Adulthood Non-fiction Observations

Isolation: the reality

This is all a bit strange isn’t it? I think we’re all feeling a bit weird.

I didn’t think that the isolation situation had got to me yet. All week I have been busying about at work with just a few hours out in which I cleaned my desk, played with my dog in the garden and generally enjoyed not staring at a selection of groceries working out which order they belong to (I am happy to help).

Each evening I have gulped a few beers faster than usual before crashing into a heap in the land of nod. Shattered.

Saturday afternoon was the first time I had a good amount of time to myself to experience what the majority of the nation had experienced all week. I loved it. I slept a lot, sat down a lot and enjoyed a run where more people were out wandering than usual.

I watched a film in the evening and consumed two civilized beers before taking myself to bed in my newly cleansed room. It felt good. After applying a good amount of hand cream to my ever crisping hands, I fell asleep, stinging a bit.

I woke on Sunday morning feeling fresh. It was 6:20am which was actually 5:20am and my dog was barking. No change there. Waiting it out a little to see if we would both go back to sleep, I gave in and went downstairs to boil the kettle and let my dog out for a pee (I couldn’t cope with him wetting the bed that early in the morning).

A cuppa in one hand and my dog in the other, I felt very content and headed back into my dozing slumber. The next few hours were spent in and out of consciousness. Reading, cuddling, drinking warm beverages and eating a pastry.

It got to half eleven and I text some friends in the village to see if they needed anything as I was off to Waitrose. It was like a normal Sunday. This is not a normal Sunday.

I wasn’t really thinking but assuming that my trip was essential being the first time I had left the village all week. They replied urging me, quite rightly, to stay home. So I did.

Beer – not essential. Snacks – I have plenty. Other essential items – not essential. I can do without shampoo for one day.

It made me realise that I was probably justifying my one trip, but what I really was after was sanity for my mind. I soon realised there are plenty of ways to get this inside the home. During isolation. Alone.

Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy my company, time to myself and a Sunday filled with doing absolutely nothing but when my mind is a bit crazy, which it has been for a few weeks, I struggle.

I’m not going to pretend that I am completely ok with this scenario we find ourselves in. I’m not afraid to admit that my mind is more chaotic than ever. OF COURSE IT IS, I AM A WRITER. That a trip to the beach, more than one walk, a drive out and a mooch around the shops would help. I’m just saying all of this can wait and they will come and we will look forward to them.

It isn’t essential that we go out. It is essential that we try and stay home.

I’m about to listen to Dawn O’Porter’s So Lucky podcasts while sorting another area of my room. While my mind feels wild at the moment, I know it’ll feel calmer after. Just like it would after a drive. Just like it would after a trip to the beach. Just like it would after a mooch around the shops or a sip of a beer (of which I have NONE!).

While this may be a lot more painful for so many of you, I’m just trying to say as I’m just realising myself that we all need to adapt. Those moments will come but for now there are many ways we can find peace within our minds.

Listen to the radio (perhaps not the news). Meditate. Put on your favourite playlist and dance around the house. Stare out into the sun. Appreciate the view. Tidy. Sort. Read.

I think it will do our mental health some good. I hope it will anyway.

I hope you have a peaceful Sunday x

Adulthood Non-fiction

Community is key.

The biggest, most important thing in all of this is coming together, it’s community.

Yes, I spent my Sunday mostly alone and losing myself in the fictional world of my book, forgetting about reality for a while. However, while being on my own, while those of you who have taken the decision to isolate are doing so and everyone else out there too – we must be together as well. Virtually together, but together.

We are in this together.

While we are encouraged to remain apart for the safety of the vulnerable and to help prevent spreading the virus, it is together we must do this.

Together we must wash our hands, be mindful. Together we must remain apart, two meters apart to be exact. We must work together in keeping small businesses afloat by getting involved in their takeaway options. We must volunteer together to even out the workload by offering to help neighbours and communities.

Our village is brilliant.

I work at the village stores and post office and I am proud to do so. In the week we got a notice through from Post Office Ltd informing us that we are key workers in this crisis and boy do I feel that way.

As tired, exhausted, baffled at the stock piling as I am, I am also proud and feel useful and extremely ever so extremely lucky to be in the position that I am. I know many people out there are struggling, terrified, distraught and worried about the outcome and how this will affect them.

