Muddy Lane


SKU ebook Category

10000 in stock


By Andrew Cheffings

ISBN: 978-1-78382-328-4
Published: 2017
Pages: 72
Key Themes: Mental Health


I was inspired to write this story by reading Wuthering Heights and Cold Comfort Farm.

Knowing from my own OCD how the condition can make you want to run away to a new, preferably remote, place, far from your current life, and how OCD can make you fail to attend to necessary things in your life, so that it becomes a mess, I wanted to explore in story-form what could happen if a young middle-aged man (as I was at the time) with OCD escapes from his problematic life in a city to a new life, far away, in an isolated country cottage. I wanted to see how his life could still become a mess in the new place and how his old messes would not necessarily stay in their old locations. I wanted to then wave a magic wand for him, as never happens in real life, causing a Flora Poste type person to come along and sort everything out for him, so that he could live the life he had always wanted but had been too consumed by the rituals and avoidances of his OCD to have ever achieved. This is the story which revealed itself to me.

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.

Book Extract

I, Exile

Train travel. It used to seem so full of possibilities to me: interesting strangers to talk to, pretty places hidden in valleys full of new experiences, the chance of romance. Edward Carpenter met his boyfriend on a train in 1891. Exchanged a look. Happy ever after. It could be me, I thought.
Maybe times have changed. That elderly woman by the window with the lovely smile? I sat opposite her, hoping for the benefit of a life time’s wisdom. Turns out, she’s a white supremicist. I feel uncomfortable enough in the cruel sun with my lack of pigmentation as it is, without someone trying to collude me into the master race. And those handsome men, walking to and from the buffet car? As soon as they sat back down, they started talking football in Fucklish. Voices like barking dogs. And all those pretty places, peeping from their valleys? When the train pulled into their stations, all I could see was Wimpey homes and plastic doo-dahs. Same-old same-old.


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