Since my last post, as long ago as the beginning of the year, I have been a prisoner of writer’s block. I started three pieces – a short story, an essay, and a joke. Then I became stuck, the words would not come or when they did, they were unsatisfactory.

I apologise to my Reader for this lapse, and if you have gone away and never return to read this, I understand. It has taken me nine months, but what follows is the fifth version – not draft but version – of the short story. The other four versions are in the rubbish bin. I hope this one is satisfactory. Put any lapses down to my inexperience as a fiction writer.

Perhaps one day I will finish the essay. The joke was not funny.

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