Ironing, Princess Anne and holiday plans Ironing, Princess Anne and holiday plans

I’ve been busy with a recent flurry of pieces for the Telegraph, which are compiled here. At the moment life and lockdowns change so frequently, that reading something written in December can take on the air of a period piece. Two articles, for example, chart the journey from excitement at Christmas to disappointment at broken plans when London’s Tier 4 status was announced. Gosh even the thought of Tiers is now … Read the full entry

I am podcasting, here me talk

A while ago, I wrote and recorded a podcast for the Royal Literary Fund’s Vox called How I Write. There is, it turns out, something even more mortifying than re-reading things I’ve written and that’s listening to myself talking about it. Is there anyone who likes the sound of their own voice? I’m old enough to remember the horror we all felt in the nascent days of answerphones. Therefore I’ll … Read the full entry

A slew of articles (with one causing controversy at home) A slew of articles (with one causing controversy at home)

I’ve written a fair few articles for the Telegraph recently, including one about self-isolation that was composed in larkier times when this was a niche rather than a national (in)activity. They can all be found here, though behind a paywall and marked premium (which makes them sound like one of the more expensive supermarket ranges). One was inspired by the posters for the film Downhill. Again travelling on the underground and seeing … Read the full entry

Article which threw me back to the strange days with a newborn

I was commissioned to write a piece for the Telegraph which explored the world of what new parents ‘boast’ about, prompted by some fairly innocuous remarks from Meghan Markle. It threw me back to those early paranoid, doubting, tired and occasionally joyful months with a newborn and then with a toddler. How we were all trying to make sense of the chaos and change in our different ways. Some of … Read the full entry

The glory of teenage girls

A few years ago, when the truth about Jimmy Saville and the extent of the grooming scandals in Rotherham and elsewhere emerged, I realised that there is nobody so disregarded as a teenage girl. The testimonies of so many were dismissed by the police and others, especially those of poorer girls such as those at the Duncroft Approved School. To be a teenage girl is to be both visible and … Read the full entry

In praise of the Royal Literary Fund

I’m now embarking on my second year on the Royal Literary Fund Fellowship Scheme. Now there’s an appealing set of words – fund, literary and, given my queenly aspirations, royal. And its reality, being a published author lent out to an academic institution to help students struggling with writing, is just as good. My friend, the thriller writer Ali Knight, told me about the RLF having gained a place herself … Read the full entry

A departure from fiction A departure from fiction

Over the last year, fiction has only had a place by my bedside rather than on my desktop. I still read lots of it (unwittingly some of the time, fake news and all that), but the writing of it… not so much. Two very different projects have been absorbing my time, the first of which is a non-fiction book called Startup London for wonder-publishers Hoxton Mini Press. If you frequent … Read the full entry

How I turned into a World Book Day 'expert' How I turned into a World Book Day ‘expert’

Contrary to the slightly sceptical tone I’ve adopted in this piece for the Telegraph, I actually have a huge soft spot for World Book Day and the pressure it brings to create wondrous costumes for your primary-school aged children. I like forcing myself to find literary reasons for whatever we’ve dragged out of the dressing-up drawer and I’m in favour of anything that encourages, even tangentially, reading for children. That … Read the full entry

Telegraph – is your other half your best friend?

Apropos of Barack Obama’s appropriately lovely tribute to Michelle, the Telegraph canvassed writers as to whether their other halves were their best friends. I was one of them – read it here. I rather surprised myself by thinking, why yes he is. It sounds a bit yukky and possibly unromantic, but he is the first and last person I want to speak to. In part this is because my best friend … Read the full entry

My Weekend Wives blog tour My Weekend Wives blog tour

The last week of June 2016 and everyone’s a bit distracted and confused. I’m certainly not going to add to the forest of words written about national events this week (though maybe the time has come to take the Remain poster out of window). Amid all this, it’s the paperback publication of The Weekend Wives. This sounds confusing as a paperback came out earlier this year, but that was a bigger, more … Read the full entry

Aniston’s food baby: why I’d hate to be a celebrity

I found an old article that I wrote for the Hodder website when The A-List Family came out on seven reasons why I’d hate to be a celebrity. One of them was that you wouldn’t be able to have a big lunch without pap photos coming out with a big arrow pointing at your supposedly pregnant belly. It seemed pertinent at the moment as poor old global magnet of our sympathy, … Read the full entry