Each day I walk to work I ooze with gratitude.

I’m grateful to be working and helping the community. I am happy to be posting parcels to keep small businesses going and seeing small business still booming in the current shit show that is the economy. I feel lucky to be helping out locals in desperate need of certain products (sadly not toilet rolls or pasta). PLEASE STOP BULK BUYING, THE WHOLESALERS ARE EMPTY AND WE NEED TO STOCK FOR VULNERABLE PEOPLE IN OUR VILLAGE AS WELL). I know how lucky I am and I wish to help as many around me as possible.

On Monday BBC news dedicated a page to positive news. I felt this was a huge step forward and something that needs to be done more often long after this crisis is over.

It’s not all doom and gloom. It’s never all doom and gloom.

I’ve decided to link all my posts for the time being to the current global pandemic because what better time to write creative things and make people smile than in a crisis, but for today I will leave you with a good experience.

I was at the wholesalers the other day. The same old story. The shelves were bare. People were getting angry and frustrated. Due to the sheer demand of products on our shopping list I still found myself dragging a trolley the weight of a large horse through the car park.

I had to take it even further than usual because the place was rammed and someone had TAKEN OUR USUAL SPACE. And breathe. While trying my best, but clearly outwardly showing my struggle, a kind lady offered to help. You’d never get that usually. Together we dragged and we made it to the van. Thank you. If you are reading this. Thank you again.

There is light in this all. There is hope. It will end.

Take care, stay safe xoxo

fiction Stories Writing

Dalliance (Part 3)

He was the first person to decide things for her. He was the first to control when she got up, what she did in a day, what time she left to go home and what time she would be going out again. He didn’t much care for fashion and particularly liked her style, it was one of the things he pointed out at the early stages when he was still trying to chat her up, but if anyone decided fashion for her then it was him. He controlled everything and in waiting on his command for them to leave the field she contemplated when and how it had happened this way. For the first time since her eyes clocked him in the office three months ago, part of her felt ashamed for letting this happen.

‘Ok, now we can go,’ he instructed.

‘What if I want to stay here a little longer,’ Lisa replied, with a flirtatious tone to her voice, not meaning a word of what she was saying.

‘Then you can stay here on your own.’

Sometimes Lisa got frustrated at how Darren held so much control over her and she thought about this as they walked hand in hand back into the city, knowing that this action must stop when they reached the second bridge. As they walked the same feeling that filled Lisa whenever in Darren’s company trickled through her body. A smile covered her face and warmth was felt in her heart, his hand strong in hers. The temperature of the air felt hot on their skin too as if they were on holiday in Barcelona and heading for the next bottle of under-priced wine.

The memory of how perfect their evening had been deflected all of this frustration and she forced herself to allow the worry to leave with it and merely enjoy the moments that they had left before they both returned home. Home to their individual apartments on different streets with different families to care for. It was gone ten, but Lisa would still have to contend with Mollie’s nightmares that were happening on repeat lately and Darren would return to a peaceful household, ready for his one-year old’s morning cries at around three o’clock in the morning.

Adulthood Non-fiction


2020. What a year so far. Shall we just draw a black line through it and start again? I think maybe we should.

I personally started the year with so much enthusiasm and positivity. I think we all did. It just sounds good, right? 2020.

Even numbers, round figures, a new decade and Brexit to finally happen within the first month. It was all looking so good and maybe we’d start to hear about something else in the media.

Was I right or was I right? I was right about one thing. Brexit isn’t so ‘boom boom boom’ in our faces. Instead we had storm after storm after bloody storm. Both physically and metaphorically. I love the wind but I was beginning to lose the plot with it all.

My social plans were being cancelled left right and centre – I just wasn’t risking the fury I would get into if I got on a train. Cancelled. I mean, eight hours to get back from Worcester on a Sunday, my only day off, no thank you. I wouldn’t even see my friends and that was the point of going.

It’s all too much. Bad news after bad bad sad news. Terrible. It’s really made me reevaluate life and attempt to see things from a new perspective. I haven’t cracked it quite, but I’m working hard to break through the fog.

I spent last weekend at the coast to switch off from it all, to step off this crazy world for a day or two. It worked. The buzzing chill took longer to set in than it usually does, but after 24 hours it was firmly within me.

