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. [...]

By |February 1, 2022|Categories: Reflections|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 [...]

By |January 23, 2022|Categories: Poems|6 Comments

A Very Peculiar Politeness

One recent afternoon, in the pay & display car park next to my favourite book shop, I was merrily depositing surplus 5-pence pieces in the ticket machine, feeling more and more pleased with myself the closer I got to my fifty pence target. We can all relate to the disproportionate relief of purging a purse or wallet of those low-value coins that you never get around to spending [...]

By |January 1, 2022|Categories: Reflections|13 Comments

Merry Ex-mas

I spell Xmas with two exes. Friends invariably find my Christmas arrangements extraordinary. Both my son’s father (from whom I am long divorced) and my ex-partner (from whom I separated two years ago) spend the two days of 'Christmas proper' at my house. My ex-husband no longer lives locally. Our son was very young when we separated, and it became a verbal contract that, for as long as [...]

By |December 29, 2021|Categories: Reflections|4 Comments


Do you remember, Mum, what I said to you after your mother’s funeral? I said “You’re free now. It’s going to be OK. You’re free.” It was such a long time ago. I remember stroking your hair, stiff with styling spray. I remember the tilt of your head, a damp hopefulness in your eyes. And a vague discomfort at offering comfort to you. Inauthentic is how I felt. [...]

By |December 12, 2021|Categories: Conversations with Mum|2 Comments

Vintage Desk

New desk, you carry a weight of hope and expectation equal to the heaviness of your solid, aged oak body. You’re not supposed to be here, in this corner of my basement study-cum-recreation room. My mind’s eye pictured you up in the bright and airy attic, next to the big window that gazes Cyclops-like over the plains of Worcestershire and next door’s garden. In winter, that room puckers [...]

By |November 28, 2021|Categories: Serendipity|0 Comments
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