‘I’m 95% sure I’m not pregnant,’, I told my best friend on the phone as I walked home. But the itchy nipples, crying outbursts, and the change in smell of my personal biology belied my words. As did the 3 different brands of unopened pregnancy tests in my bag.

I’d had a very expensive education at a girls’ school where we were repeatedly shown videos in biology that implied if we so much as looked at a boy we could get pregnant. However, by the age of 26, I’d been in a relationship for three years with not so much…

Jakob Owens | Unsplash

I have dozens of dropped gloves, discarded passport photos of strangers, scrunched up shopping lists caught at the bottom of baskets, and fragments of pottery and signposts. I’ve woken up after nights out with a shopping trolly in my room, a road sign, a traffic cone, a top hat. It’s not stealing as such (aside from glassware that has slipped into my bag from an assortment of London’s watering holes) more a love of collecting ephemera. I like collecting evidence of other people’s lives, or reminders of my own. It’s a reminder that everything is transient.

I once took a…

I’d brought a cabin sized suitcase with me to pack up my desk. As a maximalist, an open top cardboard box (like people who lose their jobs in the movies) wasn’t going to cut it after 3 years of rainy-day hoarding. The suitcase would also disguise and ease the embarrassment of what was going on, even though redundancy is affecting hundreds of thousands of others in this annus horribilis. Pulling open my desk drawers was like opening a time capsule. It’s only been 6 months, but everything looked dated. What struck me most is that it looked very much like…

Eli Defaria | Unsplash

When I was a teenager, no amount of perfume, chewing gum or hand washing could disguise the smell of cigarette smoke from my mother. She’s also diagnosed impending sore throats and current cavities. When I lived in a basement flat, my mother referred to me as Ms Damp because everything I owned was imbibed with the smell of mould, rotting wood, and moths.

I inherited her gift — hyperosmia, or a really heightened sense of smell.

When I was younger I was able to identify the owner of each identical school jumper in my class. Marshmallows, straw, and fried oil…

Remy Millar

Thinky thoughts and unflattering likenesses.

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