Out of africa

How two children vanished for a week en route from Africa to London

As we all know by now, the pandemic distorts time like a concertina. Life before March is a world that seems too distant, an image viewed down a telescope held the wrong way — yet there are moments when the months retract into almost hours. We are still castaways in London, still waiting for the airspace to open so that we can fly home to Kenya. I feel glum about it, then remember how my father was marooned for 12 years in southern Arabia and Africa on either side of the war. He missed his mother, as I do, sitting in his mud tower on the edge of the Empty