pool party

I’m off to France tomorrow an engagement party my niece is getting married no, the other one we’re all invited to a villa she’s hired, somewhere down south i know, sounds heavenly but you know what? i’m dreading it a pool party, for fuck’s sake what am I going to do? it’s all right for … Continue reading pool party

what things are

i was going to tweet a picture of an old tree the front looked normal but the back was hollowed out (does a tree even have a front and a back?) blackened with fire, anyway lightning, maybe? dramatic, whatever i took the shot i thought it might be a lime tree but i wasn’t sure … Continue reading what things are


Sometimes a detour is what you really need. Almost always, come to think of it. The day hadn’t started well. I’d checked my email over breakfast and found a reply from the last literary agent I’d contacted. A succinct but polite rejection of my manuscript: Thanks for the submission, but I’m afraid it’s not for … Continue reading detour


Getting out of the car, I stop to look up. Swifts! Swooping and screaming round the high buildings of the old hospital. It’s incredible to think how far these birds have come, thousands and thousand of miles, up from Central and Southern Africa to spend just a few months of the summer here before flying … Continue reading swifts!

the gabby gene

Violet doesn’t say hello when she answers the door so much as seamlessly include me in the conversation she’s been having with everyone, and herself, these past few years. It’s how I imagine being subsumed by an extra-terrestrial blob in one of those fifties’ sci-fi films. (A theramin plays in the background; you open the … Continue reading the gabby gene

mr stabby

The worst blocks have the loveliest names. Carnelion House. By rights it should be bold, angular, cut from a solid block of plastic. Not a few, desultory storeys thrown like a bad cap over a huddle of failing shops. You’d never know it was there. Even the SatNav’s embarrassed, blindly and hurriedly planting its red-button … Continue reading mr stabby

the old barn by the sea

the picture I liked best? a watercolour in a wormy wooden frame an old barn by the sea with a path drawing you down through a field of poppies. ‘By a cousin of mine’ she said ‘Used to be a set designer. For the opera. Long gone now, of course.’ I lean in to read … Continue reading the old barn by the sea