Danny Kemp.

We never really know ourselves do we? I was reminded of something, last night, that happened to me many years ago, and I will, with your patience, relate the story here.

In one of the public houses that I owned, the main water pipe, leading into the commercial kitchen, ruptured just after we had closed-up one lunchtime. The manager and I tried to repair it, but failed, leaving us with no option but to wait for a plumber. Whilst waiting, we ‘swept’ the water through the preparation room across a passageway and down the steps to the cellar where it could be pumped out.

It was exhausting work, as the mains just keeping pouring water for about an hour. My feet were soaked by the time that the repair had been made and, not surprisingly, I took off my shoes and socks at the first opportunity. I then, by accident, trod on a bee.

About ten minutes later my lips started to feel numb, as though anaesthetised at the dentist. Then I came out in lumps all down my arms and across my chest, next I was short of breath. My heart-rate began to slow dramatically and I could feel the slowing pulse pounding in my head. I was lucky, the managers wife had been a nurse and knew the signs, she called an ambulance and my life was saved.

I am allergic to bee and wasp stings and supposed to carry an adrenalin syringe with me if I venture out, but I don’t. So there we have it, two things that I know about myself, one the allergy and two; I’m stupid.


About Danny Kemp

I was at work one sunny November day in 2006, stopped at a red traffic light when a van, driven incompetently, smashed into me. I was taken to St Thomas' Hospital and kept in for a while, but it was not only the physical injuries that I suffered from; it was also mental ones. I had lost confidence in myself let alone those around me. The experts said that I had post-traumatic stress disorder, which I thought only the military or emergency personnel suffered from. On good days, I attempted to go to work, sometimes I even made it through Blackwell Tunnel only to hear, or see, something that made me jump out of my skin and that's when the anxiety attacks would start. I told my wife that I was okay and going regularly, but I wasn't. I could not cope with life and thought about ending it. Somehow or other with the help of my wife and medical professionals, I managed to survive and ever so slowly rebuild my self-esteem. It took almost four years to fully recover, but it was during those dark depressive days that I began to write. My very first story, Look Both Ways, Then Look Behind, found a literary agent but not a publisher. He told me that I had a talent, raw, but nevertheless, it was there. His advice was to write another story and that I'm delighted to say, I did. The success of that debut novel, The Desolate Garden, was down to sheer hard work, luck, and of course, meeting a film producer.
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