More thrills than skills – A half-life in journalism, part 82

Over the next few weeks, is to publish, each weekday, edited extracts from the memoirs of Scottish war correspondent, Paul Harris. ‘More thrills than skills: A half-life in journalism’, is being scheduled for publication next year.

ONE grey day, as I drove in, there was no-one in the streets apart from a few soldiers. Everywhere there was evidence of recent shelling – holes in roofs and the front of buildings which I did not remember from my visit the previous month.

The square in front of the apartment block for which I was headed was ominously deserted and I parked the car in as much shelter as I could find and darted up the stairs.

Young Selma opened the door and smiled a youngster’s familiar and uninhibited welcome. But I could already sense somehow all was not well.

When the normally ebullient Izet appeared in the dark hall of the generously proportioned apartment I knew something terrible had happened here.