#atinylife Welcome

Today I have been thinking about … welcome.

Specifically, when I’m not welcoming. It’s a bit smug to be musing on ‘flinging wide the gates.’

Sometimes I don’t invite people, when I’m off to do something. When company would be nice.welcome









I’ll think about asking someone to our local pub for cake on a Thursday morning, or over to my house for a bit of music, or back to the pub for a glass of wine. But then, I think ‘oh, but he’s too busy,’ or ‘she is having a difficult time,’ or ‘they are struggling with other stuff, they don’t want me bugging them.’

But that’s not the right way to think about it. If people can’t come, they won’t. But the welcome, the invite, the circle should always be there. Otherwise, what kind of a friend are you?

#atinylife PoemReadingDare

When I was about eighteen

lots of people starting talking

about a book they had read.


‘It’s totally about you, Stella!’

They would say.

And I would be like

What? A total fuck up

like I am?


I can’t remember

where I got my first copy

or where I read it

or what I was doing at the time.


But I have read it so often

since then

that I know it all

off by heart.


Words and phrases

from the book

remain in my vocabulary


‘happiness is … the pursuit

of attainable goals.’


‘I am going to cancel

and spend the evening

eating doughnuts

in a cardigan

with egg on it.’




Sentences structured without all words.


One of my favourite reviews

of my own novel,

said it was like ‘a younger version

of Bridget Jones.’

Which was

v. good.




#atinylife America

Meeting Americans and wondering why the Scottish are renowned for being friendly.

Eating tacos with hot sauce for breakfast.

Dancing to James McMurtry singing ‘Red Dress.’

Being offered a seat on the veranda at John Floores Country Store because my husband ‘was wearing a cool T Shirt.’ Becoming lifelong friends with those people.

Grackles, Vultures, Red-tailed Hawk.

Drinking alcoholic milkshakes in a Diner where the waiters and waitresses get up on tables and sing.usa

Walking the Highline and bathing my feet in the water.

Meeting someone who is related to Emily Dickinson and immediately being invited to visit.

Actually, being invited to visit by almost every American who has ever befriended me on Twitter or Facebook.

The people I love, who choose to call it home.

And the autumn leaves of Massachusetts – which I have never seen in real life.




#atinylife Refugee

I am watching

the refugee video

on Facebook.


It’s a list of the things people took with them.

One nappy, the actor says.

One nappy.


And my son calls

from the living room


Is it






He is in the living roomfullsizerender-30

of my house.

I am in the kitchen

of my house,

watching the refugee video

on my computer

in my kitchen

of my house.


One nappy. Phone, sim card.

Wrap them in a plastic bag,

pay all you have,

get into a boat


with your children, and …


In my house,

in my kitchen,

my son is going out.

Later, he will come home.

Later, I will lock the door


of my house.


Fall asleep, in bed.

I’ll be warm. Home.


And I’ll vaguely remember

a video

I watched


on Facebook.

On my computer.