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

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… Continue reading Risotto: a love letter

Lines on lust

The thing about being both insecure and perhaps a touch self-involved is that when someone sends you a 4,000-word email explaining what they think of you, you find it more compelling than creepy. I received one such missive fairly recently, and it contained – among a host of other wildly incorrect things – a line… Continue reading Lines on lust

Flirting with writers

Or: Woman, 28, in ‘modern dating is awful’ shock If you’ve read Dolly Alderton’s beautiful memoir Everything I Know About Love, you’ll join me in a sharp intake of breath when I mention the ‘guru chapter’. For the uninitiated: a few years ago, Alderton conducted a phone interview with a man who billed himself as… Continue reading Flirting with writers

Going solo

Oh, you knew it was coming. To me, it always sounded like a horror story. The couple who got together in their early twenties, made it work through shitty first jobs, slightly-less-shitty second jobs and gruesome houseshares, finally moving in together and starting to cobble together what looked like a reasonably adult life. Only to… Continue reading Going solo

A matter of choice

  If you write about your life – as a blogger, columnist or memoirist – you sometimes hear the advice, “don’t write breaking news”. Don’t write about an event as it’s happening; hold off until you have even a tiny sliver of time and distance from it. Sometimes this is good advice, but personally I… Continue reading A matter of choice

Every word handwritten

I have a bizarrely intense attachment to things that are handwritten. Actually, maybe it’s not bizarre at all, given that I write words for a living. On Valentine’s Day last year, upon finding out Drummer Boy hadn’t got me a card, I thrust some scrap paper and a Biro into his hand and told him to write… Continue reading Every word handwritten