A Crossing Bell

I rang the bell. I had been about to pass it, having heard it rung, mostly by children, almost constantly for the past two days. Something called me back, to approach it. Maybe it’s because no one else was around and I saw my chance. I rang it. It sounded louder than when other people…

Poem: Grey Timebends

I wore my glasses to see it better but there are sea mists today that occlude ocular aids.  Nature as boss, as it should be. We can barely see the great chimney – tallest man in any room – our changing estuary did not feel like putting on a show. The rest of the sky…

life & death & secrets & sharing

I managed to find a quiet spot, in the shade of a little bush that sounded like it was whispering. Leaves that flickered in vertical half-rotations like the royal wave. Lots of people had come to the cliffs to watch the chimney get blown into the ground. There was the polite general hubbub of strangers…

The Beach Boys Are In Us

I don’t want to alarm anyone but The Beach Boys are in us. Like, right now. All the time. Even if you hate them, you cannot fail to know them and know that their sound is Their Sound. No one sounds like The Beach Boys. Few – and growing fewer – of their fans were…

My Portobello Affair

I have a confession. I am totally cheating on the Thames Estuary with the North Sea. Right now. Today. It’s my day off and I needed to get out of the city to realign my noggin so me and the gals hopped on a bus down to Portobello and after 20 minutes of jiggling here…

Feck. Arse. A Girl’s Lament.

I had forgotten the promise I made about celery. It was only as I pulled my punky fishnets on for the first time and caught a glimpse of myself performing that graceless shimmy requisite for getting tights on that I remembered my play required me to get my arse out. Every day. For a month….

Home for the month, Home for The Madness

Well here I am. Again. Edinburgh. The place I come every August for just shy of a whole month, but an event around which the whole year seems to revolve. I’m back in the same flat we rented last year so it feels almost like the last twelve months haven’t happened and I’m still here,…

Do I dare disturb my universe?

Summer is a happy time. A time of expecting sunshine and then complaining about it when it comes. A time of pasty legs with a crabstick blush and angry gnatbites turning smooth skin into the surface of Mars. A time of walking out without a jacket not knowing and not caring what time you’ll get…

Latitude: The Comedown Column

Things you do at a festival that you don’t usually do: Waltz with a young man named Cecil in a forest after spending twenty minutes asking him how he spelled his name, convinced he’d got it wrong. Buy the contents of an entire big sized Tescos out of fear that as soon as you enter…

Cuckoo in a Cockatoo’s Nest

Theatres are funny places. They seem to absorb a little bit of everyone that spends time in them. No matter how many times I’m in a theatre, or how welcome they make me feel, I always feel a little like I don’t belong. Like there is a long list of people far more deserving who…

Wiping the Slate Clean

Imagine if you woke up one morning with the ability to wipe the slate clean. To start again. Would you do it? Are there things you would alter, or eradicate completely? Or would you only tidy up a few things rather than blot the lot? I suspect there are very few people who wouldn’t change…

Goodbye, Victoria Wood

There was something bad about the day from the moment of waking. One of those days that seems to jangle in the air like impatient keys, unsettling me, keeping me on my toes and on the look-out. Whenever I feel like a day is ready-marked for bad things I try to tell myself off for…