Adrian Monck

Readings for a funeral

January 9, 2015

What do you read at a funeral? Something secular, something religious? The family tradition was ritual-free industrial incineration. Organ recording, coffin slips behind velvet curtain in the council crematorium. My religious belief perished during singing psalms to empty pews. But buried in the bible are fragments of practical advice that have sustained human beings for […]


My sister’s keeper

December 9, 2014

My sister died last night. She was 46 years old. For the last of those years she lived in a care home near the sea front in Great Yarmouth, patiently looked after. In good times she took her medication, and spent her weekly state allowance on daily litres of coca-cola and packets of cigarettes. She […]

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I can’t help but be fascinated by Jill Abramson’s tattoo. The ‘T’ of the New York Times inked into her skin. It’s like Carson, the butler in Downton Abbey, revealing that he has the Earl of Grantham’s armorial bearings embroidered on his boxers. England still has its Downton Abbeys. These days people pay to look […]


I was born in the front bedroom of the two bedroom house my grandparents rented from the council. It was February 1965, The Kinks at number one for homes with record players and without teenage mothers. A year later, my brother was born in the same room. The front bedroom was for being born in, […]