t comprehend that this one belongs to me.

I do not know this old man. The father I knew and left four years ago was old only in years. His voice was strong, leaving me pleading messages to return his calls as I erased them.

And now, I find myself picking up my son like a prop and presenting him to his grandfather on a phone screen. They both look at each other, like strangers, unaware they share twenty-five percent genetically.

I am not sure if they will get the chance to meet. I know for sure that my father can no longer give me advice, does not have the strength to hold his grandson, to make the connections needed. I know that he will not be able to change my son’s diaper when his own needs changing.

I wish it did not take me this long to become responsible, to understand how fixable everything is. I wish I knew the fragility of life before the feel of my son’s new skin.

I say “Goodbye father” and wave my son’s hands for him while his own lays limp. My mother prompts him to answer and he says, like an old man, “Goodbye, have a nice day.”

 Lubi Barre is a writer living in Hamburg, Germany with her husband and two children, trying to perfect her German before they are old enough to hold a conversation.

Roy Rogers, by Jude

Dad and Jude

I’ve had enough of writing about my dad’s death. It’s time to write about his life.

Dad was Roy, born to Vera and Theo on 17 February, 1950. He had a much older brother, Donald, although his parents weren’t married when he came along; Donald was brought up by his grandmother, and his surname was Sweeney. Dad lived in Craigcefnparc, and Gorseinon, but beyond that I don’t know very much. The details of that side of the family are sketchy. Time makes them sketchier.

Mam has a black-and-white picture of Dad as a toddler, though, wearing a cowboy costume. It’s not clear if Dad was named after Trigger’s owner, or if the family were just having fun. Dad has chubby cheeks, and dark eyes with a glint in them.

Dad loved Craigcefnparc. I know this from a secondary school friend of his, Myron. I found Myron online, or rather a poem Myron had written dedicated to Dad; it talked about “time’s torrents” and how casually they dealt with things. I e-mailed Myron a few years ago, and went round his house, where we talked about Dad over milky tea and thick rounds of sandwiches. Myron’s memory was patchy. He remembered Dad crashing his bike into a wall as a teenager, and going into hospital for treatment. Dad was good at science too, he said, but I knew that; he’d taught at the comprehensive school I’d go to years later. I was in the intermediate class and awful at physics. Sorry, Dad.

Dad was handsome as well. He had heavy, blue-black hair, as thick as strong wool, and proper Welsh melancholy swimming underneath his heavy brows. My mother first saw them, and him, at a bus stop in Fforestfach, as she set off for her first day at Swansea’s teacher training college with a friend. This boy got on the same bus. He got off at the same stop. He climbed the same hill as them, and turned off when they did. She told me this recently, her eyes still alive at the memory. He wore a red V-neck. They got talking in the common room, she said, just because everybody did.

The first time he came home to Borough Road, Grandma’s friend, Merle, went, bloody hell, he’s a bit of alright. Mam and Dad married four years later, on a hot July afternoon. I arrived five years later in 1978, seconds after Swansea got promoted to the third division under their new manager, John Toshack. My brother Jonathan arrived on Guy Fawkes’ Day four-and-half years after that, and fireworks were let off at the roundabout at the end of our cul-de-sac.

Dad nearly got roughed up once, at a Swansea-Cardiff derby with Uncle Huw (Uncle Huw’s not my real uncle, but he was my dad’s best friend, so he is). They were in the gents’, at the urinals, Huw told me, as deadpan as ever, on a Facebook thread out of the blue a few years ago. Dad had my mother’s school scarf on – I’ve always loved him even more for that. They were down Swansea’s end, Dad and Huw, and two Cardiff fans appeared out of nowhere, rough and ready for a fight. My mother’s school scarf was in Cardiff colours, so Dad fibbed about his allegiances. A clever bugger, my father. Just don’t tell John Toshack.

Dad kept getting mistaken for people who weren’t as Welsh as him, too. Once, for some reason, George Best at another Swans’ match, with my mother. Another time, in Sidoli’s ice cream parlour in town, someone Italian. Swansea was full of Italians, so that wasn’t unusual. Senor Sidoli himself came up to Dad, rabbiting away in full lingua madre; Dad shook his head softly and answered in lilting Swansea English. I still remember Dad’s voice, because I have a tape with him on it from 1983; he’s encouraging my baby brother and I to talk into the microphone on it. His voice sounds deep, rich, soupy, like so many voices I know, but stiller somehow, and stronger. It remains as familiar to me as water.

My own memories of Dad are captured in round-cornered photographs in faded browns, oranges and greens. It’s hard to know if I invented memories to fit those frames, or if those recollections lingered properly in my mind. Him reading to me – I’m not sure if that’s from my own head. Him teaching me how to write programs on his Spectrum 48K computer – that has to be. I remember being a bit older, 8 or 9, making a tune on the rubber keys in that way on my own, then writing a one-armed bandit game from one of Dad’s ZX magazines. God knows what he’d make of the world now. 10 PRINT “JUDE”. 20 GO TO 10. RUN.

I also remember going to Dad’s last school, a primary, just before he stopped teaching, and meeting his infant class, who were around the same age as me. Dad told me to get his keys from the staff room from a white box, so I did, and there was a chocolate bar next to his keys with my name on it. The sweetness, the fun, in that gesture, is what breaks my heart, really. But it shouldn’t break it, should it? It should make it swoop and sing.

Six months ago, I gave birth to my first child, a son. He arrived in an operating theatre, the same environment as the one where Dad died. After I numbly felt the doctor’s tug, pull and wrench, there were a few minutes when mine and Dan’s baby didn’t cry. They were the longest minutes of my life. And then Evan did.

My son has chubby cheeks, and dark eyes with a glint in them. He also carries the surname of his mother, and her father. When things get hard, I must remember that I was given life, and that I have given life. Life passes on through us. It has to. It always will.


Jude Rogers is a writer and broadcaster for The Guardian, The Observer, Q, Marie Claire, In-Style and Radio 4.