Fancy dress at Tom's party was optional, but all the children wore something wacky. First prize was for the circus ringmaster with a home made whip, big black curly moustache, top hat and black suit. Fortunately, the whip was made from wool, as Sam kept lashing out at the girls in their sequinned lace dresses and black slashed... Read more
She had made her bed and she now had to lie in it: that was what her mother had told her and what she now believed. So she was lying in it, like a good little girl – meek and mild, silent and compliant: behaviour that had got her to where she was now – unhappy, stuck, unravelling. Because old habits die hard, you see, and... Read more
She’d never thought of herself as pretty. She was far too awkward for that, too uncomfortable in her own skin, too shy and retiring. Her features, if they drew comment (which in itself was rare) were declared unusual and unsettling. It was generally agreed that her eyes were too hooded and their shade too light. Half blind, they... Read more
The spotlight travelled the circumference of the room in search of a victim, looking to curb its own discomfort by persuading the unwanted attention on to another. Beneath its bright glare the chosen individual trebled and froze, as if caught in headlights. Then, becoming aware of the line of eyes, the press of bodies –... Read more
"Travel light, but take everything with you. No cases full of cuddly toys. No toys, in fact."
These were the terse instructions from my mother as I prepared to pack the contents of my life into one tiny, child-size suitcase, a suitcase barely big enough to accommodate a change of clothes, let alone anything... Read more