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Speaking London’s Language Through a Poet’s Eyes

“Did she ask for directions to Nelson Mandela?” We are standing huddled in the doorway of the Southbank Centre, right beside a sizeable bronze statue of the famous South African revolutionary’s head. The fourth member of our poetic little group hasn’t managed to find us yet. Overhead, the springtime skies are inappropriately ominous: grey, clouded and […]

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Springtime Theatrics in Hospital

Springtime Theatrics in Hospital

My dad has spent his life working in the theatre. He’s acted, directed and stage managed; written plays, sketches and pantomimes; taught students, professionals and celebrities, and even met my mother onstage (she was his leading lady, once upon a time). A fortnight ago, my dad rode to hospital in an ambulance. His fibrosis lungs […]

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I Joined London’s #WomensMarch with a Hundred Thousand Others. What’s Next?

I Joined London’s #WomensMarch with a Hundred Thousand Others. What’s Next?

“We only predicted 18,000 people today…” Sandi Toksvig’s voice echoes through the cardboard placards which fill Trafalgar Square. Faces are turned towards the sun; banners flutter below Nelson’s column, flanked by roaring bronze lions made 150 years ago. If I squint, I can see Big Ben in the distance. We are in the midst of London’s […]

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Love, Loss and Jewellery, Eight Years On

My mum once pierced her ears with a needle and an ice cube. Well, not exactly. Mum was eighteen, travelling in the US, and it was her American friends who happily volunteered to do the piercing for her; Mum’s friend Lainey who slightly misjudged the needle’s point in Mum’s right earlobe and made the hole a few […]

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Sea of Hull: Why I Got Naked & Blue with Three Thousand People

At 4am in an English park, a man with a megaphone told me to strip. Thankfully, I wasn’t the only person he was talking to. The crowds of people around me had all been waiting a few hours for this command, and none of us hesitated to obey. As clothes began to fly and the bare […]

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Being Naked and Being Human

It started in Oslo, on a muggy summer Sunday with a hint of rain in the air. After two weeks on board an expedition ship I was relishing the chance to be walking around outside, with an entire day at my disposal to explore a city I didn’t yet know. Oslo has a fantastic amount of […]

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My Quiet London Love Affair

“Shall we walk home through the city?” Beverley and I had been out for lunch on a sunny Sunday in London’s Southbank, treating ourselves to burgers and beers beside a window that curious tourists kept peering into. After wiping up the last of the ketchup with our remaining sweet potato fries we headed outside to […]

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Thoughts From the Window Seat

It’s finally springtime in London. Joggers and dog walkers are multiplying; people walk down the pavement with sunglasses and smiling faces. This morning I am sitting at a desk in the new house I recently moved to, with the green spines of my flatmate’s aloe vera plant snaking towards my laptop screen. I am writing – more […]

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A Burst of Birds in the British Countryside

“Ooh, look! A partridge!” “… A pheasant, you mean?” Gill looked at me quizzically from the driver’s seat. On the grassy kerb beside my window, the long-tail-feathered bird twitched his bright red head once, twice, and hopped ungainly into the bushes to disappear from view. “You really are a city girl, aren’t you!” She said, […]

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Clearing My Head in the Winds of Whitstable

“Are there any good pubs in Whitstable?” The train conductor mutters something indecipherable as he hands a ticket back to the man asking questions. I’ve spent the last half hour trying my best to ignore the loud conversation of this questioner and his girlfriend from the safety of my seat a few rows back, but […]

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