Sarah Wardle


My fiancé has coined a word for Saturday recuperation which describes what much of the world does to allay its tension. From schoolchildren to the orthodox this is a time to reboot, rest, restore and relax, but none of these words quite suit in the way his term translates, acknowledging the week’s angst which the


When I didn’t recognise the number and saw the text with kisses, but no name — ‘Thinking of you: they’re playing Native New Yorker’, I racked my brain and was filled with shame. Was this the divorced father and one-night stand, or was this someone who had heard me sing in hospital when I was

Growing Up

This morning, as I commuted through Hendon Central, I remembered you telling me you saw that day’s newspaper there on a board, announcing the king had died, how life stalled for a moment. This evening I got the call I’d long dreaded, telling me you were dead. ‘We are not a grandchild,’ Thatcher might have

Goodwill to Men

Overheard in advent was this complaint of a bus driver to a passenger, ‘Don’t call me brother! We’re not of the same mother.   And as the 24 passed Trafalgar Square, there by the giant Christmas tree were the police arresting a freak for disturbing the peace.   Yards from Westminster Abbey were sleeping bags


The final way we’re held to account is the standing order we never chose. To whatever our lives might amount, our contracts state death will foreclose. Eventually our assets will diminish sans heart and eyes, brain and breath. There falls a repayment of the spirit, the sum we bequeath, pounds of flesh. When we are


On these long, fruitful days, the Rioja which captures the sun of other Julys, is relaxing us, as is the summer, into this unwinding and earthy wine, into sex on the hoof, on the sofa, the Persian rug on the sitting room floor, in the hall, the kitchen by the cooker, up against the fridge,

On Lambeth Bridge

I am halfway across a bridge and midway through my life, staring at the midday sun. How I love politics! I recall hearing debates over there in the Commons, and I know that democracy is about working days like this, taxpayers in trucks and buses, the business of pleasure boats, foreign policy of tourists and

The Passage

Here the homeless queue for motherly nuns to dish out meat and veg, for showers, clothes, central heating, company, conversation, medical attention, to use computers to apply for jobs, to borrow blankets against the cold, suits for interviews, an address for housing waiting lists: economic migrants, demobbed soldiers, the divorced, mad, alcoholic, unemployed, unlucky from


(for Aidan Williams) After a difficult week at work, when I was trying too hard on a short fuse, I suddenly knew that all the hurt would have a certain way of being released, Googled stables in the centre of town and telephoned, but not to book a ride, just to have five minutes with