I feel like Jason Bourne – I can’t recall daily life with my wife

“It’s like you’re Jason Bourne, only older and not so buff!” shrieks Jeannie as we sit comparing notes and news on our loss. She’s a friend, met through Way (Widowed & Young) whose partner died at a similar time to Helen and we’ve swapped stories in person and online for months. Her mocking response to my offloading on to her would seem disrespectful from anyone other than a fellow traveller. However, Jeannie’s back story is even harder than mine: her husband’s death was sudden and self-inflicted. So we laugh, comrades…

Read More

A letter to … My brother, whom I bullied when we were young

I was five when you were born. Looking at pictures from that time, I look so happy with you. I am holding you, bathing you, I am smiling, I look smitten. But I do not remember that feeling, as if the person in the pictures were somebody else. I was a daddy’s girl, but I was also the one to break in our parents. I used to call myself the family’s guinea pig, and you were the happy one, the joker, the one who reaped the rewards of all my…

Read More

Anna Jones’s recipe for homemade energy bars

I am something of a snacker. I marvel at people who stop at three meals a day. This past year, thanks to becoming a mother, I have had less time to cook than ever before, but it has been vital that I feed myself well. In the kitchen, this has put the spotlight on a handful of things that I had never given much thought to before: traybake dinners prepared during a baby nap, meals that can be cooked with one hand, and ready-to-go bites of energy that can perk…

Read More

What I’m really thinking: the form tutor

I have seen you almost every day of your teenage life. It is quite possible that I am the first face you see, or the first voice to say good morning to you. I hope this is not entirely true, but I know for some of you it is. Often I am greeted with smiles, or a silent nod. I constantly nag you about your punctuality, uniform and (lack of) equipment, not because I enjoy being a moany cow, but because I want you to be a better person. I…

Read More