Harp Wood


SKU ebook Category

1000 in stock


By Andrew Cheffings

ISBN: 978-1-78382-350-5
Published: 2017
Pages: 186
Key Themes: Mental Health


In the 1980s, following decades of agricultural and the resulting cultural decline on the Lincolnshire Marsh, there was a sudden and unexpected springing of optimism. People opened odd businesses in remote houses far along marsh lanes. They were getting crafty, making strange objects from wood, taking moody photographs of collapsed trees and choreographing radical circle dances. It was a time of dreams and possibilities. There were still at least 12 farms, or almost-farms in the village. Now there is only one. Hedges have been grubbed up, old gates removed to make way for huge machines. The land has been scraped. The little, radical businesses are now commuter and retirement homes. Summer was short, Autumn was cruel, it’s Winter once more. I wanted to make a happier ending, so I fictionalised the time and inhabited it with people too bizarre and full of life to ever give up on the place.

The Marsh was a blank canvass of empty fields on which the hopeful could project their dreams, and no doubt still do. There is no permanence but continuity would be nice.

About the Author

The author was born in 1966 on a small, working family farm on the Mid Marsh, not far from the Lincolnshire coast.

As a small child, he enjoyed the gardens, orchards, fields, birds, flowers and lanes surrounding the farm, especially his Dad’s tales of the lives of the crows who lived in the big trees opposite the farm, wild rides at speed along the long straight lane towards the Out Marsh on the front of his Mum’s bike, and walks with one parent or the other while the other parent was preaching in a Methodist Chapel.

Unfortunately, his Reception teacher had a bit of an unpredictable, caustic temper and once, after she had particularly thoroughly humiliated him in front of his class, he started to doubt himself and what was necessary to receive the love we all need.

He started to ruminate on whether or not other people would think him good enough, and to do rituals which he thought might help protect him from others’ anger (or was it rage?). Unknowingly, he was falling into the OCD trap.

It’s sad for one unfortunate incident to so colour and limit a life, but fortunately Andrew has very many other interests of which fictionalising his experiences with OCD is one.

He has lived with his partner, Ian, since 1990. They have been happily civilly partnered since 2010 and live together in Leicester.


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