• Family

    The Ugliest Christmas Jumper

    It was the ugliest one I’d seen by far. Elf-green wool with HOHOHO in white bordering the arms and torso, and…I am not even kidding…tiny ball balls sewn onto the fabric in the shape of a Christmas tree. She had made it herself. Gran had made it especially for me. She didn’t hate me either. She liked me. She thought this would make the best present ever. I mean…there’s a Specsavers advert right there! But I loved Gran. I couldn’t have not worn it on Christmas Day. Except, I had also planned to meet Jon’s parents for the first time that afternoon. Yes, the first time ever. Ever. And of course, I wasn’t going to…

  • Family

    Stay Home, Stay Safe

    I only want to hold her. One squeeze. One kiss. She’s been in the hospital for so long. Her poor mother can barely hold a conversation over the phone. Exhaustion has snatched her up, and now her baby girl is being snatched up. If only the girl’s temperature would drop. If only her heart rate would slow down. If I could just step outside my front door and drive over to be with them, to give my daughter a break, to give my granddaughter hope. I only want to hold her. One squeeze. One kiss. And then I’d leave. Drive back home. Shelter inside with my puzzles and biscuit tin.…

  • Dreams,  Family

    Cities Apart

    My granddaughter, Gemma, turned twenty-three last week. She’s the new art director at an advertising firm. I think that’s right. She was twenty-one when she graduated with a First. A First. I only just scraped my English O-Level. Her parents would have been so proud of her. Mary, my wife, would have as well. It’s just Gemma and me now. It has been for a while. And then the idea of London came up, and she couldn’t resist moving there. The place that has it all. That’s what she told me. She didn’t want to leave me in Bath on my own. But how could I let her turn down…