Swimming With The Dead*

Swimming around the azure pool under a cloudless sky, I’m content.  This is one of my best things: swimming in an outdoor pool – the only sounds the thrum of the crickets and the chatter of the chaffinches.  Lizards dart across the outside walls of the house. As I swim around the pool, I pass […]

At Bertram’s Hotel*

In Abroad.  Staying in a charming little Art Deco hotel.  Could be in an Agatha Christie novel.  Manage not to get murdered in the night, which is good.   Am writing this in the hotel courtyard where there are olive trees.  “Look: they’ve got olives on them.  Put that in the blog,” Mum says. We […]

The Taming Of The Queen*

“Tanya, I’ve done a bad thing,” Mum says, looking distressed.  “I’m afraid it’s your fault.” I’ve just surfaced from a sleep in the car.  We’re on our way to Abroad. “What’s happened?” I say. “I’ve forgotten the Marmite,” Mum says.  “You were meant to remind me and…” “I can’t believe you’ve forgotten it,” I say. […]

Murder Mistaken*

“Hello,” I say, answering the flat phone last night at 6.30pm. “Hello my lovely,” Seb says.  “How are you?” “I’ve had an epic nap and now I’m packing,” I say, although haven’t started yet.  Haven’t even unpacked from earlier in the week.  “How are you my darling?” “I had to saw the sofa in half […]

The Devil You Know*

Waking up with a start, I realise that it’s five o’clock in the afternoon.  Seb will be here in a couple of hours – as long as he hasn’t missed his plane. Had a bath and shaved all my furry bits this morning.  The house is clean and tidy.  Washed hair yesterday so not doing […]

Death In The Clouds*

“It’s Seb,” my brother says, handing me the phone at nine thirty this morning. “Thank you,” I say to my brother. “Hello my darling,” I say to Seb. “Hello my love,” Seb says.  “I’m afraid you have an idiot for a boyfriend.  I’ve missed my flight.” “Oh no.  What happened?” I say.  Maybe he had […]

Storm Rising*

Last trip to the hotel gym, unless squeeze one more in after breakfast.  It’s deserted: just me on the bike.  The instructor is somewhere around.   Gazing out of the window at a sky filled with billowing grey clouds.  Doesn’t bode well for today’s weather.  There’s the concrete behemoth of the Hilton, framed by palm […]

Hippie Hollow: Murder On A Nude Beach*

Walking along the beach, kicking off my fit flops, feeling the sand between my toes.  Blue sky, cerulean sea, pale sand – golden retriever colour. Not the caramel of a working retriever, the pale yellow of a pet one, that is.  The colours of paradise.  A pair of small dogs bomb into the sea and […]

Kitty Hawk And The Curse of The Yukon Gold*

The joy of airports.  Airport is empty, apart from three flights all going to our destination.   “Two of the check in desks are broken so they’re opening another one,” brother says, when he returns from investigating what-seems-to-be-the-problem. “Don’t push in front of us,” says the man next to us, in a very rude voice. […]

Fat Bottomed Girls

Well – one of the girls is me and the other one is Dad, who isn’t a girl. Obviously. And my bottom itself isn’t fat, but am wearing the new internally-padded cycling shorts. It’s our first cycling ride for, oh, ages. Weeks. Since before the infection anyway, which spread to my right arm, making it […]