Washday

I remember the massive washing pot sizzling on the stove, steaming soap and shiny bubbles, the dolly, the washboard in the sink. Barely room for two in her tiny scullery, I gripped her apron tightly, behind the comfortable safety of her body, away from the flames flickering from washday spits. Afterwards, on the carmine step, […]

Scarf Magic

My grandmother never went out without a headscarf. She had plenty of them, all neatly folded on a shelf in a low cupboard, within easy reach of a child. In other words me. The scarves were mostly chiffon and in rainbow colours. They demanded to be unfolded and swirled in the air like fairy wings. […]

Necklace of Lights

An old-fashioned red London bus takes me back to childhood’s sleepy night-ride home from my grandparents house: sitting between Mum and Dad, bare legs on fuzzy seats, folding concertinas of paper tickets, hypnotised by the perfume of exhaust, rumble of engine, and the window’s black and empty gaze. I believed the stars – obscured by […]