Make it kind – Mental Health Awareness Week

‪I haven’t written about my father, his suicide, grief, or mental health for a while now.‬

I felt I should just ‘stop’. Let him rest, let it be, & stop picking the scab. But grief never really goes. It just changes…

#mentalhealthawarenessweek

Oh, Southend…

Good morning Southend, Did you sleep well? I did. I woke up when you elbowed me in the head but it didn’t hurt. It’s fine. No, seriously, it’s fine. So, Happy Valentine’s Day, my love. Let’s just lie here for a bit before the days gets all bonkers. Hang on, you’ve got a bit of…

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…

Terribly New York

There’s something about travel that cannot help but make even the biggest moron think of all the science involved. How does the plane stay up? Where does all our wee go when we flush; do the birds get wet? Why is this bread so hard? And so on. There’s also something about being a visitor…

Love Sack, Baby

I’ve always been absolutely useless at saying goodbyes. Even the easy kind. Leaving friends at the pub will often be a fifteen minute hug-fest, then I’ll be halfway out the door when something in my heart will lurch. I’ll turn around with a false memory of having left a tissue strewn on the floor and…

Valentine’s: Shooting A Rhino In The Face

Just when I thought I was all grown-up and had accepted that Valentine’s Day is a mass-market scam, I fell into the huge boggy bit of my heart that I thought had near-dried up with the desiccation of age. Like when Dawn French falls into that unfeasibly deep puddle in the Vicar of Dibley –…

Love & Christmas: The Cath Kidston Trap

I’ve spent weeks laughing at people churning themselves into a frenzy over Christmas shopping. “Calm down dears, it’s only November”, I scoffed internally at the harried mums jabbing me in the bum with rolls of wrapping paper that have been cynically bolstering the tills like coiled harbingers of January’s pennilessness. There I’ve been – smugly…

Actors: Portrait of a Showmance

I don’t want to ruin anyone’s convenient perception of actors being self-absorbed needy coxcombs, but I feel I should tell you that some of them can actually be…the opposite of wank. I spent last week recording a BBC series called Walk On The Wild Side (comedy voiceovers to funny footage gleaned from the BBC’s wildlife…

The Angel’s Âme – A Story

A ‘story-script’ written on the theme of ‘Chancing Your Arm’ – performed at Flight of Fancy, part of London Storytelling Festival, Leicester Square Theatre, November 2012. It is not a truth widely known that Madame Clench’s Salon of the Flesh was the most visited attraction in the London of 1826. There was no Georgian equivalent…

Breast Man: Lesbian Wedding

When my friend Mandy asked me to be Breast Man at her wedding, I squealed. Then I stopped, confused. A new term. What does it mean, to be…’Breast Man’? I wouldn’t have to get them out would I? Hang on – DO I LOOK LIKE A DUDE WITH BOOBS STUCK ON?? What does it even…