Writer-Performer based in the North of England. A joyous, flawed mess.
Please read my stories and enjoy. And if you can, please leave a tip. Money raised will be used towards funding a one-woman story-telling, comedy show.
Men write about Women
He had a guitar in his room. He had a notebook and stray bits of paper on his bed. He had a button fly and his hair in quiff. All warning signs that he was a sensitive soul who wrote his own lyrics. The next day there was a stray piece of paper in tight handwriting pushed under her door; folded in two and labelled For You.
Why I am not over #PartyGate
For international readers – some context. #Partygate has been trending in the UK for months now, as drip by drip we are learning of the extent of how our government leaders partied their way through lockdown. They made laws which they broke. They made laws which we were told we needed to follow to keep ourselves and others safe. They broke those laws, whilst others were isolated, fined and well-organised, safe protests were heavily policed. They broke those laws by partying.
I didn't want to write this post
I didn’t want to write this post, because I have a story I want to write about a middle-aged woman who … blah, blah, blah. I’m not going to give away plot points here. I also want to write some new jokes for my stand up. And I don’t want to write any jokes about violence against women, whether it is verbal, physical or institutional.
Not That Bad
The first time I ran a focus group for survivors of domestic abuse, I remember one young woman, her baby in her arms, saying, “I’ve not had it that bad. Some of the women here have been really badly treated.” There was a pause. “I mean, I’ve been in hospital twice, but it’s not been that bad.”
The Portrait of Aphra Luscombe
In the maelstrom of assessment and diagnosis all Lois could find was loss. High functioning autism. Those words felt more pointed than expected and for Lois, they signalled her failure as a parent – the clues she had missed, how much she had misunderstood her own daughter, the torment she might have inadvertently caused her. Treasured memories were tortured by this new information. Aphra had spoken early. She had an enviable vocabulary. But Aphra had never been able to communicate what she was really feeling, her confusion, her fear at not doing the right thing, her panic at making a mistake, her need not to be laughed at. And now as a teenager she was beyond the usual sullen. She appeared almost unreachable.
For those of you who don’t know, Noel Clark was a respected actor, writer and producer in the UK film and television industry. However, some excellent, respectful and careful journalism has unearthed accusations by 20 women that show him to be a sleazy killer of dreams. The story was published in the Guardian on Thursday 29 April and already the narrative is turning towards whether his career will ever recover. His career. His career.
The day before she got her scar, Jane had been playing in the street with her little sister Lizzy. It was a residential road with large, unkempt, grey Victorian terraces looming up each side. The houses had been built as family homes, but many had recently been sectioned off into separate bedsits or had become student house-share rentals. The houses got noticeably tidier the further up the hill they were. It was cold enough to need coats, but not so cold that fingers hurt. They were playing catch, back and forth. The sisters smiled at passers-by, who for the most part were strangers. There was a hardness to this new city, that they were still negotiating.
Bellows and Wren
It was a stunning, book-lined office. Doctor Bellows had a grand view of the sea. He had been accused of living in an ivory tower, but it was more of a fortified castle. Sitting at his large antique desk, he could peer over his computer screen and through the triptych of deep-silled windows which made the landscape more dramatic. Hard work had staked his claim to this enviable refuge from the bickering of academic life. He had had original ideas, performed countless experiments all written up in high-impact journals to prove he deserved his leather bound desk chair and the brimming bookshelves.