Hammers, Hard Hands and Black Wavy Hair


One day I was eight and Dad didn’t come home.

Mum told us he was working late, but his bed wasn’t slept in. They had separate beds by that time, Mum and Dad.

Walking home from school that next day, Mum told us Dad had been beaten up.  He hadn’t come home because he was in hospital. Continue reading “Hammers, Hard Hands and Black Wavy Hair”


Nothing Is Ever Simple With Family


“You never cook me a proper dinner.”

He was bullying her again.

“All the boys at work tell me they come home and their wife has dinner sitting on the table for them. I’m the only one who doesn’t have a dinner waiting when he gets home. What kind of a wife are you?”

“And do all those men stay out drinking in the pub all night? How am I supposed to cook a dinner when I never know what time you’ll be home?”

But he won the argument. When it was over she felt bruised, battered, guilty.

So the next day she decided to cook him a big roast dinner. Continue reading “Nothing Is Ever Simple With Family”

How (Not) To Quit Smoking


I knew how weakened my resolve to stay off cigarettes would be with a few beers in me, so I set myself a challenge in order to get through the night. I asked Marcus to tell everyone in the bar I’d quit smoking, and to make it a game for them to try to get me to smoke. If I was to fail, at least it would be a noble failure. As I walked into the smoky bar I felt I was literally putting my head between the jaws of a lion, daring myself to keep it there and hoping those jaws wouldn’t snap shut and gobble me  up. Would all my hard work be wasted?”
Click this sentence to see if I managed to quit for good.