Lessons about life from the terminally sick

Help. Help. Help… Kill me. Kill me. Kill me… the words repeat again and again and again, mingling with the medical beeps and clashing sound of televisions and radios blasting up and down the corridor.  I swore I’d never just walk past a room where someone was screaming, but after 3 months working in a…

The shoe box of not-letting-go.

My childhood room is full to bursting. Odd socks, long faded jeans and a thousand scraps of the past I can’t quite bear to throw away. Tacked to the mirror is a grainy polaroid of me and my sister, gappy toothed grins on Grandpa’s old boat. There is a scratch map of the world that…

Farm Nanny

You first stumbled across the farm 5 years ago, rosy fresh from high school and much younger than you thought you were. High in the mountains, the weather is brutal. In winter, storms throw branches against the caravan doors and from under a tumble of blankets your breath catches in the morning frost.  In summer,…

Looking out for Len

‘Len?’ I said, blowing gently on the teacup pressed against my chin, ‘shall I write an article about you?’ I’d been visiting him for a few months by then, blustering in a couple of times a week to boil the kettle and take the edge off of his lonely days. Len is 89. I started…

The Village

I’m home. After four years of dancing until 6am and walking home in sunshine, cramming for endless exams in the creaking, soft lit library and wrapping myself in a holey blanket to watch Planet Earth with a packet of biscuits in each hand and a bottle of wine on the table, I have returned to…

How to be more lucky!

Do you ever think you’re a bit of an unlucky charm? Always arriving at red lights, watching the bus pull away or dropping your iPhone on the way back from getting the screen fixed? Sometimes it seems we’re just darned unlucky, and I thought I could give you a few words of advice. First, I…

On self worth; am I good enough?

You are valuable. We don’t tell ourselves that often enough, and sometimes it hurts. We live in a society which convinces us that we aren’t enough. Not thin enough, pretty enough, clever enough, kind enough. Constant academic pressure, airbrushed bill boards and social media comparison will inevitably make our self-belief waver sometimes. But what really…