31st March 2020

Darling Paloma,

I thought of this story yesterday from when I was about five years old.

I always remember the sun coming up and its view from my bedroom window. Even at that young age I loved spending those first moments of the day alone taking in what was happening around me. How the noises from a new day began to multiply. Whenever I feel sad, I try to remember those sounds and they help to make me feel better. I find it to be a good meditation. So on this particular day from my window, I saw a rabbit curled up against the solitary tree at the end of the kitchen garden. It did not move for a long time so I ran downstairs in my pajamas to see if it was all right. The rabbit was clearly injured and looked awful. Its head hung limply and its eyes could barely open. It looked as if it had woken up from a horrendous hangover.

I brought the rabbit in and I was allowed to looked after it. And after a few weeks it grew stronger and it had become my friend. I built a cage for him to laze in ( well I didn’t build it but that’s not important) and fed him carrots and although I couldn’t be sure of its sex called him Alexander after Alexander the Great.

He became my friend. Listened to my stories without the slightest moan. Then, and I’m still not sure how, the rabbit escaped from its cage and ran away. I was so upset and grieved its loss until one morning I saw from the downstairs window that he had returned. He was looking straight at me.

I tried to open the window to climb out to fetch it but like most of the windows in the house it kept sticking. I hurried out of the front door but before I reached the point where the rabbit was staring, it was no longer there. He had disappeared forever. Although I mourned that he had run away again, I remember feeling that he was now free and able to live his life the way he wanted to.

My family were understanding, though they were probably dismayed that I didn’t seem particularly upset.

‘ How do you know it was the same rabbit?’ I was asked.

‘ Because I know he came back to check if we were all right.’ I replied.

So today my darling daughter, I plan to check on people I haven’t spoken to for a while, just to check how they are doing.

With love,

Daddy

Published by Simon Astaire

Simon Astaire was the youngest agent ever employed at ICM starting the Music department and representing a variety of clients before turning to head a PR agency where his clients included brands such as Bulgari, Armani and celebrities and members of the Royal Family. He is regularly quoted in the press and has been described in The London Times as a PR Prince. He had a regular column in the Sunday Telegraph called Station to Station where he interviewed a diverse mixture of high-profile individuals on their imaginary last train journey. He has written six novels and two biographies including soccer star Sol Campbell when he was nominated for best new sports writer. His latest novel The Last Photograph, was made into a film of the same name. It had a US theatrical release in November 2019 and is now available on all platforms. His blog ' Letters to my daughter' began March 19th 2020.

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