The Trowie Mound Murders*

“So, it won’t be as bad as last time,  will it, since the cancer wasn’t even in the skin on my left side?” I say.  Am at the hospital, talking to my radiologist about upcoming radiotherapy. He stares at me.  “On the contrary, we didn’t zap all the cancer in your skin on your right […]

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The Unpleasantness At The Bellona Club*

“That’s all healing up nicely,” says Jackie the plastic surgery nurse after she’s peeled off the steristrips.  Clipping the plastic stitches with her tweezers, she sticks pink micropore tape over my almost-healed scars. “That’s a relief,” Mum says, looking a bit less miserable for the first time in days. “Oh good,” I say, looking down […]

Poodle Springs*

“So, how are you?” The lovely young doctor says, pen poised over my notes.  He’s the same one who I saw last month: tall with blue eyes and brown hair. “Well my mood has dropped,” I say, “so I’ve put my antidepressant dose up.  So I need some more of those, if that’s OK please? […]

A Scanner Darkly*

It’s cool, calm and quiet in the waiting area for MRI scans.  Am the youngest person here by at least forty years, as usual.  The only sounds are the squeak of doors opening and closing; the patter of footprints and the thud of walking sticks up and down the corridor.  Listen carefully and there’s a […]

Deadly Heat*

Looking at my phone, I see that the time is 5.15am.  Have been awake since 4.04am. To attempt to return to sleep have: 1.  Put the fan on its highest setting. 2.  Am not even that hot anyway due to my new thinner duvet – 4.5 tog.  Thank you to my Aunty for this. 3. […]

Allergic To Death*

“So, that’s an eclectic collection of tablets that you’re taking,” the allergy doctor says, in a slow, kind voice.  We’re sitting in his high-ceilinged-book-lined consulting room.  There’s a clay bust of a unicorn on the windowsill.   Gazing at Harold Macmillan and The Cecils and Napoleon I say: “Yes, well I’m on carbamazepine and duloxetine […]

Devil In A Blue Dress*

Some nice things: 1.  Just had a lovely long cuddle with the fluffy monster.  My blue dress is now covered in orange fluff. 2.  Achieved scan. 3.  A floor-length rainbow-striped dress arrived in post.  It’s gorgeous. 4.  There is an artichoke waiting for me at the flat. 5.  Saw Lily today for the first time […]

Endless Night*

 The door creaks open in the silent darkness.  A huge fluffy monster squeezes through and pads across the floor.  He bends down, shoves his face into the bowl and crunch crunch crunches his way through some food. I’m sort-of awake.  As the loud crunching happens, I wake up a bit more.  Drenched in sweat, I […]

The Lion*

“So how was Thursday?” I ask Seb when he calls last night. “Well I handed in my Chemistry but it wasn’t good.  I’ve rather lost focus,” he says, sounding sad. I feel upset.  “Why?” I say. “Well, I’ve been drinking and thinking about other things,” he says.  “My exams start in two weeks.” He’s finally […]

The Yellow Wallpaper*

As we wait for Spin to start, I realise that the new studio wallpaper (photo attached) evokes that in the kitchen at my parental home.  It’s disconcerting.  It’s also Too Hot in here.  The air conditioning must be broken again.  Mustn’t grumble: this is my favourite Spin class – 11.15am on Saturday, and I haven’t […]