Short Story: The Five-Metre Marathon

I need a cup of tea more than I’ve needed anything in my whole life.

My husband Roger likes to berate me, saying I exaggerate every single time I open my mouth. That’s his little attempt at humour. The emergency beeper hangs from my neck and I hold it loosely between finger and thumb, willing my grip to tighten – by mistake, of course. I imagine the look on my carer’s face if she were to be called back so soon – I forget this one’s name. It’ll come to me.

Sandra, she would say, a hankering for a cup of tea does not constitute an emergency, sorry. And then Roger would give me a stronger shove towards the appropriate action. You’ll just have to take the long journey to the kitchen by yourself, he would say, while you’ve still got legs and half a brain.

Very well, I shall.

This will teach me not to Continue reading

Writing Update

22.2.20 Saturday

I have many writing projects on the go. There are several exciting things to prepare for over the next couple of months. Watch this space.

I’m in an awkward phase where there’s loads to do but many of the tasks are equally important…and none of the deadlines are imminent. It’s all going to catch up with me at around the same time! I need be productive now. As Mum says when my head’s spinning in a million directions, ‘Do something.’

Sometimes I’m creatively paralysed and do nothing at all, except the ‘necessary’, such as earning money, showering occasionally and, you know, washing dishes and stuff.

It’s harder when deadlines are Continue reading

Short Story: Why I Killed Ian Rankin

We wait with bated breath. Great, I can’t even get through the first sentence without a cliché. Cut! Bated breath…annoying expression really. I’m not even sure it’s the right one. Google informs me that it means ‘to hold one’s breath due to suspense, trepidation or fear.’ Hmm, that sounds a bit negative for the excitement I’m feeling. And now I’ve committed the crime of going off on a tangent. Focus, Hannah!

Glasgow, May 22nd 2019, St George’s Tron Church. (There, I’ve rooted you in time and place. You’re welcome.) It’s my first writing award ceremony. Ian Rankin, the evening’s host, makes a Continue reading

Staring into Space

Monday 17.2.20

I’m tired today.

We all get busy and stressed – it’s difficult to avoid – but personally, I’m inclined to make myself even busier than I need to be. I sometimes forget that down-time is as important, if not more important, as ‘getting things done’. Without down-time, we can’t function properly. We end up in a spiral of fatigue and then…well…guilt from not ‘getting things done’.

I’m learning that it’s not a moral duty to Continue reading

Hannah’s Wild Side and the RibRide

Wednesday 15.1.20

I headed out for a crisp January walk with my friend Rach, intending to have a stroll under Menai Bridge and around Church Island while the sun still shone. As we passed RibRide, Rach (who works there) said, ‘I just want to check who’s working today.’

It was another friend of ours, Jo Quinney, who saw us before we were even through the door and said, ‘You’re going on a boat!’

I hadn’t seen Jo since last May and this is how she greeted me! I said, ‘Um, HELLO,’ quickly followed by, ‘Yeah, sure.’

A few minutes later, we were sporting ‘boiler suits’, thick gloves and goggles, and hanging on for dear life on Continue reading

Short Story: The Question About Sadness

‘Mummy, what’s the saddest story that’s ever happened to you?’

She gripped my hand so tightly that I could hardly feel my fingers. The harbour was quiet at that time of morning, tourists not yet crowding the quay and businesses only just starting to rise and stretch. Occasional banging of bins. Kitchens clattering. Men in orange jackets bent over the drains, blank-eyed and yawning.

‘Hmm, I’m not sure about that.’

‘Tell me.’ Continue reading

Why I Like Getting Older

On my recent 26th birthday, I commented, ‘I like getting older. It’s nice.’ One of my friends, Linda Panek, suggested I write a blog post about it. Her wish is my command.

It’s something I considered writing several years ago, because I get happier with each year that passes. It can be difficult to tell sometimes, as I’m an emotionally turbulent person, but it’s broadly speaking true! I’ve always felt older than I am and that creates a lot of confusion. It’s all very well saying ‘don’t wish your life away’, but honestly, it’s nice to grow into the age I feel.

In 2017, my mum Continue reading