Thursday, 25 October 2012


It is a dank autumn day in Cambridge. People have their collars turned up but the morning mist has reminded me of the cheery Nepali folk-song, Simsim Paani. The song is about drizzle but it is a celebration not a condemnation. Nepalis say that rain is a blessing and that thought always makes me smile, and simsim paani sounds so much more poetic than drizzle.

Even in the greyest of weather, I can drift into cosy recollections of our magical six years in Nepal. A Glimpse of Eternal Snows will allow you to travel there too, to revel in the scenery our family so loved. Photographs relating to the book are at
Publication of the first edition of Glimpse gave me the privilege of discussing my writing with my readers and of hearing others’ moving stories. One spoke of how strongly she connected with my experiences. The link was not because she had the slightest interest in Nepal, nor because she had experience of raising a different child. This women’s mother, who suffers from dementia, effuses delight and notices very different things when taken out in her wheelchair, just as David had done. Such different people, who are so easily written off as disabled or handicapped, can teach us to see again the little things that make a big difference. They can show us how to enjoy our familiar environments with fresh new eyes.  I trust that this book will equip others to find that joy as well. Perhaps too it will stimulate some to re-examine what is truly important in life.

The few certainties in our existences are pain, death and bereavement yet these are topics that we tend to shy away from in the West: the English in particular worry about saying the wrong thing. I hope that my book wil encourage more of us to talk about difficult subjects more often, and so comfort those who need words to help them heal.
Adapted from the Afterword of my new memoir
My favoutite mountain emerging from the morning miasma

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