Dipsora, the new novel

The author and the story behind


My father was a decorated veteran of both World Wars (1914-1945) who always believed in his own luck – often a reckless act of faith! He was also a writer and a maverick of a man who pursued other interests between working on the News of the World and the London Evening News. Somewhere along the way he developed an unexplained passion for England's East Coast. Why? I don't know - he was a Welshman born in Watford. However he had a taste for sentimental Art and a man who warbled excerpts from Puccini's operas every morning while shaving was going to be disposed in favour of East Anglia's Constable and his Haywain.

We lived in 'London West Central One', as my father would declaim pompously, ignoring the fact that not only did our accommodation leave much to be desired, our postal code encompassed three railway termini and their sordid hinterlands. Summer holidays meant a week of what my father called 'a roaming holiday along the East Coast.' He was working for the mysterious Economic League then so our bucolic ramblings took place in an incongruously conspicuous sign-written Ford Thames van.

By the time I had children of my own, London had become an increasingly toxic place. We rejected suburban dormitory counties because, ironically, we couldn't afford them but also because they weren't what we were looking for. Like my Dad, we found ourselves following the A1 and by a process of elimination we found ourselves in Lincolnshire. 'No problem with water or electricity,' said the surveyor's report, 'you haven't got either!'

Driving off the A153 and down into the village of Goulceby the Stenigot Signals Relay Station loomed large on the horizon. 'Fat tummies!' shrieked my little boys at the sight of the huge round parabolic aerials and that was what they called them in perpetuity. The contrast of children's jokes with the reality of their purpose still freezes me today. There were innumerable scary and improbable rumours about the site before and after its disposal but one thing remains clear. For many years the Chain Station was our first defence against enemy attack from across the North Sea and it is unimaginable that Soviet agents did not infiltrate it. Once you have acknowledged that concept, you realise that Keith must have been there all the time.

The rest is imagination...

Jay Ramella

bain press small publishing house