Author: Rebecca Brown

  • Queen Elizabeth II 1926-2022

    Queen Elizabeth II 1926-2022

    The first time I really met the Queen, she was in her bedroom. I must have been around 8, perhaps, and totally engrossed in The BFG, the scene where the BFG drops Sophie into the Queen’s bedroom so she can help them stop the evil giants eating all the children. Up until then, the Queen…

  • The things I learned from my GCSE study leave

    The things I learned from my GCSE study leave

    Before we go too far, a warning. In the words of Baz Luhrmann, ‘[nostalgia] is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth’ (‘Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)’, 1999). This post is pure nostalgia and therefore may be…

  • The silence of the stars

    The silence of the stars

    It’s around 1983, maybe 1984, and my goodness, my arms ache. I have been practicing my very first starring role (pun intended) as The Star in my playschool nativity. A lady came to our house and measured me for my costume (I think it’s a sort of white jumpsuit with tinsel on and a big…

  • One foot in front of the other

    I’m huffing up the stairs, socks straggling and escaping from the jumble in my arms. Every two steps one piece of clean laundry falls and I stop and pick it up and three more fall instead. It takes five minutes to go upstairs, which would be nothing in a mansion but an irritatingly long time…

  • Losing my weight

    Losing my weight

    Today was a landmark day. Today, I finally returned to the lowest weight that I have recorded, the weight I was in January 2011, which I haven’t come close to in ten years (the lowest before that was around 9lb higher, in 2017). Today, I also became clinically overweight – this is better when you…

  • Musical magic

    Musicals have been my favourite kind of music since I was maybe around 10, maybe younger. I’ve never lived close enough to London to be a real theatre kid and see all the big shows but I’ve seen my favourites and they are among my best memories – almost entirely with my husband. I’ve seen…

  • Making memories

    Call it middle age, perhaps, or a consequence of lockdown screwing with my head as it does with everyone in different ways, but I have a frequent compulsion at the moment to reminisce. You can hear the children’s groans for a good five-mile radius. It could be caused by the fact that I have barely…

  • Changes

    Changes

    Almost eleven years ago I wrote a post called “Letter to my children”. My daughter was a month old and my son three years old, and I was struggling with adjusting to life with a child at nursery and a newborn – and perhaps even more with the idea that that struggle was normal. It…

  • Recontextualising Hamilton: a literary linguistic perspective

    Recontextualising Hamilton: a literary linguistic perspective

    Unless you’ve been under a rock lately, or you’re Donald Trump, you are already aware that Joe Biden has won the 2020 US Presidential Election, by both the popular vote and the electoral college votes. We watched the election here on our side of the pond: late-night CNN marathons (see this tweet which sums it…

  • The year I turn forty

    The year I turn forty

    Ten years ago, I wrote a post about turning thirty. Ten years?! It seems like no time at all… in some ways. In others, I was a very different person then. 2020, of course, is the year I turn forty. That feels— very grown up. It feels like I should definitely be an adult. Which…