• so that happened

    The Best Things Come in Small Packages

    I have an unfortunate bedtime habit. It takes me what feels like twelve thousand years to get to sleep, and I would rather have my skin peeled from me in strips than lie in the dark with my thoughts, so instead I have a habit of propping my phone on its side and scrolling mindlessly through r/politics or the Aliexpress app on my phone until I fall asleep, one fingertip still pressed to the screen. (You might be able to guess where I’m going with this…) On more than one occasion I have woken up having purchased some truly ridiculous items are not in any way necessary to my life:…

  • Communication,  personal,  relationships

    “Relationships are Hard Work”

    “Relationships are hard work.” How many times would you say you’ve heard that phrase in your life? People say it to each other all the time; over coffee, over cocktails, in the middle of long, exasperated venting sessions and at the end of despairing exclamations. I’ve said it, and I’ve heard it, and every time there’s a nod of understanding and agreement, because it’s just vague enough to sound accurate. Recently though, I’ve come to realise that the phrase isn’t specific enough to be true. It’s a bit like when people say, “Well, sure we fight, but all couples fight.” I always nod. They both sound pretty straightforward, but the…

  • Communication,  life lessons,  open letter,  personal

    Notes for a Younger Me

    When I look at photographs of myself when I was younger, I experience a strange, out-of-body feeling. It doesn’t feel like I’m looking at myself. It feels like I’m looking at someone else. The child of someone I know, maybe, or a distant relative. It doesn’t feel like me. Sometimes this slightly freaks me out, because it makes me wonder if this is how it will always be. In twenty years’ time will I look at photos of myself now and feel like a different person? Will I have changed that much? Will I feel like the experiences and memories and thoughts of Now Me are so removed and foreign…

  • personal,  Thoughts on...

    Staying Alive

    The other day, while out walking with a friend, we took a detour on our way home and found ourselves in an old cemetery. It was, as she put it, the sort of place Tom Riddle might show up to challenge you to a wand duel. The ground, bulging with overgrown roots, was uneven and covered over with long blades of grass that soaked us to the ankles. Most of the engravings on the oldest headstones were illegible; the inscriptions had been gently buffed to smoothness by the passing of time. Speckled with lichen and pushed by either weather or slowly shifting soil, the stones leaned drunkenly at different angles.…

  • personal,  so that happened

    Memento Mori

      When I was small(er than I am now), I went on a good many roadtrips with my father. Not to sound too twee about it, but these car journeys often led down long and curving country roads flanked by hedgerows and higgledy-piggledy stone walls and endless green fields. There were no streetlights or footpaths. Houses whizzed by at a predictable, rhythmic pace. Field, field, house. Field, field, house. Field, field, house. We sped through the countryside listening to Kris Kristofferson or the soundtrack from The Big Chill. I loved it. I still do. Once I leave the last streetlight behind I always feel a little bit more free until…

  • personal

    Life Lessons

      There are certain people that come into your life at crucial moments and shape a part of you. They smooth out a rough edge, or they shave off a section of your heart and cut another facet into your soul. They shape you. Some people add parts to you that you never knew you were missing, or cause you to grow a prickly coating to protect yourself from future encounters with nefarious people. People add and subtract from you as you go, making you more than or lesser than you were before coming into contact with them. I went to the same school from the age of 4 to…