My Great-Grandmother was a Victorian. When I was five in the 1950s, I went to see her with my Mum and my Nan.  We went to her house in Grove Green Road, London, E11. She had white hair pulled back in a tight bun, a long black skirt and button boots, a crisp white blouse … Continue reading Nan


‘Why do you always get blackcurrant jam?’ ‘Because it’s sweet but also sharp. I like a little bit of sour.’ ‘Well, try this jam.’ ‘OK. Ahhhh, strawberry. Tastes like a childhood love affair when there were fairies at the bottom of our garden. We grew them there. I forgot how much I like strawberry jam.’ … Continue reading Jam

Is that the wind?

Is that a train or the wind? It’s a wind full of crows flapping their wings over iron gates as black as their feathers. One swoops and I duck.  It just missed my head. Imagine a train full of crows, Suffocating with all those feathers. Something is coming in that wind. Something bigger than crows. … Continue reading Is that the wind?


In Venice Under the beautiful mask Is there a wonderful face? The skin of their necks looks delicious Youthful and covered in kisses Her fingers bejewelled with stars His thumb on her wrist is possessive. His cravat is ironed and starched. I can only see his dark eyes. The crowds, the music, the singing, The … Continue reading Masks

Christmas Eve

It’s Christmas Eve. I watch the families come and go, grandchildren in warm Santa hats and muffled in mittens, daughters and sons, each come to spend an hour in the company of grandmothers, mothers, grandfathers, fathers, uncles and aunts, to show that they care; sharing seasonal greetings, the news and some laughter before they retreat … Continue reading Christmas Eve

Clowning Around

So much shoved in this flaming bag. I could chuck half of this stuff away. This is what comes of leaving in such a hurry. Should never have got behind on the rent. Where’s my red nose? Shoved in the toe of my boots of course. Toe to nose. Nose to toe. Smelly. Thought I’d … Continue reading Clowning Around

The Carpet

I stepped down from the beaten-up old bus and was dazzled by the headlights as I collected my bag from the roof rack. All the words not understood, and the darkness after the light was overwhelming. My eyes were still adjusting. I heard a man’s voice, in French, offering a hotel. ‘I am English’, I … Continue reading The Carpet

Little Red

It was a tormenting time. Small children were taken. Far away from their homes. Herded like cattle. The men said for education. But that wasn’t true. They were made to unlearn. All these children were abused. Their culture stripped from them. Their ancestral language denied. The men called them vermin. Ignorant men, so cruel. Claiming … Continue reading Little Red

The Changeling

She never answers when I call but sits alone and mutters or goes amongst the old ash trees and whispers to the leaves. I can’t decipher all she says, the words are never plain, but the music of their pattern is always much the same. She plays with mud and twigs and lays them out … Continue reading The Changeling


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