The Fens can be a mysterious and haunting place, especially during a Fen Blow. The dark soil can form ghostly shapes as it swirls and dances on the bleak landscape. Many generations have lived and died there. This book explores the special bond between two identical twins who were born in the environment. Although identical they lived completely different lives and didn’t come to know each until one of them had died.


Growing up

It was a strange morning, the sky was dark, heavy and oppressive, the wind swirled the dark Fenland dust around the open fields, sculpting shapes, like fleeting phantoms.

Then it happened in the middle of a Fen Blow. What started at 6 o’clock in the morning was all over by 8.30. This sleepy little Fenland village now had two new residents, identical twin boys.

By mid-day the whole village had heard the news. The whole village was only a hundred and fifty residents, so news travelled quickly.

The proud parents had chosen the names, Bertram and Barry. At a few hours old, they were already different. They grew up quickly, as children do. They were the only twins at the village school, and even though they looked alike, a more unlikely pair you could not imagine.

Bertram was the serious one, very serious. He was not good at playing and having fun and Barry did not remain Barry for very long, he was a clown and the village children soon re-named him Boko. It suited him, he was never meant to be a Barry. That name Boko, however childish, stuck with him for most of his life.

For Bertram, growing up was difficult, he struggled with everything, from lessons, to playing and to relationships. Nothing came easily for him. Boko was just the opposite; he got on well with everybody. He was very bright and found school work easy, even though he didn’t really try.

And Boko had a wonderful gift, he could make people laugh, even the most serious people, and they didn’t come any more serious than Bertram. Boko was always the centre of attention, both in and out of school. He was often told that he should be a clown, but that did not seem to be his destiny.



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