Tag Archives: Memoir

The magical act of returning

The sky is beginning to drop its heavy white. Clumps of fog tumble down from the mountaintops into the valley where the cottage is. I stand by the window with my dad. I’m not sure it’s a good idea to … Continue reading

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What we write about when we write

A sheet of A4 is pinned beside the bar. It hangs loose against the stone wall. There’s an image of a four or five year old in an orange sundress. I notice a plaster at the top of her arm. … Continue reading

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Maes Caradoc

For weeks I have been trying to explain to people how I came to be going to an isolated cottage in North Wales for a holiday. It was a friend of my dad’s who told me I had to go … Continue reading

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A place to write

Daphne du Maurier was five when she first discovered Cornwall. That summer, she had watched as the gardener caught a snake in the grass of her Hampstead home. He nailed it to a tree, standing back to watch it writhe. … Continue reading

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The story of a room

Don’t believe anything you see. This is what the curator says as I enter the Whistler Room at Mottisfont Abbey – a line he repeats as more people come and go. I can hear the pleasure in his voice as … Continue reading

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Does anyone else feel guilty when they see a police car?

When I was seven, I told my mother I wanted a willy. It looked so much easier for my brother. On family walks, having to squat down in the grass, I would often pee all over myself, or down the back … Continue reading

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Lost Belongings

Dan is on the station platform, holding a woman’s handbag. He stops and looks back in the carriage. What’s that? I ask. Someone’s left it, he says. Maybe they’re in the loo, I tell him. I don’t think so. I … Continue reading

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Moments that change us

Something happened last week, which made me refer back to the diary I kept when Dan and I were living in Denmark, WA. It was the end of February, 2011. Dan’s mum was staying. I wrote that I was going … Continue reading

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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

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