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From the foreword
...The twenty first century is not the first time people have felt that their identity has been endangered by a shrinking planet and neither is it the first time there has been a search for a new definition of a British identity (or any other national identity). The snowball effect resulting from increasing air travel means this 'coming together' is more rapid than ever and at times appears to be spiralling out of control. Some communities have inevitably had to forego some traditions but hasn't this always been the case over the centuries?
This migratory explosion has caused a 'fusion' which, if well directed, could create an energy ...

From the prologue
... Winter hasn't yet arrived in London and already there are daffodils in Barnet. ... ...
The race is on. Will there be peace amongst the peoples of the earth before mankind destroys itself? Will the heat of cultural fusion do its job in the melting pot brought on by human migration or will the greenhouse gases do the job of melting the polar ice caps first? ... ...
Can we step forward saying, 'We're all different but we're all equal!'?

Chapter 1: That 'in between'place
August 1953
Six year old Isabella Mackay sat precariously on top of the wide stone dyke that separated the boys' playground from the girls' playground at Balnahuig Primary School and waited. The sun was coming up over the still waters of the bay, bathing the horizon in varying shades of gold. A lingering chill in the air made her glad of her fairisle jumper underneath which lurked a sturdy liberty bodice with its suspenders which held up thick grey woollen stockings. Her wee tartan skirt was held up by shoulder straps which crossed over at the back and were securely buttoned at the front at the waist. Her sensible Start-Rite lace ups had been buffed up until they shone in the morning light.
She was usually up and around before anyone else - even the Headmaster (or the Dominie as the Head Teacher was always called in those days). In this case Ewan Cameron, the Dominie, was the only teacher at the school; he used to encourage the parents to go home and have more bairns so the school roll of thirty five could expand to that magic number of fifty. This would mean that the education authority could employ another teacher to share the burden.
Isabella's soft, shiny, ginger curls glistened in the bright August sun and she screwed up her green eyes in search of any boat that might ...

After a visit to an African village in 1968

... picked up her guitar and began to put music to the words she couldn't stop herself from writing.


I can hear the children singing
Beyond the tall dividing trees
This side is a white world
And the other side is black
I can hear the cowbells tinkle
As to the stream they wind their way
And in the sky I thought I saw a place
Where every face was middle grey

But it must have been the darkness
Of the shadow of a dream
Oh it must have been
The shadow of a dream

Image: Music for Shadow of a Dream

Thank you Ros. (She's the one holding the proof.)


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