Self-harm, heartache or toothache – which is worse?

Self-harm, heartache or toothache – which is worse?

I’ve just come back home from a minor operation, and the memory of the surgeon’s knife cutting through flesh, sinews and bones has set my brain neurons hurtling all asunder. Of course I didn’t feel any pain during the actual operation itself, thanks to the sweet liberation of anesthesia. But the very mention of the [...]

African Mr Darcy meets Jewish sex shop worker – love at first sight?

African Mr Darcy meets Jewish sex shop worker – love at first sight?

Extract from ONCE UPON A THOUSAND HILLS.  Tense interview between sex shop worker Naomi Lieberman and Rwandan Director of a London refugee centre.   I step inside the room, closing the door behind me. “Hello, I’m –” And suddenly, I stop. I’m lost for words. Even though only two words need follow. “Naomi Lieberman?” I nod. [...]

What do you do when you simply DON’T want to get up in the morning?

What do you do when you simply DON’T want to get up in the morning?

You’ve just come back from the holiday of a lifetime. Or maybe not even that. Maybe just a normal holiday, or some other uplifting event. And you’re back home. Plunged straight into real life. The pendulum has resumed its irritating, relentless swing. Back to work! it sneers at you while whooshing past, to and fro, carrying you [...]

Forget the Maldives – come to Rwanda!

Forget the Maldives – come to Rwanda!

If you hear the name Rwanda, most people will either: associate it with the mountain gorilla; recall the appalling genocide of 1994 that swept across the country with devastating speed, claiming a million lives in the process; ask you: “Rwanda? Who’s that?” (which is precisely what a young shop assistant said when I enquired about [...]