Bakewell tart, anyone?

Bakewell tart, anyone?

‘Bakewell tarts,’ Dad says when I answer the phone. ‘What about them?’ ‘I’ve made some.’ ‘For us?’ ‘Yes. Can you pick them up? Before I eat them all.’ I promise I’ll be straight round and hang up. ‘Chris,’ I shout downstairs to where my husband is hard at work. ‘Stop...
Pumpkin

Pumpkin

My mum and sister are sitting at the kitchen table, knives in hand, frantically carving when I arrive.  ‘What’s happening?’ I ask. ‘I’m working from home,’ my sister, Sarah, says. ‘Pumpkins,’ Mum says, not looking up. I stand in the doorway, staring at the mess. There...
The show must go on

The show must go on

It’s Monday evening, almost seven o’clock, when I go upstairs to play my saxophone. On the TV downstairs, the prime minister is briefing the nation about rising coronavirus cases, local lockdowns, and the three-tier system. I step into my book room and close the door...
The rule of six

The rule of six

‘Do not get me anything with seventy written on it,’ Mum says. ‘I don’t want to be reminded.’ ‘It’s your birthday,’ I say. ‘I don’t want a fuss.’ ‘You do.’ ‘I don’t.’ I sigh. Whenever we mention anything about her forthcoming big birthday, the conversation always goes...
All insects great and small

All insects great and small

‘How’s the new house?’ my auntie asks when I meet her at the garden centre for a brew.  ‘It’s still standing,’ I say, thinking about the long snagging list that is getting longer by the day. ‘That’s what you get with new builds,’ she tells me. ‘One of my friends...