The struggle for democracy in South Africa has been the most significant formative factor in my life. Still today, after forty years of living in Glasgow, powerful emotions of fear or anger see me reverting to a crude, rough Afrikaans accent.
Stories for me have been a way of sharing and remembering both the agony and the ecstasy of a life lived out during a turbulent and troubling time.
Trevor Huddleston, the great Anglican Bishop, wrote a book called Nought for your comfort, and perhaps my stories follow this tradition.
The so called Pottinger report, in which a PR company has been exposed as guilty of stoking up racial hatred, has reopened a debate of how or what we remember from our history.
I take my cue from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. I have rewritten a number of the hearings as dramatic monologues to proclaim a dearly held principle. Reconciliation can only be achieved by a sharing dialogue where truth, especially the uncomfortable truth, is told.
Most of my working life has been spent working with children. I became a grandparent six years ago and I now know the truth written on a Gable wall in Derry. 'Our revenge will be the smiles on our childrens’ faces.'
I probably spend more time now helping to put that smile on faces and Santa is more than a role for me.
Black and white image by Ray Evans