How do you solve a problem like support crew?

Maria and me

I’m an optimistic little mite, so full of hope there’s almost no room left for cake. Wait, I said almost; I’m sure I can squeeze in another doughnut. But even this cheerful fool couldn’t bring herself to expect a positive response, when she put out a call for a brave kayaker to leave behind their life for 6 months and … Read More

Staying afloat


Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink. I’m pretty sure Coleridge hadn’t The Big, Mad Swim in mind when penning his epic poem, but I reckon I’m starting to feel a fraction of the Ancient Mariner’s pain. Fine, I still haven’t quite left the comfort of carpet underfoot just yet, but even planning for a challenge so at odds … Read More



My sister is a mermaid. Really, it’s the only explanation. On land, her clumsiness is surpassed only by that of her younger sibling; if I miss a solitary coffee mug, sitting innocently in the middle of the room, she’ll kick it over the carpet in my stead. But drop her in a pool, loch or puddle and (while she might … Read More

Different strokes


I’m terrified of water. I’m not just aquaphobic, I’m also aquaphobic by proxy. I can’t watch – or even think of – other people struggling in water without breaking out in a sweat in which I could, ironically, drown. (Incidentally, I’m just as frightened of ironic drownings.) Whenever a soap starlet or Hollywood hero finds themselves in deeper water than … Read More