Sometimes a break-up is just a break-up

A well-crafted, insightful personal essay can stick in the mind for years after you first read it. I’ve never forgotten The Crane Wife, as one example, and I currently can’t stop thinking about this one (though admittedly the latter is more cultural criticism with elements of a personal essay woven into it). It’s a small thrill to see… Continue reading Sometimes a break-up is just a break-up

Chemistry lessons

When I saw a teaser for Dolly Alderton’s latest agony aunt column on the Sunday Times Style Instagram account the other day, I’m fairly certain I cackled with glee. As you can see from the below, the problem is a juicy one, almost precisely because it’s not all that juicy. The writer doesn’t want to… Continue reading Chemistry lessons

It doesn’t have to be about you

I often do my best writing when I’m trying to work out why I feel uncomfortable about something. By forcing myself to fully explore an issue – to consider it from as many sides as possible – my position and why I occupy it become clearer to me. We should, I think, have the courage to examine… Continue reading It doesn’t have to be about you

The flat that made me

I don’t believe in ghosts, but I like to imagine that we leave something of ourselves in every place that’s meaningful to us. That something of us bleeds into the walls and floors of treasured spaces, invisible streaks of joy and laughter and tears soaked into brick and wood. I like to imagine our ghost-selves… Continue reading The flat that made me

It’s never the first time

This wasn’t his first time. Whoever killed Sabina Nessa – and we know a man has been arrested on suspicion of murder – it wasn’t his first time hurting or intimidating a woman. Of that, we can be more or less certain. Because, as writer and campaigner Jamie Klingler said in an interview with the… Continue reading It’s never the first time

What we accept as normal

You can judge a society by what it accepts as ‘normal’ and whose truths it takes at face value, I think. What it doesn’t see as particularly remarkable, or out of the ordinary. Who, when they speak, it decides to automatically believe, and who it chooses to doubt and interrogate. We started the week of… Continue reading What we accept as normal

Boring in bed: on sex, desire & vulnerability

I know someone who does not kiss on a first date. It’s a shameless and transparent ploy, because he tells the woman at the start of the evening that he doesn’t kiss on a first date, effectively setting up a challenge. I assume he has to play this game to concoct the frisson that other people… Continue reading Boring in bed: on sex, desire & vulnerability