My five-year-old son is learning to play chess…

But he has yet to master the art of losing gracefullyI am beset by shrapnel. Pawns fly through the air like exploded balcony segments, rooks plink and plonk off the floor and embed themselves deep within the recesses of our home. My five-year-old son stands above the debris, glowering like Godzilla. He has upended the board again following a defeat to his persistent aggressor. Me.Chess pieces travel fast, so everything else you might wish to offer at this juncture – remonstration, comfort, a stern word, or a hug – must be put on hold while you chase down the disjecta membra in the tiny window of time in which they continue to live in this dimension. For those few seconds they will be visible, found rotating slowly under tables and couches, still energised by the explosion that’s just rent them from their grid. After that they’ll become mere memories, popping back into existence one by one over the next few weeks, in plant pots, slippers and, basically, anywhere you’re looking for something else. Continue reading…

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