Tag Archives: Autobiography

Worry – what’s the worst thing you can imagine?

The year I turned eleven, I joined all-girl choir that my music teacher ran. It was called The Julia Singers. We met once a week for rehearsals and, each term, put on a show. There’d be a tea party beforehand … Continue reading

Posted in Essay, Memoir | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 53 Comments

Try to get ahead too fast and you might end up with your trousers round your ankles

When I left drama school, I expected to become a successful actress immediately. I sent my headshot to directors and agents. Every time the phone rang, my heart convulsed, but usually it was my mother, wanting to know about my … Continue reading

Posted in Memoir | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 72 Comments

Between two people

There are five or six girls, sitting on a bench in Christchurch meadow with notebooks on their laps. On the lawns behind are larger groups of students, in the city for the summer. Backpacks lie flung on the grass. I … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Memoir | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Things that make us stand out

When John first sees Ruta Meilutyte swim, he thinks her breaststroke tidy enough for her to be one of the best swimmers in the world one day. She is a rangy, blond-haired twelve-year old, but there is something in the … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Memoir | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Swimming in lakes

The waitress must have been sitting on a small stool behind the counter because when I left my table to find the toilet, I only saw her head between polished yellow cups, a napkin dispenser, the small hand-painted bowl with … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Memoir | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

Not all those who wander are lost

‘Are you writing a novel?’ I turn to the table next to me where two young men are sitting – one in a grey suit, the other in a crumpled shirt, jacket slung over the back of his chair. It’s … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, History, Memoir | Tagged , , , , , , | 15 Comments