You don’t need permission.

The other evening, a dear friend of mine text me with, as she called it, a wording question. She'd been invited to a party, you see, by someone from her work who she doesn't like very much, and was struggling to articulate how to RSVP with a "Thanks but no thanks" yet still be polite. In her text to me she said, "I don’t want to say I’m unable to come but should I make an excuse? I don’t know how to combine politeness and integrity!" I text her back and suggested she write: “Thanks for the invite, however I won't be able to come". Voila! With the holidays [...]

By |2017-12-20T09:26:14+01:0020 December 2017|

Demand it.

"Trust me, I do this day in, day out. You've got to take my word for it." A surgeon said that to me, nearly 4 years ago, shortly after I'd fucked-up my ankle.  "I can't see anything wrong with the bones in your ankle, the problem is definitely in your calf muscle" he added, standing up from his desk and gesturing me towards the door. My allocated 10 minutes with him were up. "It'll be a quick operation, we'll cut some tissue away from your calf muscle, then, once you've recovered, you'll hopefully be able to run properly again. Just let me know what [...]

By |2017-11-26T17:07:53+01:0026 November 2017|

The half-broken drawer in my kitchen.

There's a drawer in my kitchen under the sink, that's broken. It's not broken enough for it to be unusable, but it kind of falls off its runners when you pull it out too far. It's been like that for a few months now and I've masterfully figured out a way to carefully open the drawer without it falling off the runners all the time. I think my partner has also figured this out too because I see her opening it in a different, but equally careful way. It's funny though, because neither of us have mentioned the broken drawer [...]

By |2017-11-02T15:58:12+01:002 November 2017|

A missed train.

My Dad and sister came to stay with me here in Germany last week. They had booked themselves on the same flight from London Luton, so that they could travel together, despite the fact that my Dad does not live in London. He lives in Manchester, you see. And so, on the morning of the flight, he travelled by train from Manchester Piccadilly to London Euston. He planned his journey very carefully so that he had a lot of time to get from Manchester Piccadilly to London Euston to London Luton airport. He figured that if there was a delay of some sort, he'd factored in a [...]

By |2017-11-02T15:59:45+01:002 November 2017|

I’m the asshole who spoils the fun.

My 2-year old kid loves tractors. He likes to run into his bedroom and open his giant encyclopaedia of tractors and tell me what kind of tractor brand he's looking at. Each night before bed, I read passages to him from the encyclopaedia and his little face is full of delight and curiosity and focus as I tell him about all the different types of tractors from all over the world and what they do and what they are used for. He's a total tractor nerd and I love him for it. He's also a total pain in the arse at times. [...]

By |2017-10-13T15:38:43+01:0013 October 2017|

Scary things.

When I look back at all of the brilliant, mind-expanding, soul-deepening, feel-good things I've done in my life—from running ultra marathons, to starting my own business, to moving to another country, to swimming across a giant lake—I can confidently say that I did not feel even remotely confident before, or during, any of them. "Why the fuck do I put myself through this shit?" I once asked my friend, Josie, having returned from another terrifying swimming session in my local lake, having covered nowhere near even half the distance I would have to swim on race day. "Because you actually want [...]

By |2017-10-11T10:26:06+01:0011 October 2017|

Learn how to stay.

"To get free, learn how to stay." ~ Laura McKowen I have to practice this over and over and over and over. To just stay. Right where I am, with what I'm feeling. Which, over the last few days, has been bubbling anxiety and not-very-grounded-ness. I've got a talk coming up on Saturday and I'm really fucking nervous. I'm also currently in the UK and have been away from my kid for 8 days (and counting) and I'm missing him like mad. I'm out of my groove, my flow, my routine, you know? My impulse is to run. Not physically, [...]

By |2017-10-11T10:23:41+01:0011 October 2017|

Begging for bottles.

I'm sitting on the 13.08 train from Cologne, travelling back home, earphones in, listening to one of my favourite podcasts. The train is packed with people. Knees crushed up against suitcases. Feet on seats. Heads awkwardly pressed against windows. There's some kind of commotion going on behind me. The people around me are shifting in their seats and craning their necks, looking in that direction. I take one earphone out and turn my head to see what's going on. There's a woman—she looks all official in her train company uniform—barking orders at another woman, a passenger, for taking up too [...]

By |2017-07-26T06:41:09+01:0026 July 2017|

The wisdom of baby birds.

There's a tiny blue birdhouse nailed to the giant cherry tree in my garden. Inside it live a family of sparrows. I watch from my office window as the sparrow parents work tirelessly all day long, constantly feeding their babies all sorts of insects. I stood under the birdhouse yesterday and noticed that the baby sparrows have started to perch perilously close to the tiny, round hole that their parents fly in and out of. I've seen this before. Last summer, I watched some baby sparrows in the same bird house do this too. It means that they're getting ready to fledge. They start to [...]

By |2017-06-26T08:44:28+01:0026 June 2017|

Are you holding it in?

I'm laying face down, arms by my side on a soft, plastic bench in my physiotherapist's clinic. My cheeks are squished together in the hole that's cut out of the bench for people's faces. I'm thinking that it would be cool if there was a television or something on the floor, directly underneath the face hole, so that I could watch a movie, like they have at my dentist, only there, the television is on the ceiling. "OWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!"My thoughts about the cool television idea are cut short by the steely thumbs of my physiotherapist as she digs them into my [...]

By |2017-06-13T14:04:58+01:0013 June 2017|