Burial Plot

An Englishwoman in Algeria

I strained to look through the airport window at the passengers disembarking from the flight from London, searching for my husband amongst the sea of anonymous faces. The last of the passengers trailed through the sliding doors and there was still no sign of T. In desperation, I went to the information desk and was told that all passengers from the London flight had now disembarked. After phoning my mother in tears to tell her the news, I took the next train back to Blackpool in a fog of worry.

The next morning, after a sleepless night, I tried to contact my husband. It was very difficult to get through to Algeria by phone in those days. You had to go through the British international operator, who would then contact the Algerian international operator, who — when they could be bothered  — would then put you through to the Algerian number. I…

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