sometime ago

I saw a portrait of myself, taken in the Adler office only eighteen months earlier. Adjusting the rear-view mirror, I compared my drawn features and bruised forehead with the confident and fresh-faced figure looking back at me from the old picture. I seemed youthful and knowing, practiced patter almost visible on my lips.


i can’t reject

I missed Vanessa, but she is beginning to slip into the past, part of a life that I can’t reject, a castle of obligations held together by the ivy of middle-class insecurity.

look at me

Vanessa. I’m just as bad. Flying off from Berlin isn’t what I really want to do. It’s a substitute for resigning from the Adler. I haven’t the courage to do that. Adler is a safe haven, a glorified university department packed with ambitious neurotics.
Think of it – there are thirty senior psychologist cooped up together, and every one of them hated his father.

into rehab

Those last-minute messages from the Institute designed to unsettle my flight across the Atlantic – the resignation of valued secretary, the news that a much-liked colleague had gone into rehab, an urgent email from a company chairman who had discovered Jung’s theory of archetypes and was convinced that it outlined the future of kitchenware design.


Back from three-day conference of industrial psychologist in Berlin. It has been a good excuse for meeting Vanessa even if only for one day.


Too many of my props in my own life were baggage belonging to someone else that I had offered to carry – the demeaning requests from my father-in-law’s managers, the committee meetings in my years as a governor of an approved school in Hendon, my responsibilities for my ageing mother whom I liked less and less, the tiresome fundraising for the Adler, little more than touting for corporate clients.