When I heard the author Jeanette Winterson say, ‘Why would you want to be tethered to an ageing, dying animal if you don’t have to be?’ I felt like she was speaking directly to me.
I’m a fan of punctuation, in all its forms. I find it easier to understand and enjoy reading if the punctuation is there to remind me when to pause; when to stop and breathe. It’s the same with life. I like my life to be punctuated with events honouring the moments when things go right.... Continue Reading →
I am fifty-years-old and I feel I have been reduced, but not in the way you might think. I have simmered for five decades and I think, at last, I have achieved my desired concentration. I am thick (waist-wise, anyway), rich (in every way that matters) and, even if I do say it myself, really... Continue Reading →
The Sounds of the Middle-Aged Body As I followed the physiotherapist’s instructions to bend my neck to the right, I heard the sound of bubble wrap popping inside my body. ‘Is that normal?’ I asked. ‘Our bodies make all kinds of protests as we get older,’ the man-child said, and asked me to bend the... Continue Reading →
If men can have one, so can I I was a precocious child. This is evidenced by the fact I entered a Public Speaking Competition at the age of thirteen with a speech about ‘The Male Menopause’. I was robbed; I came second, despite my talk rousing the audience to guffaws and standing ovation (at... Continue Reading →
Thanks to social media, many of us are in touch with people we may not have seen for over half of our lives. We follow their carefully curated stories and wonder if their lives are anything like those they show to the world (Don’t pretend I’m the only cynic – I know you wonder too).... Continue Reading →
Putting the Social into Distancing If, like me, social interaction is your sustenance, these strange times will have led to new ways of hanging with your tribe.
The School WhatsApp group was new to me when my youngest started secondary school and it’s been a revelation. Five months in and I think I’ve got the handle on what’s useful and what’s utterly bonkers about letting a group of disparate parents loose with an unlimited communication tool. As in all walks of life,... Continue Reading →
I’m sorry she kept you awake last night, tossing and turning. It was hot, wasn’t it? I’m sorry she’s scared of her phone. Social Media used to be fun. I’m sorry she's yawning. She's not bored, just dog tired. I’m sorry she sent the wrong email. That’s not like her at all. I’m sorry she... Continue Reading →
First published in http://www.the-motherload.co.uk on 17th January 2020 My eleven-year-old’s face once shone with bright ideas and a willingness to engage with the world around her. Now, if I see her face at all, it’s illuminated with an eerie fluorescent glow. She got a mobile phone for her birthday and that very day she disappeared... Continue Reading →
I woke up last night with an intense awareness of my mortality. Have you ever felt that existential dread; hard and shiny as a car bonnet careering for your head? I used to feel it as a child, the sudden and suffocating knowledge that I was alive, in this time, in this fragile, terrifyingly mortal... Continue Reading →
The predictable answer would be diamonds, but, failing that, there are a few less expensive, but equally precious things that would make my Christmas extra special this year: Finland’s Government. Too much to ask for? OK, I’ll aim lower. A Brilliant Box Set. It’s a quiet one for us this year, so I’m hoping for... Continue Reading →