Jonathan

Disparate days in Leeds with Jonathan Kershaw

My plans for today were sidetracked by the Word for Today on Artwiculate.com: Disparate. Disparate means various, utterly different, unlike. Long ago I started writing a book with the working title Disparate Days. It was a memoir of the year and a half I spent as a student in Leeds, where my housemate was Jonathan Kershaw. Disparate days with Jonathan Jon was a manic-depressive (what is now called bi-polar), and in his manic phase he was amazingly good fun to be with. His humour and charisma were not self-centred, either, but acted as a catalyst so people around him also became funny and witty, or at least imagined themselves to be so. Sharing a house with Jon when he was … More…

Splash

Learning to swim

In the baths today, swimming my 40 lengths, I was trying to remember learning to swim, but the memory’s lost somewhere in the chlorine haze. My mother would probably say I learned when we lived abroad, in Qatar or Ghana. But in Arabia I was only 2 years old and paddling. In Ghana, aged 6, I remember playing by the sea, and splashing about in half-empty swimmingpools (very JG Ballard), but no swimming. No comic memories of dry practices, lying on table tops or lawns, turning head to left and right, reaching over kicking out. But then I do find one thread of recollection. I pinch at it awkwardly, get a grip, draw it out. Learning to float in a … More…