I’ve turned into a moaner. I know this because I saw the look which passed between my daughters when I said, ‘They’re not happy unless they’re complaining,’ to my mother, about people we both know.
I’ve recognised a trait in myself that I don’t like: judgement is my brain's default mode.
Looking back, I grew up in a time when people unabashedly judged others and it’s a hard habit to break.
But it’s ugly and I want it to stop.
When I was young, in Thatcher’s Britain, the unemployed were told to ‘get on their bikes’ and it was illegal to talk positively about homosexuality in a classroom. Illegal.
Who Wants to Live Forever?
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.
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 →
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 →
Should I Let my Child Watch the News?
Following a discussion on the Jeremy Vine show about my ten-year-old daughter’s response to Brexit, a listener called in to say that any anxiety my child felt was my fault for allowing her to watch the news. When I’d stopped defensively stamping my feet and blaming the politicians, I thought about it from the commentator’s... Continue Reading →
Manslam — Women Fight Back
I have just been forced off a pavement by a man. He didn’t barge or shove me, in fact I’m almost certain he didn’t have a clue that I was manoeuvred onto the grass verge because of his presumed ownership of the entire pavement. His obliviousness astonished me. I was taking my first tentative outside... Continue Reading →
Podcasts — Are They Intimacy Plus?
What Happened to Human Connection? The dictionary definition of intimacy is: ‘Close familiarity or friendship,’ so when I hear of podcasts, which are, by their very nature, an external, intangible, remote digital experience, being described as ‘intimacy plus,’ my nose automatically wrinkles. At this point I should explain that I love podcasts (The Guilty Feminist... Continue Reading →