• Family

    Memory’s Perfume

    Salty sea air. As soon as the scent hits my nostrils, I’m jolted back to the days of high-pitched giggles, knotted sandy blonde hair, smooth skin like sun-kissed pebbles, drawn-out blush-evenings with whispering waves. Days with my daughter, just us, carefree. When she was young, when we were close. Where no troubles existed, where we never disagreed. Ice cream was a must for us both, even in January. A swim was a necessity, though not in January. Days with my daughter, just us, carefree. Now, she’s grown, with a daughter of her own. And I’m grown, with a daughter miles from her home. Days with my husband, just us, careworn.…

  • Family

    Something Bright

    ‘Mummy?’ Sophie asks, flinging our linked hands to and fro. ‘Yes?’ I answer mindlessly, strolling along the path hedged in by weather-beaten fences. Shouting pierces the atmosphere from a nearby house. ‘What is hope?’ she blurts out from under her purple bobble hat. She stares at the ground as she avoids the cracks. Where did that come from? Four-year-olds might not have the strength to throw a boomerang across a field, but they can swing a heavy-loaded question no problem. ‘Why do you ask, darling?’ Her wispy blonde hair flies in front of her wide blue eyes. ‘The man on the TV said hope when you was watching it. About…

  • Friendship

    Our School Walk

    Every morning on my way to school, I walked past the same girl. Her mummy was never with her. We never said hello. She looked the same age as me. Her eyes were stuck to the pavement like the Velcro straps on my school shoes. She had a black rucksack with holes in it, and it was never zipped up properly. Once, a pencil fell out, and my mummy picked it up to give to her. She didn’t say thank you. She looked so sad, I wondered if she had a mummy at all. One morning, it rained so hard that I thought the sky was trying to make popcorn…