She died

Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye, you were bigger than the whole sky. She died. My Nan. The indomitable matriarch. The mother of my mother. The Yorkshire tea-drinking aficionado. The one I somehow thought would live forever. The bearer of such, deep and gentle, dignified and unwavering love for me, my sister and our children. And now she's gone. I've never felt such an absence, such a ground-shifting chasm before in my life. When my mum died, it was too shocking, too traumatic to comprehend, I barely felt anything. I just sleepwalked numbed and disassociated for so many years after. But this time, [...]

By |2023-03-26T14:09:36+01:0026 March 2023|

My Nanna’s House

My Nanna's house has been up for sale for a month or so now. She's lived in a care home since the end of last summer. It wasn't an easy decision, for her to move there, but there were just too many falls, too many frantic phone calls in the middle of the night, too much confusion, too much worry. She wasn't safe anymore. While her house is on the market, we've decided to live in it for a while: Me, my wife and my son. It felt important to be here, to prepare her home for the new people [...]

By |2023-01-26T19:54:52+01:0026 January 2023|

Seeing the goodness in the world

It was late Autumn last year when I found them. 2 kittens. They ran to me through a rusty, gaping hole of a barn door. A barn that was in the middle of nowhere, really. A barn that I passed each day on a 5 kilometre walk. They were so tiny. I didn't know what to do. I wondered whether to bundle them up right there and then in my coat and take them home. I inspected them closely. They seemed well-fed and their fur—despite the rain and cold—seemed to be soft and shiny. A sign that they were doing [...]

By |2020-04-14T13:07:14+01:0014 April 2020|

Are you doing ok?

I was doing ok, and then I realised that the next time I see my Nan's wrinkly old face and grey-blue eyes might not be for months and months from now, and I cried. This is grief. I wasn't doing ok, and then my kid told me that "Tomorrow, I'm just going to wear my undies all day, Mummy. Nothing else. And you're to call me Captain Underpants, ok?" I smiled and kissed the top of his sweaty little head. This is bone-deep love. I was doing ok, and then a woman standing close to me in the bread aisle [...]

By |2020-04-14T13:07:58+01:002 April 2020|

Self-isolating with Pokemons

We've been self-isolating for a week now. It already feels like a month. My son built an obstacle course in the garden yesterday and timed me as I navigated it. It was a terrible obstacle course, mainly because he's five and five year olds apparently build terrible obstacle courses. I ran around it anyway, catching a glimpse of his proud, beaming face as he watched me sit in a garden chair for 10 seconds, before sitting in another garden chair for 10 seconds, and then running around the tree 3 times before standing on a bucket on one leg, wobbling [...]

By |2020-04-14T13:09:34+01:0020 March 2020|

It took me five fucking minutes.

My son has a plastic turtle night light that he keeps on his bedside table. It projects an underwater effect onto the walls and ceiling of his bedroom and plays ocean sounds. He originally bought it for me for my birthday, but 5 minutes after I'd opened the box, he claimed it as his. 5 weeks ago, the batteries started to run out on the turtle. Sometimes the ocean sounds didn't play, or the underwater effect didn't project properly. Sometimes, the turtle didn't even switch on. "It needs a new battery", I told my son. "I'll have to go to [...]

By |2019-12-12T12:02:12+01:0012 December 2019|

When nothing seems to be happening.

I bought a plant last year. When I bought it, it was 3 times bigger, with lots and lots of bright green, thriving leaves. I put it in my bathroom. Slowly, however, it started to die. I didn't know why. I figured that I had been overwatering it, so I gave it less. Nothing changed. I moved it from one end of the room to another—maybe it was too near the radiator? Nothing changed. In fact, its leaves started to curl up and go brown. After several months, the leaves began to drop off, and finally 4 dry stalks were [...]

By |2019-07-17T08:40:58+01:0016 July 2019|

How to have a backbone and say what you actually mean.

Recently, I needed some help spreading the word about something I’d created. I woke up one morning with the idea of asking some of my friends and clients to share the details about it with their friends and people they know, maybe via their Facebook page or email, or in a way that felt good to them. And yet…I didn’t. Something stopped me from asking them. Instead, I just sat on the idea and went round and round in circles, not wanting to ask and yet feeling frustrated with myself for not. Do you do this too? I hear this [...]

By |2019-07-17T11:39:51+01:0023 June 2019|

If you’re having a rough day, read this.

Our recent road-trip around the USA Pacific Northwest was centred specifically around going to a concert at the epic Gorge Amphitheater. My favourite singer-songwriter of all time, Brandi Carlile, was playing and there was no way I was missing her show at a venue that's considered to be one of the most scenic concert locations in the world. Emmylou Harris was one of her incredible support acts and during her set, as she was introducing a song and strumming the chords on her guitar, she said something along the lines of: "This next song is one I wrote about 30 [...]

By |2019-07-17T08:28:57+01:0023 June 2019|

Road-tripping, whales and learning.

I'm travelling at the moment, with my little family. Mainly around the The Pacific Northwest and Canada. I'm learning a lot on this holiday. I'm learning that travelling is tiring and hard and yet heart-opening and wild. Travel stirs something in me that makes me want to pack up my life back home and live in an RV and hit the road (although I'm also not daft enough to forget that I LOVE regular showers and working toilets and my dream of living a life on the road would last approximately 2.3 days before I got fed up. So there's [...]

By |2019-07-17T08:25:13+01:0023 June 2019|
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