It starts with a football match but it’s not a football story. Emerging from two weeks of post-traumatic delirium, Steve finds himself in hospital on the Spanish island of Lanzarote with his father at his bedside and absolutely no idea why he’s there or what has happened. Nevertheless, what subsequently begins is a worldwide journey through the first half of the life of a man from the first generation of backpackers, a fascinating story that not only illustrates how confronting death often forces one to reflect on life, but also how those memories can become the perfect ‘medicine’ to combat the pain, fear and despair of a major trauma. Moreover, it presents the love between a father and a son as the inspiration to write what developed into a collection of travel tales intricately connected by one moving, pivotal story: the desperate struggle to recover from a near-fatal accident.
Half-Time includes a myriad of backpacking adventures ranging from the simple problems encountered when travelling on a shoestring budget to some bizarre tales that seem out of place in the diaries of a man who wanted nothing more than to see a bit of the world. Walking into a war zone in Nicaragua; being arrested in a small, isolated village on the Mosquito Coast of the Caribbean; witnessing a disturbing ceremony of witchcraft in South America; all these and many more varied and unexpected experiences become part and parcel of backpacking.
However, these picturesque travel scenes are only the flesh on the backbone of the book: the central hospital story. This revealing narrative shows how the support of a loved one is essential when trying to overcome a major trauma, and is also a modern day portrayal of father-son male bonding that ultimately transmits a very positive message.
Half-Time reflects on the game of life and unwittingly inspires the will to achieve one’s goals before the final whistle is blown.