Daniel reflected for a moment. He was acutely aware that the year of his breakdown, Dan’s breakdown, was approaching. He was sensitive to Dan’s every move, even more than usual. How might he prevent Dan’s (Daniel’s – his own!), psychosis?

‘So far we’ve cut Groundswell 2000 to one day, one night, instead of a whole week’, he thought, ‘and thankfully there are two more on the team…Beth and Davina. Dan is exercising well, but Daniel wondered whether he might benefit from a mental challenge as well as a physical one. Dan had taken up Tai Chi on Daniel’s suggestion. ‘But’, Daniel pondered, ‘perhaps a long charity bike ride, or group hike in a foreign country, to distract Dan and take his mind off things, so that he does not become permanently obsessed with the project. There are still three years to go after all…’

Daniel persuaded Dan to take a fund-raising trip to Peru in March 1997, after the heaviest of rains and a charity bike ride to Paris in May of the same year. The timing was to override key events which had preceded Daniel’s breakdown when Daniel was Dan’s age. ‘Can I really change history?’ Daniel asked himself, amazed that it seemed to be possible.

The court case was over although the pain of hurting her was still there. It seemed he felt her every breath, both raw and tender. The company was fined but he wasn’t prosecuted after all, neither was Tara, in the end prosecution was judged not to be in the public interest. It had been a simple but costly mistake by Tara and she had suffered for it. Daniel had overseen the procedures and had originally written clear systems of work. It was down to the company to check and double-check these systems. The prime responsibility lay with the Board, they should have arranged deep dive audits of the main areas of risk as part of their management systems.

Dan had decided to take up acting. He desperately wanted to get out of the mould he’d been forced into, of laboratory manager, of being responsible for other people’s lives, of there never being an end to it.


Drenched in sunshine, he’d packed his car in no time. He’d been renting the house, there was no furniture to worry about, just his bike and several suitcases, one extraordinarily heavy, stuffed with books. He had to take the front wheel off his bike to fit it in the hatchback, forks pointing forwards.

He was driving to London. His journey interrupted by the accident, by a neck brace, staying alive in spite of having been forced off the motorway.

It was autumn. Arriving in London for the first time, Dan immersed himself in the school of the CityLit absorbing the spirit of Stanislavsky, a book at a time, and living through rehearsals connecting with his inner child, with first love, with Tara, with inner joy.

Acting made a real difference. He felt as if he was experiencing a new life, everything had yet to be discovered, even his own self.  He was rediscovering his physicality, how good the sex, as he embraced all that ever could have been, all that matters, all that ever was…

He became stronger and gained in confidence. He was more able to root out and express his deepest emotions.

Daniel both admired this change in Dan, and was also wary of Dan feeling as if he’d found his true self. Discovering the ‘real you’ can be a psychological indicator of potential for breakdown, at least that was his experience, and echoed the words of his psychotherapist.


As well as finding a flat for himself he needed to think of Tara, for when she would move from the country. He decided his pad in Putney Bridge, would meet both purposes, and he posted photographs of himself standing outside the garden flat, with one bedroom, and sunshine.




Horizon 2040 – Chapter 21 – The Move