About Lizzie

Hello, I'm Lizzie. Thanks for visiting! I write mindful reflections on life, in the hopes that they will resonate with you. I'd love to hear from you, so please do comment or drop me a line!

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 perfect card, the sort of card you might always have chosen. Actually, that’s not quite true… It is better than your choices of recent years, plump teddy bears proffering armfuls of flowers dedicated “To a special daughter, with lots of love.” Dad said the scruffy dog made you chuckle when you spotted it on the rack at the garden centre. I laughed out loud when I opened it. Your eyes widened in delight. I took that as a sign that you are still here. There. Still Mum. On occasion, you do sound quite like your old self when you speak. Certain turns of phrase that startle me with their briskness, their spick-and-span [...]

By |2022-11-30T09:31:58+00:00September 26, 2022|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 a tight gym vest, singing to himself, loose-limbed, swaggering with a barely-contained energy that could erupt into dance at any moment. Here comes a rangy, shirted office worker, shoulders hunched, head down, propelling himself forward with jerky, angular movements. At least, I assume he is heading off to work, with his laptop-sized backpack. There's the occasional grumble of an engine, the clanging of a manhole cover as the wheels pass over. I revel in the gentle, tepid breeze on my face and arms. Flinch at the harsh rasp of a moped. Bella snores through it all. A wood pigeon calls from the top of a chimney. The song of other birds filters [...]

By |2022-12-02T15:27:06+00:00August 12, 2022|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 spartan, sepia-toned living room, where its colours were jarring against the palette of brown, beige, and nicotine stains. Grandma used to keep her keys and bits and bobs in it, along with the odd humbug. In the same way as the scent of Pear’s soap, Grandma’s bowl conjures up not her ghost, but her flesh-on-bones presence; if I gaze into it, I can give myself over to believing that all four-feet-ten-inches of her are standing right there beside me. Grandma… Why do the words dart away from me like speckled, cunning fish when I try to describe her? How could I have spent so much time in her company - getting under [...]

By |2022-12-02T15:27:31+00:00May 24, 2022|Comfort Reads|4 Comments

A dog walk

Ah… Ginger pom-pom dog approaching, we’d better wait here where the pavement’s wide. Bella, it’s very rude to lick your lips like that, it’s not a snack. Leave… Leave … Good girl. A young couple up ahead, very young, pausing, looking at the view. Young love. Will they still be together in thirty years? Three weeks? The girl, woman, casts her eyes downwards as we pass. She doesn’t look unhappy, just not happy either, as if I’ve caught her midway through a small agony of indecision. Glasses. Pale skin. Long, mousey hair and long, mousey skirt. The boy, man, has dark straggly hair, his faded jeans sit low and loose. They draw closer together, almost imperceptibly, as we pass. Claiming the space between them. The breeze lifts my unbuttoned coat as we round the corner, cools my face, feels nice in my hair. Beyond the rooftops, in the slanting fields, a solitary cherry tree foams white against green. Such bravado. At once vulnerable and defiant. A Range Rover growls by, making me flinch. Smoked windows, bodywork glinting oil-black. The shadow [...]

By |2022-12-02T15:28:03+00:00April 26, 2022|Comfort Reads|8 Comments


year after year I have stood here hip-deep in churning water shoulders hunched against the wind shivering, scrutinizing, flinching from the ocean’s cold fist too fearful of submersion to join in my eyes are trained on you, and you alone out there in Neptune’s fairground where the sun makes mischief casting stars onto briny day board poised to mount the next foaming wave your body is a mirage of mercury and saltwater hungry for the wild alchemy of flightless bodies made winged I watch you plunging back, further back long-limbed and laughing so liquid with rapture that you are almost one with the moon-bridled tide windmilling my arms for warmth fleshy sand mouthing my bone-white feet I take deep, brackish breaths and wonder what strange creatures inhabit the heavy silence beneath this bellowing throat and not all of them benign ride each wave, my boy boldly, triumphantly joyously to the shore… the ocean is vast, glorious, terrifying, thrilling brutal - out there, far from the beach when you rise up for air I will be standing here would that it [...]

