Friday 13th February, 1998


Histories have themselves become mountains, they have piled up, one on top of the other and have reshaped the landscape they try to describe. And from their summit, there is the view of another mountain and a distant valley.


Daniel was playing on the Commputer Sym City 2000. It is a game where you build and maintain a city. I heard him playing with his friend Thomas Moran, and I went down to look. “Look dad, we are bulldozing all the trees away, to make room for disasters!” They were very excited. A little window opened on the screen, it was a newspaper article of protesting people. They were protesting against the deforestation. “Aargh,” he said, “get rid of them,” and he clicked them away. I left. Later I was in the kitchen. Daniel came in. “How did it go, Dan? Did you become the disaster you were trying to make room for?” “Naaa,” he replied, “The people started planting the trees”.


Miss Jones has died. Miss Jones was a lovely lady, who cleaned the office and would make coffee. I feel guilty. I had wanted to visit her in hospital but was overcome by prevarication. It is horrible. She was in the National Chest Hospital, which is a dreadful place. Shame. She was always a little melancholy, but underneath that she was lovely. I used to sing to her: “Me and Mrs, Mrs. Jones, Mrs. Jones, Mrs. Jones, Mrs. Jones... We’ve got a thing, going on.” She liked that and would laugh. And now she is dead. She leaves a lot of family, but particularly one thirteen year old son. He’s just had an operation to his face and is frightened of the world. I was dragged out of an office party over Christmas to meet him. “Jacob, come and meet my son” He stood there in the dark corner behind the door, knowing he was about to be killed or talked to, loathing this moment in his life.