MEMOIR Just when her father was drowning in the Avon, Fiona MacPherson was cycling downhill. I know because I saw her, still in her school gaberdine, her blondness dressed in a crimson hood. It was Friday afternoon: dog-walking time. The morning papers were saturated with it: the unmended railing, the learner-driver, the plunge into the river. Mother left her cereal-bowl at once – to weep in the hall; and all I could do, meanwhile, was fail to be less jealous of a popular fourteen-year-old; an emulated beauty. On Sunday, conditioned not to be too curious, everyone else was discussing the news in whispers: not only MacPherson’s accident – his discomfiting, first drama – but also the change in his daughter; those elements of silence which made her seem remote…. I resembled her less than ever. Copyright © JENNY JOHNSON