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ThisOddinaryLife2023-01-20T16:52:26+00:00
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Writing

Santa Claus and the Salmon

So, here we are. January 1, and Christmas, in our house at least, has been stashed back in the attic. These days, I don’t much enjoy Christmas. Hardly a bauble-shattering revelation - and tempered, of course, by the acknowledgement that the festive period is a truly difficult time of year for countless people, putting my own mild discomfort into perspective. Festive spirit seems to have eluded more of [...]

By |January 2, 2023|Categories: Comfort Reads|10 Comments

Comma, full stop.

I'm sitting in a clearing, in the woods at the top of the hill. Other than a flash of white or grey among the branches, I can’t see the birds, but I can certainly hear them. Birdsong forms an arc around me. There is no breeze, and it is unseasonably warm. An almost balmy day in mid-November. What a treat! Albeit a guilty one: it’s not okay for [...]

By |November 28, 2022|Categories: Comfort Reads|4 Comments

Swimming

Photo by Anna Sullivan on Unsplash When my physiotherapist first suggested that swimming would be the best exercise for me, I shrugged, and sighed. “Yeah, I know, but I really hate swimming.” At that point, I wasn’t desperate enough to submit to all the attendant unpleasantness: the cold shudder as buttocks meet water when you get into the pool, strangers’ hairs crawling over slimy tiles in [...]

By |October 19, 2022|Categories: Comfort Reads|6 Comments

In stillness

I’ve kept the birthday card you chose for me, Mum. I might even frame it. The dog’s expression is so funny, as if he’s just raised his head from a good session licking something unsavoury. Ready for the next, inevitably fabulous turn of events. I was pleasantly surprised that you’d managed to pick it out for me. Sorry - that sounds patronising. What I mean is, it’s the [...]

By |September 26, 2022|Categories: Talking to Mum|8 Comments

The bearable lightness of being

I am sitting in my living room, on a hot August day, with the window wide open to let in the morning air before the heat becomes chewy and oppressive. Stretched out on her side at my feet, my dog is softly snoring. Every minute or two, somebody walks past, and I catch snippets of conversation, or simply observe their gait. There goes a muscular young man in [...]

By |August 12, 2022|Categories: Comfort Reads|10 Comments

Grandma’s bowl

  Grandma’s bowl is a deep, rosy pink. Exuberant yellow, mauve, and blue crocus flowers adorn the rim and the hollow. On its bottom is the maker’s stamp, Maling, Newcastle on Tyne - which means nothing to me. What captivates me about Grandma’s bowl is its opaline lustre. Its surface is alive with reflected light. And memories. It was by far the prettiest object in my grandparents’ rather [...]

By |May 24, 2022|Categories: Comfort Reads|4 Comments
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