• personal

    Just People

    When you’re a child, everything is very black or white. You’re well-behaved, or you’re bold. You’re bad, or you’re good. The world is arranged into two halves and, with good parenting, you are steered towards the positive. “Yucky” things are smacked out of your hand, and the explanations of the world leave no room for nuance. You’re too young to understand the intricacies and complications of a lifetime. You’re told that bad people are bad, and that’s it. Nobody explains why, or how, or tempers it by telling you that these bad people have good qualities too. Conversely, good people are held up as paragons and then, as you grow,…

  • so that happened

    Toast Seems to be The Hardest Word

    I look at the brunch menu in my hand as if it is written in Sanskrit. What is ‘endive’?  Why ‘avocado bruschetta’ and not just regular bruschetta? Why a ‘3-egg omelette’? Who needs three eggs in the morning? Isn’t that awfully inflexible? What happened to poached eggs and toast? I flip the menu over and finally find what I was looking for; namely scrambled eggs on toast, goujons, french toast, and bacon butties. They are clustered together in a section marked disdainfully as only for ‘Under 12’s’. Ridiculous, I think, flapping the menu in distress. Are omelettes now considered more mature than scrambled eggs? Does the way you like your…

  • 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…

  • so that happened,  Thoughts on...

    One Stranger, Two Viewpoints, Three Drinks

      I had a pretty interesting but slightly infuriating conversation over the weekend. It wasn’t really that infuriating at the time, because I had already had two vodka & cranberries and at that stage I’m content to slip easily into the role of Devil’s Advocate on any given subject. I don’t know about you, but I’m a happy drinker. After a drink, I just want to do two things: talk and dance. I don’t much mind where you want to take the conversation, I’m happy for you to take the lead as long as I have a white russian in hand. Unfortunately at the weekend I didn’t have a white…

  • personal,  Thoughts on...

    It’s Okay To Not Be Okay

    I don’t know if this post is for you. Maybe. I guess you won’t know either until you’re halfway through it. If it’s not for you, that just means it’s not for you today. It still might be for you three weeks from now, or next Summer. At some point, I think this post will be relevant to your life. Unfortunately. Even though it’s Monday, and I would have preferred to start the week with something lighthearted, I sat down to type and this poured out instead in a wave of emotion, so here we are. I want to talk about unhappiness. This is not an overt unhappiness with people crying…

  • thoughts on death post header when do i get the manual
    personal,  Thoughts on...

    Thoughts On… Death

    I remember my first dead body. That makes me sound like a serial killer. Let me rephrase. I remember seeing my first dead body. It was my maternal grandmother’s – my Yaya’s – and she was lying in a coffin with white satin lining. It was propped up, almost standing to face those coming to pay their respects, and she was pale. Unnaturally pale. Much paler than I had ever seen her. Her expression was serious, her mouth turned down at the sides. There was no joy in her face at all, which was very unlike her. She was a woman who was always smiling, always laughing, always trying –…

  • 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…