Synopsis: With Reference to Caroline Slocock

Geoffrey, Diana, Christopher and Caroline are all parts of this Slocock family. And there is Dennis (the firstborn) who changed his name to Wheelton and aligned himself to his mother’s side. There is also the theme that Geoffrey has become regarded by the others as the outcast. In this book, Geoffrey reminisces on his life and experiences. Is he a family member or is he not? Who gets to decide that sort of issue?


Compared to the writer’s first work this is a perhaps shortish foray into the world of his family relationships and status. The approach was shaped and triggered to some extent by the Covid-19 crisis, which has changed things for everyone; this work was mostly completed in August 2020 when the first pandemic wave had subsided and the writer indeed had had spare time with which to get this project firmly started. And, compared with the earlier work, it is apparent that he is now in good all-round health and making progress with his life; the psychotherapy angle of his first work has seemingly been a solid investment.

At times, there is an almost whimsical look-back on his mother and her influence; there is, with his hindsight, a chill surreal aspect to her characterisation of the players in the family realm. The landscape has changed so much over time that her characterisations of the siblings are shown to be inept and quite closely connected to her closeted agendas. In the writer’s view, his relationships with his siblings remain destroyed or incapable of being fixed. There is nothing he can seemingly do to change that and he has to accept as much.

Compared to the first work, there is a real admission of the carnage that has taken place. He starts to characterise the folly of chasing butterflies as being what has perhaps gone wrong but hesitates on writing more at length on that topic. The way in which we try to make aspirations happen for us depends on our world view and our assessment of prospects and reality. It can also be connected with the writer’s self-esteem issues and surely also the bigger self-esteem network that has been going on with the other siblings. All of that can be a can of worms, given the extent of the blame culture that had developed.

By looking at the table of contents, we see that he actually chooses to extend this present work with an essay on this repeated title of Chasing Butterflies and takes the discussion into more philosophical realms; more generally, there are complex family interactions which he has needed to stand back from and separate himself from. The endeavour overall has been to try to get a cogent analysis of the subject matters. What makes a person have integrity is arguably about all that they are and some degree of honesty, too. The moral constraints of key belief systems within this family have, in the writer’s view, presented a struggle for him. And it is not always possible for people in such circumstances to take the required time out and find the space for the sort of exorcism of a process that is required to live with such indelible rancour.