Author Archives: Peter Honey

Taking Stock

Taking Stock Life is divided into past-nows, now-nows and future-nows (the latter possibly including those happening after death, but of that I’m uncertain).  I had my eight-sixth birthday recently and, since I have cancer and have no idea how many more birthdays I’ll have, I thought I’d take stock of some of my past-nows.  By the way, I only mention my cancer because it’s a fact, not because I’m obsessive about it.  During  a normal day I don’t think about […]

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Short Story: The Wedding Anniversary

It was a surprise.  Sir Richard and Lady Elinger’s four children, all accomplished in their own fields, had clubbed together and arranged for them to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary at Milton Court, a manor house hotel in the Cotswolds with Three Michelin Stars.  The hotel’s strap-line was ‘Beyond Excellent, Beyond Sublime’.  The children (two sons, two daughters) had organised everything down to the last detail: a Mercedes to convey their elderly parents to the hotel in style (a journey […]

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Cancer, the bright side

Six months have passed since my cancer diagnosis — advanced prostate cancer (previously I’d always associated the word ‘advanced’ with something good!), and whilst it’s obviously better not to have cancer, there are many plusses.  Trigger warning: I’ve always been a three-quarters full person so you may find what follows insufferably cheerful. The plusses I’m experiencing, in no order of importance, are as follows: People are even kinder and more caring than they were before.  They ask, ‘how are you?’ […]

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Short Story: The Novice

Up until now, I’ve been the only person in the world to know that I cheated, not once but twice.  Quite a thought that: approximately seven billion people on the planet and I’m the only one to know. My guilty secret.  It’s almost a shame to spoil it by coming clean about what happened.  But what the hell, it was a few years ago and no one got hurt.  Well, I say ‘no one’ but who does that include?  Are […]

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Short story: The Padded Bench

There were a couple of reasons why I chose to have a bash at sketching that particular painting.  The first was laudable: I knew it would be one hell of a challenge.  The second (to me of equal importance) was the proximity of a comfortable-looking padded leather bench.  Most of the seats in the National Gallery are unforgiving wooden benches, dark brown with no back rests, presumably designed to deter people from loitering or falling asleep.  I know from bitter […]

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The Warning Sign

I’ve never know what to say when people ask me what I do for a living, at dinner parties for example.  Often I buy time by inviting them to guess and they normally plump for a lawyer, accountant or doctor – not very imaginative.  I suppose it’s obvious that I’m some sort of professional person: well-heeled, well-spoken, wife and kids, nice car, a Knightsbridge address (I’m modest too!). I usually laugh at their guesses and say ‘I wish’, flirting with […]

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The Democrat

At long last they reached the final item on the agenda, AOB.  As usual, the faculty meeting had been a rambling affair, inadequately chaired by Walter, the Professor of Psychology.  ‘Ladies and gentlemen, I’m pleased to announce that the university have entered into an arrangement with a distinguished group of professional artists.’  Walter paused, as if expecting this news to be greeted with rapturous applause.  However, the members of the faculty sat impassively, seemingly unmoved, waiting for him to continue.  […]

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The Botched Encounter

Suppose it was possible to meet relatives who have died.  Would you seize the opportunity and, if so, how would the conversation go?  It’s easy to assume you’d find meeting up with them fascinating and enjoyable.  But might it be awkward?  Perhaps they’d resent your prying.  You might be shocked to find that, other than your genetic relationship, you had little in common. I must admit I’d be particularly curious to meet my paternal great-grandmother who died in 1923, aged […]

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The List

For some time he’d been vaguely aware that something wasn’t quite right.  Duncan and his wife, Julie, had been married for 16 years.  They’d been teenage sweethearts having met at their co-educational secondary school.  Everyone who knew them assumed they’d get married and, sure enough, when Duncan had finished university (English at Cambridge) and got his first job (writing marketing literature for a big multi-national), they obliged.  They honeymooned in Devon at a hotel Duncan knew well from childhood holidays. […]

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The Sailor

I didn’t appreciate being treated as a suspect even though I knew it was standard procedure. ‘So, it’s normal for him to disappear for three weeks without you knowing his precise whereabouts?’   The young policeman – he didn’t look much older than my son —clearly didn’t consider it in the least normal. ‘Yes, as I’ve already told you, we have an understanding.  It’s an amicable arrangement.  I hate sailing, he loves it so I go on holiday doing my own […]

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