Lost Things

Red leather baby shoes

Baby shoes. Worn. Incredibly worn. Scuffed from trips and falls, stained from damp grass, and sand, and mud. Darker than they once were. Burnished. They are red leather, oxblood smart with two tiny velcro straps. Laces could wait. We bought them from the tiny shop down that little road – the posh shop with the … Read more


Marble slab

Like a marble slab, with grief comes weight. It’s a suffocating, crushing pressure that pushes you down from above, and pulls you from beneath. Staying alive takes focus and intense concentration. This breath, this step. Like a child we learn to live again. This is how we breathe, in, out, in, out. This is how … Read more

Band of Mothers: the true meaning of Mother’s Day

Louise and mum, family photo

When I was a child, I loved Mother’s Day.  More specifically, I loved Blue Peter and never more so than when the presenters uttered the magical words “Mums leave the room” before they unveiled this year’s craft creation.  I’m actually rubbish at crafts, so my Mum would feign delight at the latest wrapping paper, matchbox … Read more

Getting away with it

Fred and Arthur on fairground ride

There is a character in LA Confidential called Rolo Tomasi.  One of my favourite books, a nice counterbalance to Daphne Du Maurier, it’s a brutal crime story of police and political corruption, and a triumph of the broken and flawed over the venal.  It’s very much a tale for our age. Rolo Tomasi doesn’t exist. … Read more

Ode to earth

Fred's hands in the mud

You are the one I have trusted my boy to, the only one now who can take care of him, the one who has always taken care of him. From the moment he tried to eat out of the plant pot, in our tiny earthless city garden, he was always in search of you. We … Read more

Anything but cancer – would you know what to look for in your child?

fred at cragside

As a mother, I maintained a high level of alert for my children, ever watchful for signs of impending disaster.  With Fred there was an extra level of peril because, like a velociraptor, he was always testing the fences looking for weak points.  Like that time he got up early and made a den by … Read more