My Dog Bella

It occurs to me that the relationship I have with my dog, Bella, is akin to the faintly exasperated affection of a too-long-married couple. Frequently, she regards me with a disdain more appropriate to on-the-turn milk. For much of the day, she appears indifferent to my existence, her interest in me being chiefly a by-product of breakfast and dinnertime, or a need to empty her bladder. Our evenings [...]

By |November 15, 2021|Categories: Reflections|6 Comments

On Padstow Beach

The piece below is from a few years ago. Upon re-reading, it feels vaguely as if someone other than me wrote it. I became a single parent almost a decade ago. For several years after my divorce, I scratched and fretted at my defunct marriage. So aware was I of this phantom limb that, in moments of panic, I fancied I could hear the flesh tearing. As [...]

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


I’m sitting at my desk, realising my mood has picked up again in spite of the autumnal murmurings of wind and rain outside. Out of nowhere, I am seized by a desire to be back in my Mum’s horrid ‘Arum White’ Austin Maestro, travelling along the road that leads away from Hillsborough and out to the Rivelin Valley, before the city yawns wide and breathes out Derbyshire. [...]

By |October 16, 2021|Categories: Conversations with Mum|6 Comments

For Grandad

This blog is dedicated to my Grandad, so I’d like you to meet him. He was a proper, old-fashioned grandad: slightly egg-shaped, with braces and a flat cap, two smart beige coats (one for winter, one for summer), and shoes polished to a squeak. His diet consisted mainly of things fried in lard and dished up with Grandma’s chewy mashed potato, supplemented with lurid little cakes wrapped in [...]

By |October 4, 2021|Categories: Reflections|4 Comments
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