• 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.…

  • Life Skills Unlocked

    Life Skills Unlocked: Solving the Riddle of the Strong Smell of Cat Pee

    My kitchen smells like cat pee. Considering I don’t own a cat (yet), this is not a sentence I expected to type. A kitchen can smell like many things – the toast we burned at the weekend, the flapjacks I made on Tuesday, the cacio e pepe spaghetti we ate last night – but I would have to say that cat pee is just not one of the typical kitchen aromas. My face crunched into an expression of distaste, I ventured in nose-first. I sniffed the fridge. Nothing. I opened the fridge and cautiously sniffed. I could smell spring onions and cheese. “As you were,” I whispered, and closed the…