It’s not about her health

I am a reasonably thin woman and every ‘news’ story of a celebrity losing weight feels like a tiny betrayal. That sounds mean-spirited, doesn’t it? It sounds like an ugly way to live. Especially since I couldn’t give a toss what the people I know and love weigh. It just doesn’t occur to me to… Continue reading It’s not about her health

Dragging hidden things into the light

Sometimes in the comments below an online feature about, say, a new crime drama, you see people complain about the amount of sex and violence on TV. “Why can’t they make programmes about something nice? Where the characters are pleasant to each other and no one gets killed?!” moans Gladys from Hampshire, and you find… Continue reading Dragging hidden things into the light

A change of decade

A big birthday makes self-important fools of us all, so I wrote 20-year-old Kirsten a rough guide to the decade she was about to embark upon, from the wise and lofty heights of 30. Hello, 20-year-old Kirsten – student, flibbertigibbet, mere child – it’s Kirsten at 30. Fuck off, 30’s not old. Have a read of… Continue reading A change of decade

The fight to write

There’s nothing new under the sun, the cliché goes, and this is rarely more evident than when someone publishes a think-piece on trying to earn a living as some sort of creative. This Guardian article from last Thursday prompted much discussion on Writer Twitter, but what was interesting and frankly disappointing was the amount of… Continue reading The fight to write

In search of the lightning strike

Most first-person pieces on dating end neatly (‘and I quit all the apps one Sunday and met my husband on the Tuesday’, or ‘I have decided to stay single, I now devote my life to rescuing orphaned goats*, and I’ve never been happier’) and frankly, so they should. The general rule of writing is: take… Continue reading In search of the lightning strike

Lines that linger

I love a linguistic earworm. Lines and phrases that aren’t necessarily poetic in themselves, but are delivered in such a way that they ring in your head long after they’ve been uttered, and embed themselves into the folds of your brain for all eternity. Comedy is great for this – in fact, I’d venture that… Continue reading Lines that linger

Risotto: a love letter

I love the significance we ascribe to food, the memories certain dishes evoke. Most of mine take me back to Granny’s kitchen: the smell of frying bacon will always put me by her Aga on a crisp blue winter’s morning; whenever I eat shortbread, I can see her taking a pale gold slab out of… Continue reading Risotto: a love letter