My Tucking Days

I’m about to move to Abu Dhabi because my husband, Charles, has landed a great new gig teaching creative non-fiction at NYUAD. I’m not worried about the move or the new job in particular. What has me up at night and utterly intimidated is that I’m going to have to decorate our new place…from scratch. […]

The Perils Of Being Married

I’m married, which, over the years, has had numerous baffling effects on me but none more so than what sort of person I am when I’m alone and what sort of person I am when my husband is around. Charles is often away on assignment, he writes for The New York Times Magazine among others, […]


Recently I went sort of nuts. It was all the usual stuff: high anxiety, the conviction that at any moment I’d go harrying down the street, naked, babbling to myself. I felt edgy and was very quick to temper, there’s a huge dent on the side of my car to prove that one. But I […]

I Am Annoying

Pretty much everything about me is annoying. For instance, I have allergies so inviting me to dinner can be a pain. The main core of what can kill me is fish, all fish including shellfish and nuts, all nuts.  I can always hear the annoyance in my host’s voice when I make that pre-dinner call […]


I recently found myself in Palm Springs. No, that’s not precisely true. I was in Rancho Mirage, a different place altogether. I’m assuming Palm Springs had an organic beginning, a spring that attracted a man, an Indian perhaps, who warmed himself in the thermal waters, that one man eventually led to another and soon there […]

Toss Me

My family’s country house is falling down. Literally. Unfortunately, it won’t come down in a ton of bricks. Rather, since it’s a two hundred and fifty year old log cabin it will, eventually, slide into oblivion. Right now, though, it looks like a Friday night drunk slumped on the curb, head to chest, hands folded […]

The IRS Wants Me To Do What?

Whenever I got caught being bad as a kid (which, boastfully, was far less than deeds committed) my father in his deep, sonorous voice would command me to “Present myself for punishment.” I don’t blame him for making this absurd request. After all, he’s from that weird generation steeped in corporal punishment, boarding school sadism […]

The Wait

Last Monday I spoke to my sister, Sophie, from the depths of her bed where she had been cowering beneath the sheets for three days, emerging only to drink herself into a stupor. “The wait is killing me,” she cried. “I just lie here listening for the postman. It’s the not knowing that’s the worst. […]

What did you call me!?

The other day a man who knows my husband well, but had only met me on a few occasions, greeted me with a cheery, “Hello Becky. Nice to see you again,” It’s amazing the man is still alive. I hate the name Becky. Even to write it fills me with an uncontrollable rage and a […]

I’m a copy…of everything.

I don’t have an original bone in my body. Actually, none of us do since our bones are constantly being re-absorbed and rebuilt in a process known in adults as remodelling. But that’s not what I am talking about. I am talking about how, at the ripe old age of fifty, pretty much everything I […]