The call of youth

Every year since I graduated twenty-one years ago, the phone rings with an Oxford prefix. Nearly all of us who matriculated in 1997 get this call, and each year we want it to be over before it has begun. I seem to be almost alone amongst my contemporaries in always picking up, despite knowing how... Continue Reading →

2021 – Another handful of dust

It was our 8th wedding anniversary recently. Given that my lovely husband is currently entirely housebound (and more or less confined to the sofa) with a climbing injury, I was being as upbeat as possible about adventures we have had. Indeed, smashing your Achilles in pieces and a few calf muscles to boot, within 6... Continue Reading →

The second Mars Bar problem

Have you ever eaten a Mars bar when really, really hungry? I once got to the shaking with cold sweat stage of hungry, because I had forgotten my wallet at work. I eventually asked a colleague for £1 for the vending machine, because I didn't want to admit that I was so ditsy I didn't... Continue Reading →

Why does belonging matter?

January 2020 seems a long time ago. Back then, I was frustrated by the new-at-the-time HSBC ad. I hate being asked where I am from, and I hate thinking about it. Of course we all ask each other various questions designed to understand the parameters of the person we are talking to, for no particularly... Continue Reading →

Failing up

I have been resting from my writing more than usual. This is mainly because of the usual loss of faith in any of my abilities, whether creative, professional or maternal. I never embarked on the more creative endeavour of journalism that I wanted when I was 24, because it was quite likely even when newspapers... Continue Reading →

I love Milton Keynes

I don't know why people have such strong opinions on Milton Keynes, particularly when they've never even been there. When I tell people it's where I live, they look totally nonplussed, and invariably say something like "oh, all those roundabouts", or "but you're quite sophisticated, I can't imagine you living there". Yes, ok, it does... Continue Reading →

Elusive freedom

I am 40. It is raining. I have no car keys (long story), and I am too pregnant to walk more than half a mile each way. The shops I want to go and hang out in, like some bored teenager, are 1.5 miles away. So I'm listening to Smooth Radio, which right now features... Continue Reading →

Hello 2018

I have abandoned writing; I would say in favour of living, but really, only in favour of thinking about what I might write, right after I've finished binge watching some more junk on Netflix. This year's longest running series I watched was Grimm, which was great escapism. I am glad to have waved goodbye to... Continue Reading →

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