The first Pet Death

Explaining to a 3-year-old that the budgie is dead, is unpleasant. But explaining that it’s Mummy’s fault because she job-shares with the Grim Reaper, is unnecessary—so at least Timmy doesn’t blame me for anything. Only two days ago, I’d been joking with someone about not being able to keep...

What makes a friendship start?

Bases for friendships are irrational. When we were kids our friendships were largely determined by who else lived in our block, but as adults with wider options we like to think our rationale has deeper reaches. It doesn’t. The absurdity of it struck me today when I shared a...

Learning ALL the things!

The only way to make someone want something is to take it away. Generally speaking, people are horrible value assessors. When I was in school, I hated it. I suspect that’s normal. But now that I find myself busied with the busy busyness of domestic this and that, and...

‘Shakespeare Saved My Life’

So claims English professor Dr Laura Bates in her like-titled novel, which is the Big Library Read until the end of this month. Fortunately, I haven’t suffered complete inoculation against Shakespeare by well-meaning high school teachers, who tend to force it on their students with the appeal of 400-year-old...