Featured writer: Simon Freebairn-Smith

Simon Freebairn-Smith, Scholar of The King’s School, Canterbury and Christ Church, Oxford, ex-Schoolmaster, Singer, not Songwriter, Father of three, Grandfather of six, has lived with his second wife in Glasgow, home of his ancestors, for over 40 years enjoying the Arts and Architecture, Theatre and Opera of one of the best cities in Britain. He spends his retirement singing with the RSNO chorus and writing Novels, all structured on themes based on Classical History and Mythology, and which are published on Amazon’s Kindle. He is now completing his seventh [extract below].

Damaged Goods Excerpt

“Can you take a credit card?”

She nodded, then went through to her office and returned with a portable card-machine. She handed it to him and he tapped in his PIN. In less than three minutes the deal was done.

“Now, perhaps you had better tell me about yourself. After all, if I’m going to sell these on in my gallery my clients will want to know who I’ve been dealing with.”

She smiled broadly, her face showing a mixture of relief at having made a sale and pleasure at the thought of what new possibilities might arise from contact with someone who appeared to be an established dealer.


“I’m Myrtle Torden. I use the house as a studio as well as a

“So what are you working on at the moment?”

“I’m trying to finish a portrait of my grandmother.”

“You clearly have a good deal of respect for your family. Is she a Torden as well then?”

“Yes. I’ve never met her though. She’s my father’s mother. I believe she’s living somewhere in the tropics.”

“Don’t you know?”

“No. Mother says she’s lost touch with her in-laws.”

Hector realised he could be treading on delicate ground. He looked admiringly through the windows to the Downs beyond the garden.

“I must say, this is a fine house for a studio – is it yours?”

“No, it belongs to my mother. She lives with me now, but when I graduated she was living in the north. She’s letting me use her little Sussex hideaway until I can afford to buy something of my own.”

“Do you do all your work here?”

“Most of it. Sometimes I go off into the countryside either to relax or to find something I’d like to paint, or simply to get some fresh ideas.”

“Do you have a card you could give me?”
“There are some in my desk. I’ll get one for you, Mr – ” “Waldram – Hector Waldram.”

She turned to go, but at that moment her mother appeared in the doorway. “Myrtle.”

The tone was querulous.

© Simon Freebairn-Smith 2017

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