I am obsessed with the truth – writing it, speaking it, mine, yours – because I grew up in a house of lies. The walls were papered with them, the roof was tiled with them, we ate them, washed with them, snuggled under them as we slept at night and awoke with them as every fresh day dawned.

As an adult, as the truth smashed its way through, I was forced to rewrite my own story to include the darkest imaginable family secrets. I had to recast heroes as monsters and rebels as victims and reshuffle my whole perspective of a beautiful childhood sun that dazzled me so completely.

I have never experienced such agony, but after the pain comes strength and a new perspective on life … of discovering how to cope, knowing that the little things are no longer important, that if I can survive this and still smile and love and take pleasure in the small things, then I can truly survive anything.

Life is both terrible and wonderful – sometimes on the same day.

We all have a story to tell.

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Opera Glasses and a Packet of Frazzles: Visiting the Theatre in the Middle of a Pandemic

“We could get dressed up, move the sofa, put the light out, grab the opera glasses and Frazzles.” (Our snack cupboard was looking a bit bare.)
So we did. I in my long pinstripe jacket and bowtie, hair oiled back and moustache drawn on with eyeliner pencil. She in her flapper dress and boa. I have no idea where she found the peacock feather to stick in her hair, but it was a nice touch.

The Primal Act of Writing Longhand

Writing truthfully is an act of rebellion. Writing longhand is revelling in the experience. In the absence of cave walls on which to tell our stories, it is the rawest way to express the written word.