In Praise of Having a Rest

Sometime in the dark midwinter I was scrubbing at a blue-black stain on my living room carpet for ten minutes before I realised it was actually a shadow. I wanted to cry. It was past my bed-time and my nervous system was crackling with stress. I’d had about eight cups of coffee since 7am that… Continue reading In Praise of Having a Rest

‘Look Outwards, Not Inwards’ – Finally, a Womens’ Magazine For the Real World

Reading, eating, sleeping: are these not the very foundations of wellbeing? Most else, I could take or leave (exercising is only for emergencies; handsome lovers and disco dancing and holidays in sunny places are the extras we get if we’re lucky and/or persistent). As a kid I avidly read cereal boxes at the breakfast table… Continue reading ‘Look Outwards, Not Inwards’ – Finally, a Womens’ Magazine For the Real World

Be the Bear, and Other Mantras to Get You Through Winter

If you could hibernate through winter, would you? Find a nice cave, fill it with biscuits, put on a jumper, and sleep? Sleep lavishly. Slumber in an absolutely unreachable state. I know I would. I’ve written before about my annual sad feelings which always come around just in time for Christmas, and the things that… Continue reading Be the Bear, and Other Mantras to Get You Through Winter

Secret Style Icons No.21 & No.22: Thelma and Louise

‘I don’t ever remember feeling this awake’ – Thelma It starts the way all films should – two gals, a convertible and a loaded gun, off on a road trip together. They’ve got high-waisted jeans and enormous swaying hair. They’re getting away from hard work, boredom and Thelma’s cretin of a husband. What could possibly… Continue reading Secret Style Icons No.21 & No.22: Thelma and Louise

Banned Books, Pseudonyms and a Secret Magazine

“Secrets, silent, stony, sit in the dark palaces of both our hearts: secrets weary of their tyranny: tyrants willing to be dethroned.” James Joyce, Ulysses Maybe it's  a symptom of living in almost certain safety, to find the idea of banned books romantic. Imagine: the soft crackling of a paper bag containing a hard-back first… Continue reading Banned Books, Pseudonyms and a Secret Magazine

Winning Scotland Young Thinker of the Year 2014

Ah, the comfort zone. It is such a snuggly place to be. Things that are in my comfort zone: People I love Places I know Nice, familiar feelings, like Friday Happiness, and Cheese-on-Toast Rapture. Things that are not in my comfort zone: Plane travel Public speaking Jamie Dornan* Rollercoasters Sadly, the comfort zone is easily… Continue reading Winning Scotland Young Thinker of the Year 2014

Things I Didn’t Know I Loved

It’s hard to know when something momentous is about to happen. Unlike everyone in Alice’s Wonderland, we can’t remember the future, so we just have to wait until it’s all sped in to the past. It’s only then that the bright bits are easy to spot. Ah yes, this day was the most wonderful day; that moment was our… Continue reading Things I Didn’t Know I Loved

Let’s Talk About Why You’re so Damn Sexy

While trying to maintain a contented life amid the milieu of our consumerist, capitalist end-days, sometimes, you just stumble upon something really bewildering. Face primer. I have now met face primer, and it’s a real thing.   Does my face need priming? I did not know. I just did not know. Face primer made me… Continue reading Let’s Talk About Why You’re so Damn Sexy

Lolita, Madame Bovary, Roxana: Life Lessons from Beloved Books

This is mostly about Lolita, because it is my favourite novel. If you don't want to encounter spoilers or opinionated ramblings, I'd advise clicking away. (That can apply to any post you see here.) Novels are foxy and full of tricks: they wear guises, they steal tales and retell them, and they shape-shift shamelessly. You can… Continue reading Lolita, Madame Bovary, Roxana: Life Lessons from Beloved Books

The Ernest Hemingway Institute of Manliness

I poured the water glass a third full of cognac and drank it off. ‘That was very big,’ she said. ‘I know brandy is for heroes. But you shouldn’t exaggerate.’ - From A Farewell to Arms Was there ever a man as manly as Ernest Hemingway? When I’m feeling a little melancholy and addled, I… Continue reading The Ernest Hemingway Institute of Manliness