The Long Game is a memoir written in one page short stories.

The first line of the book is, “Life is the ultimate long game.”

Here is a sample of one of the stories…


You could sense his presence in the room as soon as he walked through the door.  He was a large man but not fat.  Dressed in a casual but respectful way.  Dignified.  He carried a few books with him but I never saw exactly what those books were.  I assumed one was a Bible.  He went to the lectern and deposited his belongings.  To my amazement he then slowly walked to the far corner of the room where I had just stood.  He picked up the book I had written in.  He walked back to the lectern and started to speak.

His voice was deep.  An English accent but not from Scotland.  He spoke slowly and asked for the attention of the room.  All of the people stopped, turned toward him and listened.  I remained sitting in the second row of pews.  Completely spellbound.

This man explained that once a week the tours and activities stopped at Rosslyn Chapel so the names and wishes in the Prayer Book could be read aloud.  My heart started to beat faster.  Was this happening?  It was the same book. Would he really be reading out the words I had scribbled down before I deposited a few quid in the coin box and lit the candle.  I waited.

He asked for everyone to remain still and quiet while he read.  Many took seats in the pews.  He waited for the room to settle before he started.

His voice gave the impression of a sermon.  Slow and meaningful as he read out the pages of names, hopes and prayers from the many who visited this chapel.  Then he came to the end… “And we send out prayers for Arthur John Barker.”  I watched his face as he decided not to finish what I had written.  Knowing my words were inappropriate for such a holy place.  But all I knew is that a prayer had been said for my father in one of His Lord’s most sacred sites and I had been there to hear it.

I bowed my head and silently prayed it would work.