Betty

Betty

A bright glow tugs Betty into consciousness and she feels her eyes open with slow reluctance. Her back aches and she realises she’s lying on a very uncomfortable and very solid surface. Still half asleep, she begins to notice a familiar smell: clinical, sterile, deathly. She breathes in and the air tastes like disinfectant. Am … Continue reading Betty

Airports

Airports

The intermittent roll and click of suitcase wheels across too-slick floor tiles. The occasional drone of “last call for passengers travelling to...” over crackly tannoys. The constant, congested coughs of inefficient air conditioning units. Welcome to the airport: where beer costs a fortune, basic human comforts are a luxury, and the very purpose of this … Continue reading Airports

Me, Myself, and Mental Health

Me, Myself, and Mental Health

I didn’t enjoy my late teens (I know, I know: who did?). Several unfortunate events happened, one after the other in quick and queasy succession, as they often do in life when we’re least expecting it. I — a kind of lost, kind of geeky, kind of insecure young woman with a block fringe that … Continue reading Me, Myself, and Mental Health

You Should Smile More

You Should Smile More

basilisk [bas-uh-lisk, baz-] In European bestiaries and legends, a basilisk (/ˈbæsɪlɪsk/ or /ˈbæzɪlɪsk/, from the Greek βασιλίσκος basilískos, "little king"; Latin regulus) is a legendary reptile reputed to be a serpent king: a hybrid of a rooster and a serpent, who can cause death with a single glance. 🐍   🐍  🐍  🐍  🐍 Just seconds … Continue reading You Should Smile More

My Uncle Malcolm

My uncle Malcolm is eighty-one years old. He lives in a nice house in a nice suburb of Toronto with a nice backyard and a nice dog and a nice wife. He’s from where I’m from, and — like me — he landed in Toronto in his early twenties. We have a lot of things … Continue reading My Uncle Malcolm

Brexit Means…

Brexit Means...

“Mum, ah want a Cheesestring.” “Eh, wit’s the magic word?” Chantelle barks at her daughter. Chloe looks at her mum with the kind of disdain only a hungry, petulant pre-teen can muster and says: “Please?” “Aye. Disnae matter anyway, we cannae afford cheese noo. Ye know that. We’ve no hud cheese in months.” “Why’d ye … Continue reading Brexit Means…

Accents

Accents

It’s a little after 9am. Thick orbs of morning sunlight are bouncing off the snow in the garden. I’m standing cracking eggs into a bowl and swirling lukewarm coffee around a mug as tinny hold music bleats at me from across the room. I’d half given up on getting through to anyone at the insurance … Continue reading Accents

A Woman’s History

A Woman's History

A woman’s history is an ever-growing tree of countless leaves and branches. Its interlacing roots snake and stretch through the tender soil of firsts: first loves, first hopes, first failures, first heartbreaks. We exchange accounts of these firsts and the seconds and thirds that follow with the women around us — mothers, sisters, friends, aunts, … Continue reading A Woman’s History

A Love Letter to the EU

A Love Letter to the EU

I still remember the morning it happened, when I found out we were separating. We’d been together for quite some time, and — like all long-term relationships — we’d seen some vertiginous highs and some tumultuous lows. But for the most part, we were solid, we were steady. “Strong and stable,” one might say. At … Continue reading A Love Letter to the EU

Tae a Dobber

My husband laughs at a story I’ve just told, then pauses and says in his Canadian accent: “Wait — what’s a ‘roaster’?” I think about it. What is a roaster? It’s one of those words that has been ingrained in my memory for so long that whatever formal definition it once had — "noun (singular): … Continue reading Tae a Dobber