This story of a phone call with my mother as her memory was going is published in Landfall issue 243.
A personal essay, first published by Headland in issue 16, November 2021: I edge closer, close enough to read the words in the thought bubble in the larger-than-life comic book painting. “I DON’T CARE! I’D RATHER SINK THAN CALL BRAD FOR HELP!"
For most of the seventh form, my best friend Eva and I spent every French class in the common room playing 500 with whoever was around, bidding, winning and losing tricks. None of the other seventh formers commented. Perhaps they didn’t notice.
The poppies that grew in my grandfather’s quarter-acre garden were bedraggled specimens. Each individual plant sat apart, marooned in its own patch of dull brown soil. Similarly the lemon trees dotted around the grassy lawn were like respectable neighbours who preferred to keep at arm's length. The lemon trees had the attraction of glossy leaves … Continue reading Of poppies and passionfruit
This story of what is was like on family visits to my grandparents is published online in the Spring 2022 issue of The Longridge Review. You can read it there: the constraints on our behaviour that gave rise to anxiety and boredom, and the things that made it special. Actually, I admired my grandmother despite what you may think after reading it. And thanks to my brother Chris who volunteered to take the rap for the broken window when we couldn't remember who the culprit really was.
‘There must’, we said, ‘be a back exit’. But a mental scan of the corridor outside revealed no discreet service lift. Just a series of hotel-like rooms and, opening up in the other direction, the bland living and dining area, then through that to the large lifts down to the ground floor and further below, … Continue reading Through the front door
Kahil Gibran wrote that your children are not your children. Even as a student in the 1970s I recognised the truth in what he said. And it turns out, bringing up children is a series of letting go's, from taking your hands off the back of the two-wheeler bike to walking away on the first … Continue reading Letting go of the children (or, I’ve not got Alzheimers yet)
After years in the corporate world, I was more than ready to embrace the role of earth mother. Of course, that's not quite what happened.
Two small-town girls go to stay with their Nana and Pop in the city and discover they live life in a much richer way.
I'm glad to be rid of plastic in the home for aesthetic as well as planetary reasons. And it's not so long ago that my mother and grandmothers managed without it.