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… 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

On the good side

Not much happens out of the blue. The snakes of lightning across one’s vision before a migraine, the same argument verbatim every few weeks before a break-up, the sudden dread when you know someone’s about to break unwanted news – signs, more often than not, are there in plain sight. I’ve been thinking a lot… Continue reading On the good side