Online dating: great, but actually a little bit rubbish

(I once read that one clear symptom of being British is that it is impossible to intone the word ‘great’ without sounding sarcastic. ‘Great’ is a word most naturally reserved for sarcastic occasion. Ever since, in cross-cultural exchanges, and due to this absolute truth, I have performed a small inward giggle and self-enquiry whenever I allow the word to flutter free from my voice, which isn’t often (but the word is usefully efficient and gleefully positive, so it does get out now and then in emails, etc.); and also, unlike most of the people who self-describe their category of humour on dating sites, I don’t think sarcasm is a particuarly inspiring humble-brag, so I usually err on the side of the gentle, far more British and authentic ‘quite good’ or ‘quite nice’. Therefore, please take my use of ‘great’ in the above title as evidence of my uncertain and unstable opinion on the subject of today’s pondering.) Continue reading


Meditations (also: Houses, Curtains and Boats)

elephantjournal article

Elephant Journal has just published an article of mine:

‘Where God Is: On Home, Travel & Displacement’.

It’s very personal and confessional, a bit silly and a bit serious, and gets to the root of my eternal cravings both to travel the world and to be at home. I could gaze at the beautiful photo they’ve used (above; credited in the article; heaven in sunlight and flaking paint; they even have a sunflower on the door) for ages. Continue reading

What time is it?

This is quite an exciting question to be asked, when one has a brand new watch with a radical time-telling layout.

For years I refused to wear a watch (far too oppressive) but I was given a beautiful watch for my 21st birthday, which I will always lament and sing eulogies for, having lost it a few years later (it had an unreliable clasp, even if it was otherwise perfection personified on a wrist, and once was delivered by the very concerned postlady, who’d found it on our driveway; little villages have the best postladies). It was white gold, had a mother of pearl face that shone like the moon at certain angles, and was so delicate and fine overall, with tiny seashell-esque links, it was like wearing a slither of pure, understated elegance.

It has taken me the best part of a decade to complete the sulking mourning process and find a replacement watch that I actually like. One could argue that I’m quite fussy about these things. To misquote Cher from Clueless as she likens choosing new shoes to choosing from her several male admirers, ‘You see how picky I am about my watch and it only goes on my wrist.’ Continue reading