The Portrait Of A Lady*

A Ginuary triumph: The Portrait of A Pink Lady:   He looks even better in a photo with this person, my new Triceratops Chanukiah:   You can see them together in the attached photo. Am sitting in the bath, removing my pink micropore from my scars. Seeing an infected corner, with a stitch still in there, […]

The Shanghai Gesture*

One characteristic of manic depressives is a tendency to become obsessed with people, subjects or things.  Have learned about a variety of subjects because of my disorder: from Robbie Williams to Akitas and from Michael Ballack to the Icelandic horse.  These obsessions can become expensive, and tend to last for the duration of a hypomanic […]

Dragonfly*

“How was it darling?” I text Seb at 2.34pm.  The exam started at midday so must be finished by now, I think. “Not too bad, not sure really,” he replies.  “Should pass.  How are you my lovely?” “Am OK,” I say. The phone rings.  It’s Seb. “Hello my darling,” I say. “Hello my lovely,” he […]

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 […]

Sleepy Hollow*

“Hmmmm it’s a shame,” the doctor says, frowning, as he looks at my new mastectomy scar.  “It’s healed up well, apart from those corners.” The ends of the scar are red, raised and oozing pus. “So, I know it’s not terrible,” I say. “But I don’t see the plastic surgeon and the nurses till  Wednesday, […]

High Fidelity*

“Do you know what this is, my lovely?” Seb says, gesturing at the television. “Ummmm,” I say.  There’s Vanessa Redgrave and Emma Thompson clad in Edwardian gear: long skirts, velvet hats, high-necked blouses.  It’s a period film but am not sure what. “It’s Howards End,” Seb says, sounding cheerful.  “This is the film that made […]

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 […]

The Painted Veil*

China 1925.   Toby Jones, Naomi Watts and Edward Norton are in a remote Chinese mountain town in the midst of a cholera epidemic.  They have opium, bamboo forests and possibly pandas, although haven’t seen one yet.  They are carried everywhere in litters on the shoulders of local people, which seems an excellent way to […]

Bad Blood*

“Hi, I’m Tanya,” I say, arriving at the new Spin studio at the farm.  “I booked this morning and…” “Hello,” the instructor says, an Italian inflection in his voice.  He’s  short, looks in his late forties and has a moustache.  Clad in tight cycling gear – he looks the part. “Oooohhhh want!” I say, my […]

The Hound Of The Baskervilles*

“Am setting off now,” Seb’s message comes through at 3.11pm today.  “Are you up to a Restaurant?” “Think so!”  I say.  “You?”  Have just this minute arrived home from the hospital and am settling under my furry blanket.   “I am,” Seb replies.  “Only if you’re up to it though.  See what your parents think.” […]