The long goodbye

I’ve been thinking a lot about memories lately. Due to work commitments I’ve been spending time in the town I grew up in. I hated that town, and I escaped it as soon as I turned 18 and made the pilgrimage to uni, and I never went back. Until now. Legend has it that in…

They f*ck you up, your mum and dad…

My girl turns six in a few weeks, which has got me to thinking about parenting and about what we do for our children. Which in turn has got me thinking about my own parents. My ex-husband and I split before our daughter was even two, which was tough going for everyone, but the thing…

Paradise found: Life lessons learned

So, I’ve recently put my back out. As if I needed any further reminders of impending middle age, I now have a bad back and make kind of groaning noises every time I bend over (which isn’t often these days, to be fair!). Anyways, this whole back debacle has got me all existential, thinking about…

Auf Wiedersehen England

With the news today that Margaret Thatcher has died, I got to thinking about the real legacy of her tenure, and I remembered a poem that my bricklayer father and his friends wrote in the wake of the British recession of the early 1990s. A recession that resulted in my father, many of his friends,…

Cosmas Desmond: The man who saved the world

When I was a little girl my granddad used to tell me stories about a member of our family who was a hero. He had, my granddad said, travelled to a far away land and fought bad men who did bad things, he had written a book which the people in power didn’t like very…

Why making memories matters

 For Stephanie, until we meet again… Last year my nanny died. She was in end-stage Alzheimer’s, and her decline was slow. And fast. For years she pottered around in a kind of deluded fantasy-world, which if it wasn’t for the terminal illness part, was often quite entertaining. But at the end the decline was rapid,…

True confessions of a new mum

Six months ago I embarked on a journey unlike any other. I have travelled a lot in my time, to the far flung corners of the earth, I have immersed myself in different cultures and am familiar with the dizzying intoxication of being in a new place, with people that do not speak my language,…

The trouble with toddlers

A year ago I wrote about my life-changing transition into motherhood. In truth, the change of identity from footloose and fancy-free career woman to ‘mummy’ almost blew my head off. And I had a good baby. A baby that slept through the night from 2 weeks’ old (and I’m not just saying that!), a baby…