Friday, 12 December 2014

Situation vacant

Drs Clarke and Duca are soliciting applications for the following role:


Duties to include: 

Choosing and buying Christmas and other required gifts.
Writing and sending Christmas cards.
Organisation of social life.
General emotional care taking.
Shopping - groceries and clothes.

Plus....all the other stuff our mums used to do that we don't have time for.

Nb conjugal duties will be waived.

Pay: miserable.

We look forward to reading your application.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

The Evolution of Cooperation

Here is the text of my article which appears in The Philosophers' Magazine's latest issue, 'The Nature of Life'.

The front door is unfamiliar, just one more chunk of wood among the countless doors that I pass by unthinkingly every day. I hesitate, listen for sounds of life from within, but everything is quiet, and the door yields soundlessly to my touch. It takes a while to find a light switch, but once I do a warm glow illuminates the flat. I potter for a while before settling, perusing the book shelf, scanning the title of the novel by the bed, noting the dubstep on the cd rack, wondering if the fridge will yield milk, or beer, or only mould. ‘This lamp is nice,’ I think, ‘maybe it would suit my own house,’ before showering, lathering my skin with a stranger’s scent, and then climbing into her bed to go to sleep.

Monday, 1 December 2014

On motherhood and viciousness

Mother: serene archetype of blissed-out altruism, right? Selfless, nurturing, loving, she is the graceful heroine of catholic theology, she is the earth, she is nature, the great universal, connecting us all up into one great loved-up family. Right?

I wonder how many fathers, how many mother’s mothers and most of all, how many mothers-in-law would (truthfully) corroborate this picture?  See the thing is, and here I'm going to say the unsayable as only a signed-up member of the said-about can, new mothers aren't in fact very nice at all. We are, at least some of the time, grumpy, irrational, self-important tinder-boxes. In our worst moments, we are paranoid, resentful, hateful, defensive, vicious bitches. Especially to each other, although I'd wager the poor old mothers-in-law come a close second. Any casual glance at mumsnet will confirm this for the uninitiated. Just try typing 'I don't want to breastfeed' into google to see how quickly the mummy trolls come out to play.

My thought for the day is, How come motherhood wields so much power to bring people together, but also to push them apart?