On learning to drive

I didn’t drive for more than ten years after passing my test. Driving combined all of my fears. It was public – you cannot drive without encountering others. It involved judgment – everybody thinks they are a great driver, so everybody feels free to beep and gesticulate if they think you’re getting it wrong. And […]

Santa’s Surveillance is Legally Shonky

“He behaves so much better at this time of year”, confided the friendly mum at toddler group. “Every time he’s disobedient, I tell him Santa is watching, and he stops it straightaway”. I nodded, but her story made me sad. When I was a child, Santa was a twinkly-eyed superhero, a bearded wonder who sped […]


Slow. I am slow these days. Slow like a tortoise, slow like an old lady in tartan tweed, trailing a shopping trolley behind her. Slow not like a tourist, dawdling happily to take everything in, but like an ancient dog, painful limbs dragging, tail drooping down, constantly seeking a place to rest. Thirty-two weeks pregnant […]