If left to his own devices, my eldest son – sociable, wonderful – would lock himself away upstairs to ‘tell himself stories’. Of late, he wants woken up early to make sure he has time to tell himself a story before the freneticism of the day slaps him in the face. After school, he drops […]


Mum tan we get astronaut dog food and astronaut human food and space shoots and catch a rocketship and fly to the moon? I am distracted. I am shooing the dog from the dishwasher where he’s gorging on the leftover sauce dripping down the metal front as I throw the dishes in. Behind me stands […]

Morning song

In the quiet of the morning, sometimes I wonder at all the young eyes staring at me. Their expectant gaze is matched by a padding of little feet – those of the puppy loping down the stairs, of the toddler, the five-year-old and the seven-year-old. There is a sweet sliver in this glaring early hour […]

The ‘now’ principle

Life works on the principle of now, someone wise reminded me yesterday. It doesn’t work on the past principle and it does not work on the future principle, he said. It works on the now principle. So far, so obvious. And yet glimpse inside your head – now – and what the hell is going […]


Lately leaving the house seems like such a Herculean task I have, on occasion, not been able to do it. There is nowhere to go, sure (oh GOD let’s not get into that), but with three small children you have to ‘go’ somewhere, even if it is standing on your own doorstep, even if it […]


So, I’ve been away. Since August. Now I’m back from a bout of mental illness. A full-on, stinking, steaming, absolute mud-pat of depression and OCD. Despite having had it before, I did not catch it quickly. I did not heed any of the warning signs. I was frantic with anxiety, headlocked, relentless bullets of disordered […]


I’d thought that the ever-present stress that is the pandemic hadn’t affected my children at all. Yes, they had to wash their hands a lot more often; they saw me glued to the news for stretches of time, whereas before I’d diligently hidden my furtive information gathering, worried that the mere sight of a phone […]

Big problems

Lately I’ve been attempting to do loving-kindness meditation, where you let your mind rest on phrases such as may you be happy, may you be peaceful, may you live with ease. There’s a lot to do in the world, isn’t there? You can’t look away from what’s happening and say: well it’s nothing to do […]