Keep It In The Ground

Guardian campaign logo Keep It In the Ground

I’ve been saying to myself for a while that I need to get back into some kind of campaigning again, but it has been hard to know what. As a non-voter in Australia I feel a bit odd about getting involved with a political party across here, and obviously I can grumble about UK politics as much as I like but I’m not really in a position to do much about it. There doesn’t seem to be as much of a lively NGO sector here as there was in Scotland, and family life means that I feel less inclined to spend my weekends waving placards and shimmying up lampposts. Although somewhat ironically having a family means that I’m now keener than ever to see a world which is safe and happy for DorkySon to grow up in. Continue reading

Perfect Sandwiches

Image of a sandwich on a white background

So, can we pause for a moment to acknowledge the awesomeness of sandwiches?

Hugh Fearnley-Whatshisface had an article in the Guardian last Saturday all about them, and while I agree with his assertion that we need to cut down on the number of soggy supermarket sandwiches we eat, I think it’s unrealistic to imagine that we all have time to make the thirteen-ingredient pan bagnats that he includes a recipe for. Continue reading

The reality of an age gap relationship: life with my husband who is 35 years older

A black and white photo of a tree trunk on which someone has written 'love never dies'. This photo accompanies an article about relationships with large age gaps.

This essay about being in a relationship with a large gap was originally published in the Family section of The Guardian on Saturday May 21st 2011. A shorter version also appeared on Offbeat Mama in February 2011.

As a result of writing about our age gap marriage I get emails almost every week from other people around the world who are looking for advice on their own situation. I’ve written about this experience as an accidental Dear Abby in a piece for the Washington Post

My husband is a beat poet, a professional fundraiser, and the proudest father I’ve ever known. He also happens to be 35 years older than me, and 60 years older than our son. Somewhat ironically, his name is Young.

Believe me, if you had asked me five years ago who I imagined marrying and starting a family with, a man old enough to be my own father would not have been top of the list. And if a friend had confided to me that they were considering entering a relationship with such a significant age difference, I would have done my gentle best to discourage them. But here we are, coming up to our fourth wedding anniversary, and still recovering from our son’s second birthday party. Love is a wonderful and surprising thing, and as we tell people who ask how we met, we just kinda bumped and stuck.

To those on the outside, there are many disadvantages to our unconventional relationship. The mistake people make is thinking that we haven’t given consideration to those ourselves. Of course we’ve thought about the future, of course we know that things won’t always be as easy and fun as they are now, and of course we realise that we look a little odd when we go out… We dated for six months before moving in together, and several nights a week we would linger over dinner, drinking wine, talking about all the reasons we shouldn’t commit to each other. It is a standing joke between us that, due to those six months, there is no good restaurant in Edinburgh that I haven’t cried in. Continue reading