top of page
Image by Drew Beamer







Get a hobby, they said. Explore your creative side. Create something to take your mind off your loss.  Not that you’ve lost anything – a hasty backtrack. No, you’ve just moved into the next phase of your life’s journey.  Because life is a journey, they insisted.  One you make with different people along the way. People who walk with you for a while, maybe a long while, when your paths converge, then hightail it off into the far blue yonder when a different path opens up. A younger, fresher, less well-trodden path adorned with ardent foliage and springy saplings.  Not to mention the moist and verdant undergrowth.  


Well, bollocks to the road less traveled, she thought, as she jabbed a few more dots onto the fine, translucent paper. She would create something evergreen and weathered, craggy with experience but lush with life nonetheless. And anyone who looked at this painting, anyone with a soul at least, would know that here was a woman who had jammed her fucking hiking poles into the dry soil and refused to take another step on this journey of life until she got the recognition she was due for how far she’d come. And for how much it had cost her.


Back to the Spa



Her shoulder-length dark hair, streaked with multi-coloured highlights that mingled with the natural grey, was blowing in her face, so she flipped forwards, in a move she’d done a thousand times before, and gathered it in a tight knot on top of her head. Then she set off down the right-hand side of the Parade, deliberately retracing the steps she took every Saturday afternoon in her mid-teens, when she and her friends went looking for cute accessories and funky vintage clothes. Oh, and for boys of course: an even more important quest than shopping. She had gone to an all-girls’ high school in a neighbouring town and, as their hormones had gone into overdrive, she and most of her classmates had been desperate to try out their budding seduction skills on members of the opposite sex. Those with older brothers had their siblings’ friends to work with; such an unfair advantage, she thought. For Jude and her closest buddies, irregular discos at sports clubs, the occasional house party and those regular Saturday stomps had been the most productive activities to identify and target willing young males for flirting practice. The memories made her smile as she strode along, much more smartly than in the olden days, when meandering and semi-subtle scoping were the preferred strategies. 


It was on one of those expeditions that she’d first laid eyes on her biggest, most thrilling, and ultimately most heart-breaking crush, though she hadn’t spoken to him till much later. Stefan Flynn, known always by his last name, had been a gem of a boy that any straight girl with a pulse had wanted to get close to. He’d somehow managed to avoid every single awkward aspect of teenagerhood, though Jude was prepared to admit that her recollections might be rose-tinted. Still, she definitely remembered a strong, well-muscled body that moved with grace and precision, skin and hair that gleamed with health, and deeply-set blue-grey eyes with the power to see deep into a girl’s soul and pierce her heart. Mm, for someone who too often forgot where she’d left her car keys nowadays, Jude found she could picture his mouth with stunning clarity. It had been her favourite part of him - apart from his shoulders, or maybe his bum. Full, defined lips, usually smiling, or uttering some hilarious quip, framed by a strong jaw that generally had much more stubble on it than a boy that age should have been able to generate. Lots of testosterone, she thought. That must have been a big part of what drove them all into a frenzy over him. He was probably bald as a coot by now.

bottom of page