Martin Daubney writes in The Telegraph about his “No Life Crisis” where the feeling of “Where did my life go?” quickly leads to “I’m getting the drinks in before I get old – even if it kills me”. I know exactly how he feels except I have a very low tolerance for alcohol so I had to find an alternative to getting the drinks in – and it very nearly did kill me.
SPIN ZHIRA: Old Man in Helmand is the true story of one man’s midlife crisis on the front line of the most dangerous district in Afghanistan where the locals haven’t forgiven the British for the occupation of 1842 or for the Russian invasion of 1979. Of course, all infidels look the same so you can’t really tell them apart.
When Chris Green became disillusioned with his cosseted but largely unremarkable life as a Marketing Executive he didn’t buy a sports car or snort cocaine from the breasts of prostitutes. Instead he joined the Army Reserve and went to fight the increasingly unpopular war on terror in Afghanistan.
In the process of discovering himself he unwittingly discovers that the courage and heroism of the soldiers he fights alongside are confounded by self-deception, incompetence, corruption and an industrial strength counterterrorism killing machine.
It’s a world where the dipsomaniac Governor is in the pay of the illicit opium trade, the Chief of Police is a pederast and all-round bad guy and the UK’s Department for International Development just make shit up.
Missing his two young sons, unable to influence policy and just a phone call away from a brawl he can only lose with the elite SAS, Chris dreams of epic powder days in the High Alps a world away from Afghanistan. But before he can return home to a hero’s welcome — and his wife’s divorce lawyers — he must first complete one last mission to Zumbalay, the Taliban Heart of Darkness and an unlikely reunion with an old man in Helmand.