vendredi 23 août 2019

A nice time.

It's been a good week. I started it off in Andorra, where I went - via overnight train from Paris - for a long weekend. There was a lot of walking, eating, swimming and more walking. Andorra is weird, but I feel fondly towards it.

On Wednesday, when I was home, the announcement was made about my new book STAUNCH. It's a memoir, my first adult book and my first non-fiction. I am excited about it and also terrified. These days, I only want to put work out into the world if I think it serves a real purpose - and I truly believe this does. That is probably also why the prospect of it makes me feel like one big messy, bloody, beating heart. Ho hum. You can read this labour of love in March next year!

I happened to read this little definition of a long-term relationship in the comments of a random blog of all places, but I have been thinking about it ever since. I don't think I've ever heard real emotional intimacy with another human summed up so incredibly accurately. As much as anything, I'm putting it here because I really want to remember it.

The lovely, lovely comfort of someone to go home to completely be yourself with, immediately worrying about losing them, the boring moments (is this all there is), the really bad mad moments (is this it?), and back again to the romantic luckiness of wow wow I can’t believe I found you and you see me and I see you.

Last night, I found myself singing Joni Mitchell songs to myself in the bath. She sums up a lot of feelings so well; I am struck anew by it every time. Listen to the whole of Blue, then to Court and Spark but only up to and including Car on the Hill. That's my big advice to you.

It's about to be a long weekend and it's going to be sunny. I am hoping to hang out with nice friends, go for some walks, sleep a lot, do some cooking, wear dungarees and do some jobs in the (tiny, concrete) garden. I can't wait.

mercredi 21 août 2019


For ages now, I've had a secret. I've been one of those annoying writers with their 'I'm doing a cool thing but I'm not allowed to talk about it yet!' schtick.

Well, let's go back a few steps...

In January 2018 I went to India with my grandmother and two great-aunts. I came back feeling inspired. I met up with my agent at the beginning of February and said I had an idea.

'It's something... different,' I said.

'OMG, write this immediately,' she replied. 'Do it quickly. I want to read it, like, yesterday.'

So I sat at my kitchen table for approximately two months and I wrote a book. It was the easiest and the hardest and the scariest thing I have ever written.

Like all the best things, the words poured out of me with unstoppable force like some kind of weird magic. Then I read it back and wondered if I had actually gone mad, to have put all of this into words. Let alone to consider letting actual people read them.

During that period, I think I only went out once. For a friend's birthday; Sunday lunch in the pub, where I had a cup of tea and hurried home to write some more. That day I met an interesting person with glasses and tattoos and a nice air of kind cleverness.

I finished the book and edited it and then went on holiday to Switzerland with my new friend.

The day after we got back, I had a very nice breakfast at Dishoom with my agent and the publishers who would buy my book.

It's coming out in March 2020 and the nice interesting person and I now live in a house together. I've also given up smoking, cut off all my hair, got some new tattoos and travelled quite a lot. What a time it's been.

Oh, and the book is (of course) called STAUNCH. It's for adults. It's non-fiction. You can find out more about it here and here. I'm excited.

mardi 13 août 2019


I want to move house. I always want to move house. I want to live everywhere.

Then I start thinking about it properly, and the admin seems overwhelming. I like my bookshelves. I like my little postage-stamp sized garden, which these days has a very good variety of herbs.

Maybe I will, maybe I won't.

What I do need to do is make the most of wherever I am each day. Such a simple thing, but a really good one to keep in mind.

I try to walk the long way home from the station in the evening; it's prettier. I have been making a cake every week. I have been doing yoga nearly every day, even if it's just a short one. I've been walking more. I've been swimming in the sea at least once a week.

The other day I walked from south London to east London. I even took a picture of that classic Shoreditch High Street motto - 'Let's Adore And Endure Each Other' - on the way.

I go for a massage once a month now. Somewhat relatedly: I'm comparatively fucking LOADED since I gave up drinking (Day 65 today).

I went out with my lovely friend Holly on Friday night. I drank kombucha cocktails. We discussed how difficult mid-to-late thirties life can be. It's a glorious fucking horrible time. Then again, it made me feel much better when we talked at length about how happiness levels all even out in the end, no matter what we decide now and how it affects us in the future. And I think they really do.

I've signed up for an evening course. I've been writing just for fun. I've been reading a lot. I've been wearing outfits that make me feel very happy, all bought second-hand, which also makes me happy.

While I'm striving so hard to be this more evolved, calm, Zen, organised creature - this article by the goddess Taffy Brodesser-Akner made me laugh and laugh, and feel much better about my real, messy yet quite productive self.

While we're at it, isn't Jia Tolentino as wonderful and talented and smart as everyone says? The best thing is, once I would have been jealous, now I'm old enough just to be pleased she exists.