The greater misfortune—apathy or incompetence?

Which is worse: to love writing stories but be atrocious at it, or to have the skills of a literary Rumpelstiltskin but no drive to do anything with it? I narrate in my head all day. Sometimes I tell myself the words are what I intend to write later,...

Soft and Easily Flattened

If I were a food I’d be a marshmallow. I’m soft and easily flattened. (Also white and spongy around the middle, but that’s neither here nor there.) Today I gave a small wave of thanks to a lollipop lady who’d waved me through a lane of road cones. You...

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...