After a stint in the Gaiety Theatre production of The Field, Harding returned to the tranquil hills above Lough Allen and began to imagine what his little cottage might look like if he got a few builders to tear a hole in the wall and add on another room. Surely an extension would give him a renewed sense of purpose in life, as he approached old age. But as the walls of his home crumbled, so too did his mental health, and he fell once again, into depression – that great darkness where life feels like nothing more than a waste of time. And yet, it is in that great darkness that we discover what really makes us human. Talking to Strangers is a book about growing old, about the stories we share with others, and the stories we leave behind us.