Listen and weep.


“Your smiles
Well they make my day
You don’t know it yet
But you’re everything

This little song – well
It’s for you
These lovely years
here with you

And you
You make me run
And you
You make me want to live”


Barry White and white dresses…



A rare (or lately not so rare) moment of boredom at work finds me sitting cross-legged in a big blue chair, scribbling this into a notepad. This sneaky attempt to appear extremely busy and important is foiled by the iPod which is quite obviously plugged into both ears, effectively drowning out the noise of the office around me. Subtlety is my forte, apparently.


So here I am. And like any self-respecting Ally McBeal fan, I’ve got Barry White crooning sexily in my ear. Honestly, it’s unfair that someone who can actually sound like sex could be so… ugly. Guess God was forced to make some sort of tradeoff, otherwise the poor man would’ve been dead by puberty from an overload of fawning females.


Baby oh baby, girl what am I gonna do?

Oh baby sweet baby, my baby, what am I gonna do with you?


I suppress a strong urge to run to our loo and manically perform a John Cage like Barry-inspired dance. I’ve done it before, mind, (after ensuring, of course, that I was alone) and it’s enormously therapeutic. There’s nothing quite like cracking yourself up. Our loo is the best place for it really – no where as classy as the unisex in the TV show but it’s got 3 mirrors each on opposite walls so you’ve got 6 mirrors to watch yourself being a dumbass in. It’s brilliant. Continue reading Barry White and white dresses…

All by herself


The baby coughed.


A little boy heard the noise and turned his head in surprise. It was early Wednesday morning – a Poya day – and the streets had seemed deserted when he’d slipped out of the house to have a secret run around before his mother called him in to help her around the house.


It was his fifth birthday today but it was noting to celebrate. The opposite in fact – his mother constantly bemoaned the fact that he was growing and needing more and more to eat. He tried to reassure her by refusing the extras she nevertheless tried to transfer from her own plate onto his. His stomach rumbled at sight of the morsels of food in her fingers but he still said no and was gratified by the tight smile of thanks on her face.


Still, it was his birthday. He thought he deserved a little extra play time. So he woke up early and crept past his parents’ sleeping figures on the floor near him, standing stock still when his mother shifted restlessly in her sleep, pulling his baby brother protectively closer to her. Relieved that she didn’t wake, he put on his shorts and ran out onto the open streets. Continue reading All by herself

La mer



The sea has always frightened me. Its strength, sheer magnitude, its many faces. Small waves could make me stumble while larger ones would wash over me gently. One moment the water would rage and storm despite clear skies; the next, it would look like a limpid pool, begging to hold you in its arms, promising to keep you safe while you float, staring at the clouds. I used to think of it as a huge half-sleeping animal, temperamental at best, threatening and beautiful at the same time.


When I was a child I never ventured far, preferring to paddle around in the shallows. I would try for hours to catch the foam in my cupped hands but be disappointed with a thin film of sand instead. Nevertheless I kept trying. Kids don’t disappoint easy. Besides, half the allure of the creamy white foam was that it could never belong to you. It just slipped through your fingers time and time again, and the lingering bubbles on your fingers beckoned you to try harder.


As I grew older I went further out but not by much. My toes would dig into the sand and the muscles in my thighs would flex, aching as I strode out against the current, deeper into the water. Still, something made me hang back, at a respectful distance, cautious of the ever rising waves. Continue reading La mer

Curtain call


Show’s over’ her mother whispers to her as the bright lights fade to black.


The little girl keeps staring ahead of her, unmoving and unblinking, although she can’t see through the darkness.


She can hear people shuffling their feet, gathering their children and their belongings, getting ready to get up and leave the way they came. Her mother is doing the same, putting her drink bottle back in the bag, folding empty paper plates and cups that she would throw on the way out.


The little girl can’t move, though. There is only darkness but her eyes are bright with memories of the fantastical lights and theatrics of the performance. It is like a movie reel, playing over and over in her head. She is transfixed. Enchanted. Overwhelmed. Continue reading Curtain call

Ms. Brightside


Strange how most of the material for my blog comes to me during my walks to and from work.


I love this walk – it’s the only part of my day that I have completely to myself. Even when I’m at home, locked in my room, I don’t feel that same comforting solitude. I’m too aware of what’s going on in the rest of the house, what I’ll have to do when I go downstairs, my phone keeps beeping, reminding me I have people to talk to…I’m never alone.


But when I’m out there, I plug into my iPod and go. Phone in bag and on vibrate so it doesn’t interrupt my song. It’s far too short, but the few minutes I spend each day on these walks are precious anyhow. There have been days I’ve smiled all the way to work. There have also been days I’ve cried all the way back home.


Today the nicest thing happened. Continue reading Ms. Brightside