Life… at 37

Isn’t it funny how age creeps up on us? We spend so much of our time with our heads down just trying to get through our day-to-day work life, our social obligations, and the stress of being busy modern human beings, that we often don’t notice how quickly we’re ageing. But once in a while we have pause for thought and take stock of how we got here and what it means to be older.

I’m happy at 37 – well much happier than I was in my tumultuous twenties when I was constantly worrying about everything: whether or not I would be a successful writer, finding a meaningful career, working my way through a procession of unsuitable relationships. Then somehow we pass into our thirties and things start to settle down and suddenly these things don’t matter anymore. Continue reading “Life… at 37”

Where next for Madonna?

If the Sunday tabloids are to be believed, Madonna is in the midst of a full-blown meltdown that has been characterised by keeping audiences waiting for hours before she arrives on stage, swigging tequila during her concerts, calling her ex-husband a ‘son a bitch’, slurring her way through her sets, and latterly dressing up and performing as a clown. The general subtext of these headlines is the same one the tabloids have been spinning since the early nineties; that Madonna’s career is over and she’s in the last throws of her pop superstardom. Plus ça change, right? As one execrable article after another asks ‘At fifty-seven how long can the Material Girl keep going?’ Madonna fans the world over just roll their eyes and spur our girl on to defy the detractors who have maligned her career since the very start. Continue reading “Where next for Madonna?”

45 Years (2015) review

There are few writer-directors like Andrew Haigh who are willing to consistently explore the devastating side of relationships; whether it’s the casual liaison of two gay men who meet up and have only one weekend together in the acclaimed film Weekend (2011); the dilemma of having to pick between two men you genuinely love in the controversial television series Looking (2014); or the predicament served up in his latest film, 45 Years, in which a couple who are about to celebrate their eponymous anniversary discover something terrible that almost derails their marriage. Continue reading “45 Years (2015) review”

Why we write about ourselves

I recently read an interesting think piece by the author Edmund White about ‘life writing’ and the differences between autobiographical novels and memoirs (and even a third category of writing I’ve never heard of before, novelistic memoirs). White writes about how he uses his experiences in his novel writing – how he has transforms them into something that appeals to a broader audience – but how in his memoir writing he is morally bound to tell the truth. As he writes, “If I lose someone’s friendship because of that, so what?” Quite a hard line but perhaps not quite as hard as Czesław Miłosz, who once wrote: “Whenever a writer is born into a family, that family is destroyed.” Families beware! Continue reading “Why we write about ourselves”

A new adventure

2016 continues to be a year of exciting change and new challenges for me as I leave my job of three years to start a new one in February. It was very emotional to walk away as I loved working with my team and also really enjoyed my job but when you outgrow a role, I’ve always believed you should move on and not stick around growing bored and resentful. It doesn’t help the organisation and more importantly, it isn’t good for you. Continue reading “A new adventure”

Where did all the great gay TV characters go?

Speaking to MPs at a parliamentary event yesterday, Idris Elba addressed the lack of diversity in broadcasting – specifically the lack of ethnic diversity on TV – but he also asked the question, “Are gay people always stereotyped [on TV]?” Pink News, a once reputable online resource which now spends most of its time being offended and outraged, immediately posted a story with the headline “Idris Elba wants more gay characters on TV who aren’t ‘stereotypes’“. Not quite what he said but let’s run with Pink News’ slightly more ‘attention grabbing’ version. Continue reading “Where did all the great gay TV characters go?”

David Bowie: Goodbye to a genius

Waking up this morning to the news that David Bowie had died was a complete and utter shock. Having downloaded his new album just yesterday, Blackstar, which he released only three days ago, the news came as if from another planet and I just could not believe it was true. Despite the bleak subject matter of his new material (nothing new there, to be honest) it seemed as if the reclusive singer was in the throes of promoting his new album and seemed energised by this sudden creative surge late in his career which had also produced the surprise album, The Next Day, in 2013. He seemed to be on top of his game again and with Blackstar and The Next Day came the promise of accelerated creativity and future albums to enjoy.  Continue reading “David Bowie: Goodbye to a genius”

Why I agree with Nigella Lawson’s manifesto on healthy living

It’s not a secret that in our house, Nigella Lawson rules supreme when it comes to cooking and eating. We have all of her cookbooks (see guilty picture below) and she is often our go-to for recipes when we’re in the mood to make something tasty. Husband loves Nigella Express, as he enjoys simple ingredients with no-fuss preparation and a quick turnaround onto the table. I love Nigella Christmas, which is my bible during the festive season. I made her ginger glazed ham for Christmas lunch a couple of weeks ago! Continue reading “Why I agree with Nigella Lawson’s manifesto on healthy living”

Tom Daley and DLB: Is going public with your relationship such a good idea?

In an interview with Out Magazine published yesterday, gay couple Tom Daley and Dustin Lance Black gave a surprisingly revealing interview about how they met, their engagement, and their plans for the future. Surprising because up until now they have been extremely private about their relationship, despite regular postings on Instagram featuring the two lovebirds going about their day-to-day lives. Continue reading “Tom Daley and DLB: Is going public with your relationship such a good idea?”