As a little boy I often overheard relatives remark how much my father had enjoyed the war, although this is hard to believe in retrospect, but it set my mind spinning at the thought that I might have an Italian brother or sister, living somewhere in the past. I never really knew my father, he died when I was nine years old, but there he is in the fictional guise of Billy Lambert, wrapped up in his wartime secrets, revealing his hidden truths.
This was my first attempt to bring to life, some of the characters I had met during my time in Sofia, Bulgaria. I say characters, but very often the opposite was true, and many of the anodyne expats – who worked either for big companies or within the various foreign embassies – seemed to have no character at all. In fact, one got the impression that they had been sent to Sofia, either for this reason, or as some sort of punishment. A last chance perhaps? Or, tidied away perhaps, out of sight of the main chance, and away from some dynamic office in the capital.
Most writers hate summer holidays, unless of course they are on holiday themselves. This is because everything goes quiet. I admit that Facebook is full of curvy young ladies at this time of the year, who want you to like them, but that’s not the same as heated discussions on the semantics of expression and content, nor pictures of funny looking dribbling dogs; which one presumes are also on holiday But why is this?
Those for and against Dreyfus were often at loggerheads, as they took sides within their own family groups, and French society was split down the middle. Often provoking violence, and inevitably causing public angst, in the end Dreyfus was exonerated of all charges in 1906, and continued to serve in the French army, retiring with the rank of Colonel. But what has this got to do with Brexit?
Patrick Brigham – Author
In the good old days, at the Sofia Western News Magazine
The Hills Are Alive
Time For a Weekend Break?