My imaginary dinner party guest #3: Margaret Atwood

Previously on ‘My Imaginary Dinner Party’… Now there’s a table, a rapidly depleting selection of wines, a tepid pasta bake, a smattering of Pringle crumbs in a bowl, Leonard Cohen, Lana Del Rey, and me. Leonard’s ramped up the story-telling and Lana is sitting with one leg crossed elegantly over the other, hand-rolled cigarette in […]

My imaginary dinner party guest #2: Lana Del Rey

Previously on ‘My Imaginary Dinner Party’… There’s a table, a selection of wines, a crispy-on-top pasta bake, Leonard Cohen, and me. Leonard is relaying a long-winded but droll story about that time he made love to a beautiful archaeologist in Tel Aviv who inspired his unpublished poem Beauty in a Burka. I’ve got a weird […]

My imaginary dinner party guest #1: Leonard Cohen

It’s a classic silence-breaker question. If you could invite anyone in the world to a dinner party, alive or dead, who would it be and why? I have four guests at mine, and here’s the first. Oh and before you ask, we’re having pasta bake. Leonard Cohen This was the man who wrote the line: […]

It’s ‘spooky season’ and this is why we love horror

Humans love to be freaked out. We just love it. Does anything make us happier than a creepy long-haired girl crawling out of a well? I studied gothic fiction in my final year of university and it was the best few months of my entire education. We got to read all the classic horror stories […]

A trip to Oxford to see some extremely old hair grippies

The problem when I come to write in a public place – like here, in the restaurant on the rooftop of the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, is that as soon as I open my laptop to type, a large portion of the English language floats lazily out of my head, along with my impetus to […]

22 small joys in life

Sometimes on my drive to work in the mornings, I gaze out of the car window (usually the front one) at passing fields and wish I was a horse.  Horses spend a lot of time in the countryside eating. They’re occasionally ridden. They have nice hair.  But then the very fact that I am able […]

The magical experience of a cervical screening

It’s just like something out of a wonderful fairy tale. On her 25th birthday, every female in the United Kingdom is sent a special letter from the National Health Service inviting her to attend a beautiful, magical ball to dance the night away with a harem of really good looking strangers. Only joking. She’s invited […]

Falmouth, Jupiter and solitude

“Oh! You’re from Jupiter too.”I blinked at the hairy stranger. “Erm…am I?”“Yeah I can tell. I can just tell.”The hairy stranger pointed his finger across the pub table and, after a moment of hesitation, I touched the brandished finger briefly with the end of mine. I must have passed this test of Jupiter etiquette because […]

Have you ever fallen asleep to someone tapping on a plastic colander?

I have. I started writing a blog about ASMR one year ago. I didn’t finish it because the more I wrote about it, the weirder I felt, like those people on Channel 4 documentaries who fall in love with fairground rides and car exhausts, and you think – why are you on telly admitting to […]