I’ve written articles for The Guardian, The Independent on Sunday and The Telegraph among others. Here is a selection.


My love for my family is etched on my back

The Guardian – lifestyle, 17 January 2009

“You're looking rather pale," my sister noted helpfully, some time into my first tattoo. "I think you'd better breathe." This was useful advice, as I had been holding my breath for 10 minutes. Teeth clenched against the pain, I felt pretty odd as the artist applied my sister's design, drawn to celebrate our bond, and tattooed in the same spot on each of our shoulders. My little sister had rejected the opportunity to join in with some disdain. "I've never seen a tattoo I like," she declared. But surely that's the point. Brought to these shores from the South Pacific by 17th-century sailors, tattoos are highly personal pieces of body art that are often difficult to explain to dissenters (sorry, Mum), although since the days of my first tattoo, fashion and celebrity have made them increasingly common. Read full story



Mummy’s little darlings

The Independent – life, 29 November 1998

Friday morning, 7.45am. As the nation wakes, Denise claps scarlet- tipped fingers and squawks in an Essex kind of way while Johnny introduces this week's "Pushy Mum" for The Big Breakfast. The child grimaces ashen- faced through a wailing rendition of "Wannabe", while her pushy parent, quite rigid with pride, mouths the words and clasps be-ringed hands over a swelling maternal bosom. Johnny makes funny faces behind her back while Denise is caught off-guard cleaning her nails. The child has just had her minutes of fame, and she couldn't even stretch it to Warhol's prophesied 15. Read full story



Unhappy pills

The Independent – health, 25 january 2005

It's scary how quickly life can change. One summer's afternoon a few years ago, I idly answered my office phone. Flatly, succinctly, a voice told me that my father had just overdosed. He had tried to kill himself. Read full story



Home birth: a mother's tale

The telegraph – health, 22 May 2011

I'd never been asked to leave a shop before. An hour into labour with my first child I wandered into the local café. This, I thought smugly, is the beauty of home birth. Although I should say that, since real contractions hadn't yet started, smugness was undoubtedly premature. Read full story



‘The perfect family doesn’t exist’: how to be a stepmother

The Guardian – lifestyle, 20 August 2016

One morning on the reading carpet in infant school, around the time of the silver jubilee, I realised everyone was staring at me. I glanced down nervously. Had I done an accidental wee like Jane Cripps sometimes did? Read full story



Making love, not war

The guardian – news, 2 july 1999

Gone are the moody scowls, v-signs and downcast eyes. Instead Liam Gallagher and Patsy Kensit are all hugs and holding hands. Not so long ago, the couple split up and Kensit moved out. Now she's pregnant and judging from the smiles, it has brought joy. Simple maths suggests that after a four month separation she must have conceived the week they got back together. But Liam and Patsy beware - a baby conceived during a reconciliation may only add more strain to an already rocky relationship. Read full story

Granny’s in the glove box

the guardian – lifestyle, 8 november, 2008

Giving my friend Dominic a lift the other day, there was a moment of high drama as he prised open the overflowing glove compartment to find the A-Z. "Watch out!" my four-year-old shouted, "Great-Granny's in there!" Once Dominic had ascertained this wasn't just my son's idea of a bad joke, he quickly shut it again, looking faintly appalled. And it did suddenly sound rather peculiar, even to me, as I attempted to explain that, yes, my grandmother's ashes were riding up front with us, but sort of inadvertently - and mainly because I had begun to feel she brought me luck. Dominic shot out sharpish when we arrived at our destination as I mumbled something about finding a better resting place for her soon - although actually I still haven't moved her. I've got so used to my grandmother's presence that I can't imagine putting her anywhere else. Read full story