By |2022-04-07T14:11:44+00:00April 7, 2022|Poems|2 Comments

Joris en de Draak

“Well, they’re going to have to inject me with enough sedative to knock out a rhino. There’s no way I’ll get in that scanner otherwise.” “It won’t be any different to the tunnel on that ride in Holland…” “What? You mean that godawful rollercoaster? There was no tunnel on that!” “Of course there was! We were in it when the photo was taken!” “Well, how would I know?! I had my eyes shut!” Actually, I had my eyes shut for the entire ride. It was, categorically, the most ghastly experience of my life. Apart from that time when, with two small children in my charge, I was suspended above the French Alps in a halted, solitary cable car, screeching ‘Aidez-nous!!’ at the tree canopy… Or that time in the tatty hotel in Ibiza when we got trapped in a tiny lift, with a sizeable German family and a finite oxygen supply… Or, indeed, that time I got vertigo after climbing to the top of St Paul’s Cathedral with my Dad and, having flattened myself like a starfish against the domed [...]

By |2022-12-02T15:28:45+00:00March 19, 2022|Comfort Reads|2 Comments


It’s been nearly three weeks since I posted any writing to the blog. I have been working on a piece but, as if dragging a sack of gravel, I’m struggling to get it over the finish line. Ironic, as the subject is quite light! Like the writing, today each of my extremities feels at once heavy and light. My son is off school with a second dose of covid in three months. Since the first bout, in November, he has been easy prey for every passing pathogen. Understandably, he is feeling fed up, as he coughs, splutters, and sneezes, launching spike proteins at me and the dog, who is spending her days concertinaed on the sofa beside him. She must now be a four-legged, pot-bellied petri dish. Although my latest lateral flow test assures me otherwise, I am pretty certain I have caught covid too, as I have symptoms that mirror my son’s, and transferring the laundry from washing machine to tumble dryer just now has left me feeling like one of those wobble-necked felted dogs that used to nod [...]

By |2022-03-04T11:49:33+00:00March 1, 2022|Comfort Reads|4 Comments

A dream

Hello, Mum, how are you? Did you go to see the swans in Worcester yesterday? Yes, it’s lovely to see you too. I’m OK. Busy. Oh, Sean’s doing fine, moans about school though he’s enjoying it really. Dad says you’ve been helping him with the jigsaw puzzle. The rain looks pretty set in, doesn't it? Shall I make you a coffee before I start work? By the way, Mum… I had a strange dream the other night. Dad and I were living in a house next door to very rowdy neighbours, who argued and played loud music all day long. It was summer, their garden was daubed with cheap, gaudy plastic, my thoughts all had jagged edges and my nerves wanted to crawl right out of my body. I couldn’t stand it any longer, I had to get away from them. I ran off, and found myself on a steeply slanting lane, scabby with moss. The surface was slippery, the lane so narrow that I would be clipped by any passing car. My fingers, my arms, the nape of my neck [...]

By |2022-11-30T09:32:33+00:00February 10, 2022|Talking to Mum|6 Comments


Oh January, I hate to sound clichéd, but I am relieved to see the back of you. You’re a much-maligned month and I have been your staunch defender. Your arrival is like plunging into a cold, clear pool. Your lengthening days are free of the chaos of purchasing and planning that lays siege to December. You are such a beautifully bare month. My son’s birthday is also approaching. He was born on February 2nd, and announced his impending arrival on the 1st, the pagan festival of Imbolc that welcomes the return of the light. What auspicious timing, along with tentative signs of spring – although I am indulging in a fat slab of poetic licence here. The day of his birth was savagely cold, and spring’s heartbeat was sluggish beneath a skin of ice. Snow fell as I lay with my labour pains, and the weeks that followed, if I had to draw them in crayon, would be scribbles of black, grey, and red. For me, new motherhood was the most astonishing and terrible of things all at once. The [...]

By |2022-12-02T15:33:07+00:00February 1, 2022|Musings|14 Comments

There is comfort here…

Here we are, after everything, sitting with memories warmer to the touch than those frail hands that you caress with shaking fingers. Here we are, after not enough time, seeing those gaudy years flapping there like flags on a showground empty since the caravans moved on. And yet – there is comfort here, in the stillness of the frosted garden, in the sun falling flimsy, in the grey winter branches, in the ribbed socks drying on the airer, the purr of the steel fridge, the cool, carpeted hall, in the photographs of people familiar and fabled, pictures of places imagined and real, gifted trinkets and tea-towels. In this home you have made. In the space that separates each tick of the clock. In the silence between us. Let us not crowd it with words. Let us not disturb the comfort that is here.    

By |2022-11-30T09:35:36+00:00January 23, 2022|Poems|6 Comments
Go to Top