I had experienced some of the Coronavirus chaos in witnessing the panic buying, the empty shelves and the fighting talk over loo roll, but driving down the country roads of Suffolk on Monday morning, I felt quite peaceful.

I came into work and BAM. It was everywhere. Our village shop was getting hit in the madness. Unable to keep up with the increasing stock demand. The wholesalers shelves are empty. The news and figures are terrifying. How much alcohol needs to be in a hand sanitiser and if I have that same amount within my own body is that the same?!

Everybody, quite rightly, is washing their hands profusely. It’s all we are talking about. Quarantine isn’t a word I thought would be flying around in March 2020. Lockdown. Self isolation.


I’m clinging tightly onto the positives in attempt to remain sane. I will work as hard as I can.

I will work to stay clean and be responsible in containing the virus.

I will work hard to keep my place of work functioning as a vital means within our small community if lockdown should happen (and of course before it does) and I will help as many people around me as possible.

I will work hard on my attitude to look at life differently. I’ll try not to bloody moan so much and be kinder to those around me.

I will work hard to be happier in general because in all of this how else can you be? I mean, spring is here and it’s getting warmer. Last night we sat outside for a drink. OUTSIDE!

It’s crazy times and we’ve all got to get through it. That’s all we can do. Meanwhile I’m going to look up that alcohol stat, reckon I can handle more than four G&Ts this evening 😉

Take care everyone, stay safe x

For links to all of my writing related stuff, my link tree is below. You can also find published work in my portfolio. My debut novel, Dear Brannagh, is available on Amazon along with the sequel Don’t Tell Jack. If you enjoy what you’re seeing here and are interested in following me on my writing journey, then please subscribe to my newsletter by dropping your name and email. There will be plenty of giveaways, news hot off the press and an honest insight into life as an author. Thank you x

fiction Stories Writing

Dalliance (Part 2)

Tonight’s spot was a darkening skyline, an empty field and spiky grass on their bottoms. They had forgotten a blanket, or rather they intentionally didn’t bring a blanket for fear somebody would notice their plan and follow them. They always wished to be alone on these special occasions.

The sunset had been and gone in its deep orange glory and they had both captured it on their phones, purposefully not capturing an image of the two of them gazing into it and ensuring that they posted the pictures online at very different times. They felt a sunset post on Instagram looks far less suspicious than a selfie of the two of them, plainly stating their actions, but the memory of a wonderful time would still be there, captured on their phones.

‘Come on, Daz, we really should get going,’ said Lisa, noticing the dark and pre-empting the questions that she would receive on her return home.

‘Please. One moment more.’

Once again Darren’s authority had won her over and she remained seated for half an hour longer than she would have done if on her own.

Lisa had always been such an independent individual and never relied much on anyone else. Throughout her education she was thoroughly organised and depended only on herself for answers. She had a perfected morning routine from the age of ten which included making her own breakfast, her own lunch and her parents a cup of tea each, just the way they liked it. This ritual wasn’t even instigated by her parents because by the time she reached the age when they would have encouraged independence she already had so much so didn’t need their guidance.

When she started her first job, she never relied on her mother to wake her in the morning and in fact most of the time she was doing the wake-up rounds and getting her parents ready for the day.

She couldn’t understand when she went to university how some of her friends had a selection of meals made by their parents and stored in the freezer so all they had to do was microwave them each night. One of her friends’ mothers went as far as labelling each meal with which day of the week it needed to be consumed on, removing any need for thought there too. She couldn’t understand how people had got to the age of eighteen and didn’t know how to boil an egg. Nor did she see why they needed their mothers to ring them on the morning of an exam to check that they were awake in time. It was a different world and totally bizarre to the one she inhabited. Despite her advanced self-government skills, she was weak when it came to Darren.

fiction Stories Writing

Dalliance (Part 1)

‘I’m tired. Shall we go to bed now?’

‘You’re always tired, love.’

‘I know, but the worrying makes me so tired I get sick.’

‘You worry far too much. Chill out, it’s all going to be fine.

‘Please, honey. My eyes are literally drooping shut. I might never be able to open them again, you know?’



‘You do have beautiful eyes.’

‘Are they your favourite feature of mine?’

‘One of many.’

‘Stop changing the subject. Bed.’

