Dirty Harry*

Wake up drenched with sweat but freezing.   “Is that sweat or wee in your bed,” Mum says, at 6.45am or so, when we get up in time for 8.15am Spin. “Sweat, this time,” I say, pulling on my padded-bottomed cycling shorts, fluoro gym top, Mum’s white snow-boots, trousers, scarf, gloves and goat .  “So […]

Cold Killing*

“Seventeen degrees,” Dad says, looking at the temperature gauge in the car when he picks me up from the station at lunchtime today.  “It’s a warm day.  It’s much colder than that in our house.  And we’ve got a new leak in the roof.” “Whereabouts is the leak?” I say. “It’s in a new place,” […]

The Silence Of The Rain*

Seb has left, taking the sunshine with him. Now the sky is grey, with heavy rain. At the bus stop this morning, all the other girls were wearing tights and boots already. Am resisting winter clothes for as long as possible. Due to the hot flushes, I break out in sweat often. So, even as […]

A Running Duck*

The flat phone rings.  “Hello?” I say. “Hello my lovely,” Seb says. My heart lifts as I hear his voice.  “My darling,” I say.  “How are things?”  Carrying the phone back to my bedroom, I crawl into bed. “Not too bad,” he says.  “Although we’ve just had a class on graphs and spreadsheets and I’m […]

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? […]

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 […]

Murder By Injection*

“How are you my love?”  Seb’s message comes through yesterday whilst we’re sitting on the plane, on the tarmac, with no prospect of taking off.  “You still on holiday?  Hope you’re enjoying yourself.” Medal for correct spelling of ‘you’re’.  Good boy. “Sorry I’ve not made much contact, been rather lost in work,” he continues.  “Still […]

The Cat Who Wasn’t There*

On bike at gym.  It’s 3.25pm and I’m gazing out of the window at the blue sky.  Am sweating and uncomfortably warm, from the Zolodex.  It causes hot flushes apparently.     “It’s the Nocebo Effect,” MadFatRunner says when I call her to grumble about being hot in the night.     “The what?” I […]