The One where we cried into our pasta

Last night I celebrated five years of friendship with the dearest girl in the world (and I would die on this hill, after cheerfully rolling down it with her).  Emma and I met at an event for freshers just before our first year at Cambridge started. When we went out for crepes a few weeks…

The Unimaginable

During lockdown I’ve ordered a few things online with some catastrophic results. There was the fancy lamb mince which I bought to make my first moussaka and turned out to be lamb-flavoured dog treats. There was the day I decided it was finally time to get myself some more socks, and somehow 15 pairs of…

Corona and The Crown

How’s lockdown going in your house? I’ve returned to my parents’ and in the last week we’ve hunted down and eaten next year’s Christmas pudding, disinfected all our post to the point of disintegration and thrown so many tennis balls for the dogs that they’ve started giving us pitying looks. Our other favourite family activity…

Learning Limits

Recently I learnt a lesson in knowing my limits. As a child I used to do long distance running, and after a few years of being injured (from falling over in a game of laser tag, no less) I started running again. A few weeks ago I rocked up to Hampstead Heath to do a…

Into the Woulds

There’s always been something mighty mysterious about woods. They can be magical and inviting, dark or sinister. They’ve recurred in literature, music and art for hundreds of years. In fact, many of the stories I most loved as a child revolve around trees – the Enchanted Forest, the Hundred Acre Wood, snow-topped firs in Narnia,…

Beauty and Brokenness

The other day I decided to take a long bath. Hot bubbly water, a gentle flicker of a vanilla scented candle, a cup of tea and Jane Austen: ‘Behold’, I said to myself in triumph. ‘I am enveloped in perfect bubbles. My soul is soothed.’ Letting my guard down, I then cheerfully leaned backwards into…

Becoming Home

In more ways than one, the football often tends to go over my head. After the disappointment of my Fantasy League Team last year, who failed to perform despite the painstaking care I poured into designing their beautiful purple kit and choosing players with promising names like ‘Sterling’ and ‘Success’, I haven’t followed very closely….

REAL, Roads and Ryan Gosling

‘”What” and “If” are two words as non-threatening as words can be. But put them together side-by-side and they have the power to haunt you for the rest of your life.’ ( – Sophie, ‘Letters to Juliet’) Have you ever wondered how something might have been different? The ‘What If?’ is a powerful question. It’s…

Star of Wonder

To liven up my dissertation reading, this week I’ve been listening to the ‘Star Wars’ soundtrack whilst wearing my billowy university gown and munching on galaxy (far, far away) minstrels. I’m not sure if it’s made me any more efficient, but I like to think I could now take down the Sith as quickly as…

Moving Swiftly On

Do you ever think back to a younger version of yourself and wince? My past is made up of enough regrettable fringes, public trip-ups and disastrous remarks (confusing the Greek character Sisyphus with syphilis etc.) to last a lifetime. But occasionally there’s something rather lovely about being able to reflect on the person that you…

Islands, iPhones and ‘I’

Have you ever thought about how you’d do on a reality TV show? I didn’t catch more than 2 minutes of ITV’s recent ‘Love Island’, but after hearing my friends’ summaries I suspect it may not play to my strengths… (especially given that my TV appearances are thus far limited to the 2012 Songs of Praise…

When Things Fall Apart

CW: discusses grief + suicide My dissertation (/disastertation) had a paragraph all about the exclamation, ‘O’. I had a long ponder on just what it gets across, and came to the conclusion that it’s a word which is both full and empty of meaning. That idea is almost reflected in the shape of the letter…