When Freda met Sally


Our Story of the Week is a 1970s story from the versatile writer John Lee Langton.

John turned to writing later in life, first taking a creative writing evening course at a local college, and then following up a couple of years later with the prestigious Diploma in Creative writing from Kellogg College, the graduate college of The University of Oxford.

For us, Langton is one of the true masters of the short story.  Instantly evocative of a time and place, his stories explore original themes and setting, and are a veritable pick and mix of genres.

Freely accessible from Fairlight Shorts, we have published three of Langton’s short stories, all of which we highly recommend for a light enjoyable read. They range from a tale of material jealousy in Scars, a tiny taste of horror in City Lights, to the sheer joy of life exhibited in our favourite of the three, When Freda met Sally.


‘I was twelve when my mother Freda first experienced loss of co-ordination. I was sitting in the back of our Morris Minor convertible, Freda was driving with Sally beside her. No one was wearing seat belts because Freda said they were for cowards and conformists.

We were speeding with the top down, the three of us laughing and shouting over the noise of the wind, when the Morris lurched and drifted out to the crown of the road. The car behind us blared its horn, oncoming vehicles flashed their lights and the good mood we were sharing dissolved.’    Read more…