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|

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|

Girls can’t wear baseballs caps.

When you were a kid, did you ever play the game, Guess Who? You know, the 1980’s mystery face game where each player chooses a person and then using yes or no questions, they try to figure out the other player’s person? Turns out, the game still exists! I've been playing it with my son recently and it's been a total blast from the past. Nothing much has changed with the game. The people are still mostly the same. The format is still the same. The rules are still the same. And yet I've noticed the questions my son has been asking me about my "person" are [...]

By |2019-07-17T08:32:24+01:0016 April 2019|

The cat food.

Every morning and evening, after I've fed Lily, my cat, I leave the house and walk 100 metres across the garden to the garage. I open the garage door and walk to the bin store in the corner and put the empty cat food pouch in the bin. Every morning and evening, after I've fed Lily, my cat, I look down at the empty cat food pouch in my hand and think, "I can't be fucking arsed to walk 100 metres across the garden to the garage, to then have to open the garage door and walk to the bin store in the corner [...]

By |2019-07-17T08:34:22+01:006 January 2019|

My mother-in-law and the trees.

I'm standing in the living room of the old, rambling farmhouse we've just finished renovating. One hand on my hip, the other cupping my chin with my thumb and index finger, I hesitantly scan the room. "Are there just way too many types of wood in this room?" I ask my mother-in-law. She is standing to the right of me and watches, as I nod towards the oak wooden beams and then the pine floor and then the walnut coffee table and then the new dining chairs with the ash legs. "No", she replies in her direct and confident German [...]

By |2019-07-17T08:37:16+01:0025 September 2018|

An injection and an icepack.

Two weeks ago, I had surgery on my ankle. I sobbed so hard that evening as I lay in my hospital bed. The pain was unreal. The nurses tried all sorts of different varieties and doses of painkillers, but nothing seemed to help. I shared a room in the hospital with a 70-year old woman who had had knee surgery 2 weeks before. In her thick, German accent, she told me lots of stories about her life. Her ex-husband had been a very "bad man" to her, and one day, in the middle of the night, she snuck out with her [...]

By |2019-07-17T11:28:53+01:0012 May 2018|

My blue cup.

I'm sitting at my kitchen table eating avocado on toast with chilli flakes and lemon juice on top. I gesture towards my partner, Kristin, who is standing a few metres from where I'm sat and I say, "Please can you pass me my blue cup, you know the one with the pattern on?" My blue cup with a pattern on is my favourite cup of all time. It's massive. It holds probably twice the amount of liquid that your average cup holds. If you're a client of mine, you'll probably know this cup because I generally drink herbal tea from [...]

By |2019-07-19T09:59:32+01:0015 February 2018|
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