I’ll tell you how I’m feeling today, if you tell me too. Not for us, the false niceties papering over our humanness. Not for us, the filters to smooth out our skin on social media, to give the grey pallor of our faces a sunlight hue. I’m tired and overwhelmed, and I know it will […]

The baby didn’t sleep last night. His need for me is wearing. I stand in the hallway, exhausted, listening to him whimper in his cot after I place him there. I cup my hands in prayer. The shape they make is at first alien, a relic from childhood rituals when our family attended the mosque […]

‘Has the world always been broken?’ asked the girl, eyes laden with sorrow Her grandfather knotted his fingers together, paper-thin skin over cobweb veins and considered which truth to convey Should he comfort her as he longed to do, until her heart had no knowledge of hate or unfold to her the wisdoms he had […]

One of the ways we perceive those around us is by categorisation. Like the Sorting Hat in Harry Potter. We label people to understand them. She is ambitious: he is laid back. He is adventurous; she is scared of her own shadow. She is a ski bunny; he is a couch potato. She is black; […]

The coolest girl in school had secret trysts behind the bike shed, drank wine from a water bottle at mass, hitched up her skirt to show her knobbly knees, shaved her hair into a mohawk and wore an insolent stare Other girls lamented over cracked lips and frizzy hair but the coolest girl in school […]

There is something enchanting about the innocence of youth. Have you ever noticed how the old take comfort from the young? As if an encounter with youth is a tonic for their own regrets, cleansing, a guard against mortality even. The promise of youth is a wonderful thing. Yet however exhilarating this passionate freefall, disappointments […]

Taking on a challenge A few weeks ago I went on a course called ‘We All Need Words’ at The School of Life in London.  It was my first day away from the kids since our son was born and I was both excited and anxious.  It was great to have the chance to do […]