Radio Music Magic – Paul Sasges

Turn it up, turn it up, little bit higher, radio Turn it up, that’s enough, so you know it’s got soul. ‘Caravan’, Van Morrison, 1970 The transistor radio came out between the vacuum tube in the fifties and the Walkman in the seventies. I spent many hours on our braided area rug prone upon my…

My Mother’s Quilt – Clare Reddaway

This is my mother’s quilt, but many other women have had a hand in it. It was started by my mother in the 1950s, and she made it for most of my life, in admittedly rather a desultory fashion. I remember her sitting on a freezing, pebbly beach in Suffolk, with the grey North Sea…

Tea for a Pandemic – Terry Kirts

1. My grandmother was a kitchen singer, an apron wearer who trilled the rs and drew out the tra-la-las in all the old songs while she kneaded bread dough or blanched tomatoes. Some days growing up, I spent more time in her windswept farmhouse outside of town than I did in my own home, my…

Mesoamerican Triptych – William Fleeson

Pérado I. Pérado stretched over its one paved road, the village elongated to avoid the mud of the side streets. Haitians called out Blan! – “White man!” – wanting attention or a cash handout or, failing the former, cash alone. I stopped for lunch at a roadside shack. They had rice and chicken and pikliz…

The Ache for Home – Sally Gander

The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we areand not be questioned. Maya Angelou The box room where I was staying was dark, always dark. The window let in only a sliver of light and the lamp cast a weak pool of yellow over dark-painted…

Lord of the Ocean – Aneeta Sundararaj

“China is going to take over our world,” my friend declared. Unlikely to happen! I didn’t say the words aloud, though, for this man’s convictions were delivered with such ferocity that any meaningful debate was impossible. Rumour had it that he believed that every country was doomed to inevitable failure unless it bowed down to…

Back Home in Old Kentucky – Bailey Vandiver

Kentucky governor Happy Chandler once said Kentuckians are always either coming home or thinking about coming home. On the day that tornadoes devastated my home state, I was longing to be home. It was December 11, 2021, and I woke up in a New York City hotel room to the news that tornadoes had ripped…

When Will My Sense of Linear Time Come Back From the War? – Nat Guest

Time’s gone weird, hasn’t it? Hasn’t time gone weird? I’m really struggling with it at the moment. I don’t know what day it is. I’m not sure whether it’s day. It’s 2023 next year. It’s still March 2020. It’s the dead zone between Christmas and New Year. It’s been Wednesday for months. I’ll be dead…

The Generation of Dogged Persistence – Marie McMullin

‘When All Looks Bleak, Keep Going, for What Else Is There?’ – The Generation of Dogged Persistence The setting: my kitchen in the early evening, lights filtering through the window and the door open onto the hallway. The atmosphere: cheerful but low-key, with a smidgen of excitement at the prospect of letting (reasonably) loose. The…