Month: January 2017

Bright Spots | Week Four

I’ve been reading Astrid Lindgren’s war diaries on the tube this week. She talks about the importance of small and trivial joys, of new shoes and roast potatoes at Christmas, of the first day of spring and sunlight filtered through newborn green leaves. While we are not at war, these are strange times, troubling times, and I am going to take a leaf out of Astrid’s (wonderful) book and keep listing the domestic, everyday joys that make life good. Tomorrow, or the next day, there will be words about the protest I attended tonight, about what we might do to keep ourselves cheered, and empowered, but tonight, there is this. A Saturday at home with my sister and our senile cat, lazy and lovely. A Sunday at the stove – peeled, sliced apples simmering in a bath of brown sugar and cloves; mushroom and lentil gratin crisping up under the grill; aubergine and squash stew bubbling in the slow cooker (lunches ready for a busy week ahead); banana chocolate loaf proving in the warm oven. …

Poem For The Weekend #62

Good Bones Life is short, though I keep this from my children. Life is short, and I’ve shortened mine in a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways, a thousand deliciously ill-advised ways I’ll keep from my children. The world is at least fifty percent terrible, and that’s a conservative estimate, though I keep this from my children. For every bird there is a stone thrown at a bird. For every loved child, a child broken, bagged, sunk in a lake. Life is short and the world is at least half terrible, and for every kind stranger, there is one who would break you, though I keep this from my children. I am trying to sell them the world. Any decent realtor, walking you through a real shithole, chirps on about good bones: This place could be beautiful, right? You could make this place beautiful. – Maggie Smith

Women’s March, London | 21.01.2017

After a week of feeling down in the dumps about the state of things, I’ve spent most of the weekend sobbing happy tears over the photographs pouring in from women’s marches around the world. 100,000 of us marched in London and I don’t think I ever loved this city more. Children, dogs, babies, men and women and everyone in between, of all colours and creeds, came together to fight for what we believe in. What amazing signals we can send when we come together; what comfort there is in knowing that, despite the constant stream of bad news, despite the ogre in that big white house, despite the right-wing vice our country is currently gripped in, we are not alone. An incredibly emboldening, joyful, cheering movement to be part of. Here’s to the next one!

feminist poster by Lauren Albee

Why I March

I march for the forgotten, for the great women behind all the great men, for the women who have died alone or uncommemorated. I march for all of the women who have raised children on their own. I march for all the little girls and young women coming of age in the era of Donald Trump, who believe they can never be President, or fly to the moon, or write books as well as men can, or save lives, or do whatever it is they aspire to. I march for the women abused by their partners and I march for the two women murdered every week in this country by the person closest to them. I’m marching for my future sons and daughters. I march because I want them to know that fighting for what’s right is worth it; that their mother couldn’t sleep for worry about the future; that their mother couldn’t sleep without knowing she’d tried, in some small significant way, to make things right. I march for anyone who’s ever looked in the mirror and wished they were …

Bright Spots | Week One (And Two!)

These fading roses. (Truth be told, I’ve felt not too dissimilar — wrinkled, cold, a tad worn out trudging through these dark, dark days.) Reading by candlelight once the sun sets. (And trying not to fall asleep and burn the house down.) Tea in the morning. A Sunday morning of happy chores. I made this beeswax and almond oil wood butter to lick our chopping boards into shape. (It looks so delicious I had to stop myself from eating it…) Veggie stock simmering on the stove. (Save your ends and bulbs, save money, save the planet!) This book. I’m done. I want to start all over again with My Brilliant Friend. I feel like I’ve lost something, a friend, a place, I can’t believe they’re over. (Best novel I’ve ever read? Quite possibly.)  Frosty mornings and the scattering of snow London received this week. (More, please!) How was your week? Anybody else in full-on hibernation mode?