Dear friends, on Tuesdays and Saturdays I’ll be blogging nibble-sized chunks of new ‘Life in the Clouds’ stories. You can check in regularly and read them free, or wait to buy the whole story when published. Rather than miss an instalment, please subscribe and I’ll give you a nudge as they come out.
Eerie Eve ® James Field. Part 07
After assembling the tent's framework of bamboo poles, Morris stretched the heavy outer canvas over the top, spread a tarpaulin across the ground to make a dry floor, and hung the cotton inner liner. His faithful tent stunk of mould, but held together at the seams. Once up, he had room to stand inside and a roomy fore tent for his camping table, chair and picnic bag.
There was no point searching for Sibyl's toadstools before midnight, so he made a pot of tea and spread the supper she’d made for him across the table. There was homemade bread, mutton, mustard and a thick slab of fruitcake. The clouds that had threatened earlier began to melt away and the full moon would be rising soon. Morris leaned back in his chair, folded his arms and breathed a deep, satisfied sigh. "Cheers!" he said, holding his cup to the entrancing evening. All he needed now was the company of a dainty lady troll!
The real world:
Up here in Norway’s Arctic North, we still have one week to wait before the sun peeks over the horizon. In the meantime, just see the fantastic display of colours we’re granted. The photo doesn't do justice!
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A River in Darkness: One Man's Escape from North Korea by Masaji Ishikawa
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
To save the jobs of those in the Japanese government who helped him escape, Masaji Ishikawa wrote: “…obviously I wasn’t going to start talking to the press.” Instead, he wrote this mammoth best-selling book? Sorry, but I don’t believe this man’s autobiography can be true. If it is, then he is likely responsible for the sacking of those government officials who helped his return to Japan, and worse, expose his family to torture or execution in North Korea.
It may well be that he moved to North Korea in 1960, aged thirteen, where he lived until his escape in 1996. However, I rather believe his memoir is an over dramatised collection of exaggerated incidents he picked up from others. In which case, good for him.
I hope this is the case; otherwise, he puts himself in a poor light. From his book, he already comes across as egoistic, beating up anyone who upsets him and often leaving his family to starve while he runs off to find work to feed himself.
North Korea is undoubtedly not an agreeable place to live, but propaganda and false news flourish. The story in this book is captivating and mind-bogglingly tragic, hence four stars. I just don’t accept Mr Ishikawa’s life was as awful, or maybe I don’t want to believe, as he relates.
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