I have mixed feelings about discussing my children in public – but in this case I’ll make an exception. Lachlan, our youngest, was born deaf. Not a bit deaf, but properly, profoundly deaf, so that he heard nothing.
When he was 15 months old, we were offered a cochlear implant, which, after a lot of discussion, we agreed to, and another 15 months on he is not just talking but stringing together whole sentences, mimicking us, and – albeit pretty tunelessly – singing.
We have felt so blessed – not just to have him, but to witness his entry into the world of sound, – that I agreed to write this piece for the Mail on Sunday’s magazine:
How Lockie Broke Through A Wall Of Silence
Cochlear implants are by no means the answer for all deaf children. The procedure is not risk-free, they can be controversial within the deaf community, they are expensive, and they are not available to everyone who would like them.
But for our son, a deaf child born into a hearing family, it means he can now make his own choices later in life about who he wants to be, which community he wants to make his own. And that while he decides, he can sing “heads shoulders knees and toes”, while watching The Simpsons. Which feels pretty bloody great from here.
Okay… I was drawn in by the fact that Bertelsmann, my German publishers, had given Silver Bay a new title (“The Sky Is So Close”). So I HAD to see their plot synopsis, right? Except the translated version (courtesy Google) is never, quite, what one expects…. (although it does raise the interesting question of what jobs I could do tomorrow that “from the wrist shake…”)
“Mike Dormer, a karrieresüchtiger businessman, flying from London to Silver Bay, a small village on the sea in Australia. There, he will rebuild the millions of Silver Bay hotel management. A routine task it from the wrist shakes, thinks Mike. And perhaps there is still a little time with his girlfriend Vanessa luxusverwöhnten the beach to enjoy life.
But Mike has the bill without the hotel hostesses made Bootsführerin Liza McCullen, their ten-year-daughter Hannah and aunt Kathleen behave not exactly cooperative. The crew of Mike Walbeobachtungsbootes is hostile. The whole city signaled him that he is not welcome. And soon it comes to the collision of two worlds: the arrogant, and the London manager of the self and with nature, in accordance women living of the hotel.
Mike’s beautiful business world gets more and more into the mountains, and finally, it all his previous life in question – particularly as he and Liza, the first violent war, become ever closer… A wonderful read about romantic entanglements in a small Australian fishing village.”