Slice of Life

  • Woman-about-town
    For the first time in five months, three weeks and two days, there’s somewhere I need to be. It’s written in the diary. Thursday 27th August — dentist, 9.30am. I start looking forward to it on Monday, planning what I’ll wear and where I’ll park and what I’ll take with me (mask, hand sanitiser, wipes).…
  • Down by the river
    ‘We need a day out.’ Mum phones to tell me. ‘We need to go out and eat something. All of us. We’ve not had a meal out since March.’ ‘Where do you want to go?’ ‘Somewhere outside. It has to be outside. I’m not doing the indoors anymore.’ I look out of the window. The…
  • It’s my birthday and I’ll cry if I want to
    ‘We need to do something for your birthday,’ Chris says, the day before I turn forty-one. ‘This time last year, we were in Crete,’ I say. ‘I know.’ ‘We had that meal looking out to sea, and that amazing chocolate pudding.’ ‘The grill pit,’ Chris says. ‘I ended up having to cook at the table.’…
  • The scales don’t lie
    It is nine o’clock on Saturday morning, 16 weeks and six days since lockdown began, when I finally stop procrastinating and step onto the scales. I stand as tall as I can, willing myself thinner. It takes a few seconds for the scales to give their verdict. In those few seconds, I hold my breath…
  • The Good Life
    ‘I’m worried about your sister,’ Mum tells me during one of our tea and cake chats in what was formerly the conservatory but is now known as the bubble. ‘Why?’ I say, taking a sip of my tea. ‘What’s wrong?’ ‘She’s not herself. She’s talking about getting some ducks.’ ‘Ducks? ‘Yes!’ ‘Real ones?’ ‘Yes. Living…