‘Ooh. Miss dominant. Let’s wait here a little bit longer.’

‘Oh, ok then.’

Darren poured the remainder of the wine equally into each glass and spoke with such charm in his voice and that same smirk on his face that Lisa had fallen for three months ago when they locked eyes on each other in the office. Nobody noticed at the time except the two of them who spent the best part of a week staring into each other’s desk space before acknowledging their admiration and suggesting meeting outside of work.

Lisa found it incredibly difficult to disagree with anything he said so she simply went along with it all, as naughty as she felt. They would sit in the seediest spots, but it all seemed fine because she was with him and he was with her.

They rarely spoke much when in these places, they just sat and enjoyed each other’s energy pressing so closely onto their skin that it remained with them when they were apart. This could be for the next few hours, the next few days or once it was a whole week but the energy impression remained on their frame throughout the time, so it felt as though they were never truly separated.

Lisa hadn’t had many lovers in her time and certainly nobody that she loved quite in the same way as Darren. It was a different kind of love altogether. A love that grabbed her by both hands and would never let her go, she knew that. The sort that would simultaneously get you in to trouble, whilst keeping you out of it as well. It was like a friend who was a bad influence, one you knew should be ditched but you also knew your life would be significantly worse off without it.

Adulthood Non-fiction Observations Writing

Since when did our world get so busy?

Since when did our world get so busy? Since when did we struggle to find time? Time has always been the same length. So tell me, what happened to mine?

Since when did we start having to set reminders; to text back, to wake up, to go out to dinner, to put things away. How did life get too manic that when we finally manage to stop we don’t know what to say.

Since when did we wish for things to slow down so much that we get home and lock the doors just to escape for a while.

If someone asks us to help out in the evening, we struggle to find the energy to go that extra mile.

Since when did work engulf us and every other aspect just have to fit in? To the point where we have to book a holiday and force ourselves, force ourselves to give in.

Since technology, since globalization, since everything got faster and easier and more complicated.

All these wonderful developments in this wonderful world that are all going to end up simply hated.

It has forced us to speed up, it has forced us to cram everything into the shortest spaces of time. It has forced us to find ways out to a simpler life and a bit of peace of mind.

Sometimes, just sometimes, take a slo-mo moment from your day. Perhaps don’t even stop just slow down and notice all the good around you in so many ways.

Notice friends, notice nature, notice family, notice pets, notice sounds, notice how it feels to be alive.

It is almost too much, so often too much, but what most of us want is easy and for easy we must strive.

Adulthood Non-fiction Observations

Social Media

Social Media is really strange.

It is an information overload, there is so much to take in. All the time. A constant feed of news and stories. Peoples thoughts and feelings. Other peoples thoughts about those thoughts and feelings. It never stops. Ever. Time differences make this happen. And insomnia.

This morning I planned to spend an extra hour sleeping but I have used half an hour of that hour up already staring at my screen. Scrolling. Catching up on everything that I missed while I was asleep for eight hours. EIGHT HOURS. I’ve only touched the surface. In half an hour. So much information.

There are, of course, really good bits. There are lovely photos of people doing lovely things. Inspirational posts about records of achievement or important life events that people are really happy about and wish to share with the world.

They also want to share what they had for dinner. What they are doing each moment in time. What they are thinking. Their view both politically and of a field near their house. Bizarre. We all do it though.

There is so much love on people’s birthdays. Couples anniversaries. Births of new born babies. Deaths.

When selling items or tracking down dogs or posting a job vacancy in a small business or notifying of a community event, it is a brilliant brilliant tool. There are few better places to promote than on the social.

It never stops. This fricking world never stops spinning. Sometimes you want it to. So bad. For just a minute. Sixty seconds.

Letter writing is almost extinct. Visiting a friend’s Facebook page allows you into their life, what they are doing, where they are living, whether they are married, have any children. A like is deemed contact. A love is even more. A virtual wave, a handshake, a thumbs up. You’re doing great.

Memories daily reminding you of the past and reminders to tell you about the events in the future. Making you realise how, maybe, you should be living. How you used to be. The moment just whizzes by.

It is good. It is bad. It is a voice, a platform, loving, dangerous, cruel, unkind, kind, helpful, useful, boring, odd.

Social Media is a really strange thing.