This evening, in a Brussels bar, I met myself or, at least, I met an actor, an amateur dramatist, John Howard, who is going to play me. To explain, a few years ago I lost my mother and then, less than a year later, my father. I had recently completed an Open University course in creative writing and, being constantly loaded down with notebooks (as all serious writers should be, we were taught), found myself taking copious notes throughout the ordeal of my parents’ declines and deaths. I think it was, in part, my way of dealing with the traumatic experiences. Since then, so struck was I with the profundity of those moments that I have wanted to do something with my notes and with my memories. Recently, a friend who is active in The English Comedy Club here and who had seen one of my pieces, asked me if I could produce some monologues for a Christmas production entitled ‘Families aren’t just for Christmas.’ So I wrote up three episodes involving me and my father. They cover the period when he first fell seriously ill, his last Christmas dinner, and his last evening at home before I accompanied him to the hospice. And now somebody, John, is going to act my monologues and so is going to be me and will relive those experiences. This evening we went through the texts together for the first time. Amateur thespian John may be, but my first impression is that he is much better at being me than I am. Fascinating – and deeply touching.