• Family

    Our Last

    The warm weight of her head against my rising and falling chest, her deep breathing in and out, her lead body as still as a starry night sky. My lips sticking against her hot, fine hair, her lashes beautifully trimming her dainty lids, her matchstick thumb resting against her cherry bottom lip. My precious two-year-old, exhausted, vulnerable, sleeping soundly on well-trodden ground, as once was the norm, probably for the very last time.

  • Family,  Friendship

    One Olive or Two

    The salty tang of olives would hang in the air, sun cream, sweat, salami and cheeses. Picnics with the girls. The sun hanging over our hot heads like a cot mobile. No one knew the time, no one cared. On the weekends, we were free. One positive pregnancy test later, everything changed. The weekends blurred into weekdays, the sun was too strong for a baby, and a watch ticked on my untanned wrist. Round the clock feeding. All the time. If I didn’t check the hour, the baby would remind me. And olives? Cabbage leaves were the new olives. One summer night later, everything changed. The baby burned as hot as the…

  • Childhood,  Friendship

    A Drop of Kindness

    I heard the shouting through my bedroom wall one night. It was a woman’s voice. She sounded like how my mum did when my older brother had done something stupid. I fell asleep to the sound of her slurring words. The next night, as I was drifting off, I heard a small, soft voice. It was a girl. She sounded like me. Her sad singing, like a lullaby, sent me off to sleep. Smash. Thud. Bang. I got used to the shouting and crying after a while. I thought we’d have decent neighbours when we moved like our last ones. It was all Dad’s fault. He didn’t lose his job.…