A Life of Taking Care

To walk through a deserted school is a strange thing. Firstly, the quiet. The mere skittering of an empty crisp packet across the tarmac is enough to startle. Solitary footsteps click-click-clicking nervously down corridors, flanked by peeling displays on the walls. Then, the revelation of a wider world beyond: waste collections vans, police sirens, the […]

I’m Sorry, Carole Smith

It was me: I had killed you. I had turned it over and over again in my eight year-old head, useless thoughts like wet laundry flopping in the final throes of a drum. What if I hadn’t said this? What if I hadn’t done that? Why, dear God, did I ever join in with the […]

Because She Was Your Mother

What happened to you – you that can take a life so easily? What happened to you – you, to whom a mother once gave the gift of life? How greedily you suckled, thirsty for a world that you would taint with unimaginable hatred. But back then, with gentle, tentative fingers, your mother wrapped you […]

Flotsam & Jetsam

Four is a good age to learn pooh sticks. We – the boy and my self – are taking a slow walk back from the park on a still Sunday morning in October. The storm that abated the night before has left in its wake a world of bright puddles, sodden leaves and a rich […]

I am the Weekend

I am the weekend. I stand, open-armed, at the close of your week, absorbing your joyful sobs whilst placing a glass of something much-needed in your hand. Come dawn, like a lover, I whisper sweet birdsong nothings in your ear, occasionally relinquishing to let you slip once more into reverie. I rouse you with a […]

The Tiger Who Came to School*

Once there was a little girl called Sophie, and she was doing some multi-sensory phonics with her teacher, Ms.Krantz, at school. Suddenly there was a phone call from Reception. Ms.Krantz said, “I wonder who that can be. It can’t be the OFSTED inspector, because he came last week and put us into Special Measures. And […]

“I Know Not How to Tell Thee…”

Hello! Is this seat taken? Mind if I sit down? What I’m about to say is going to sound a little strange, but do please bear with me. I saw you do a double-take when I came through the door, so you might already have an inkling of where this is leading. Take a good […]