Two weeks ago I opened my notebook and wrote this to you:---"I'll level with you. I'm feeling anxious.Right now as I write this.I was fine and then all of a sudden I was aware of the tell-tale signs: the increase in temperature, the noise of my heart beating, my stomach bubbling.My anxiety manifests itself as illness.Or maybe I should say, it provokes the same symptoms as illness.I feel 'not quite right', 'not myself'.I feel I am slowly moving away from my body, like a camera panning out.I am dangerously aware of the ticks and whirrs of...

There was a time in my marriage when, in amongst the normal and the good, a space had started to open up.  A distance was widening between us.My plan was to ignore it. If I busied myself with the day to day I assumed (I hoped) we would one day naturally regain our previous ease, our relaxed intimacy.While I waited, I held Matt at arms length.To protect my heart, I hid how I was feeling.Matt tried to talk to me about how things were, but I refused to acknowledge it. I had neither the time nor energy nor courage to...

I can't remember a time I did not know the lyrics to the theme tune of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Throughout the early '90s the song wormed its way into my ear, remaining in my head long after the show had finished.And, kudos to the song's composers, years later as my children grew up unaware of the origins of this piece of musical genius (heavy on the irony), we have on occasion found ourselves singing it to the kids, mock-rapping in the kitchen, initially thrilling and later totally embarrassing them.Last week my ten year old discovered nearly 150 episodes of Will...

I struggle to articulate the discoveries I have been making about my faith, in part because what I believe cannot easily be squeezed into language. It cannot be condensed and compressed into words, black and white on the page.I am only ever able to scratch the surface, if I am lucky.Even if I had all the time in the world I would still remain unable to articulate the breadth and depth and complexity, the clear and pure simplicity, of the faith I am discovering.This was not always the case.I used to find my faith far more straight forward. For every question there was an...

Learning to love someone is like poetry.I don't mean that it is beautiful and full of romantic imagery.I mean that it is hard.Poetry is hard.When I was 17 I went on a school trip to a day of talks about literature in the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester. There were many speakers. They talked about their favourite texts, or about their own work.Some of it was very boring.But two of the talks have stayed with me, and I remember them all these (nearly 20) years later.Germaine Greer talked about her favourite Shakespearean sonnet and Simon Armitage unpicked his poem, Kid.I happened...