Adulthood Non-fiction Observations

If I had a tail to wag…

Seem a strange concept? Here me out.

If you are a regular reader, you will now be aware, I am trying SO HARD to cling onto the positives during this pandemic. SO HARD. The other day after another busy day at work I was sipping on a beer and trying desperately to stay awake past 8pm.

One thing I noticed which made me smile and gave me a boost of energy was how happy the four little dogs were in the living room that I was in. I mean, they literally wag their tails for anything, ANYTHING. I think humans need to be more this way inclined.

Their owners come home after five minutes of being out – they wag. Dinner time – they wag. Being surrounded by lots of people – they wag out of control. Treat time – they wag. Walkies?! The wagging is something else. When you think about it all these reasons for being so happy are very simple. They are all things us humans take for granted.

It made me think if I had a tail, when would I wag? I think it would be more often than I would initially expect. I think myself, and probably many others out there, take more for granted than we realise and need to simply be happier, for more reasons, simpler reasons. Especially now.

All of my blog posts can be found at and to read my published work visit my portfolio.

Adulthood Non-fiction Observations

Some things I’ve learnt in the pandemic…

This year is so strange, isn’t it? When it all began I was so sure it’d be over by now. Instead, I’m chilling with my dog, listening to it all over the news and not allowed into my bedroom because my sister is working from home. This virtual existence is odd. A new job and she’s hardly met any of her colleagues…so so odd.

Trying my best to cling tightly onto the good bits, here are some lessons I’ve learnt during the pandemic.

1. How to complain

And I’m getting so good at it. Back when things were normal I was the worlds worst at complaints. I would cower and crumble within seconds and then retract my complaint and allow companies to walk all over me.

Fast forward to the ‘new normal’ and I’m shit hot at complaining. Everyone just blames COVID-19 and while I sympathise to a certain extent, there HAS to be a line. Poor service is poor service and I’m rocking the complaints!

2. How lucky I am

This is always a good thing to remember but this pandemic has highlighted it hugely for me. My life has been busy, work takes over my days and my dreams at night, I’m tired, haven’t done much at all and don’t wish to for fear I’d have to self isolate for 2 weeks which just isn’t feasible. However walking home the other day from an hour at my friends drinking wine and watching the dogs play, i just reminded myself of how truly lucky I am. It was raining. Pouring. But still I felt so so lucky.

3. I’m a sucker for sales

Let’s face it, I’m not spending money on anything else. I was the first to blow £50 with ease at the pub on my way home from another expense. This has stopped. At the beginning I was frequently bulk buying wine. This is still the case but I’m finding myself receiving parcels in the post and then a light switch goes off in my head and I vaguely remember ordering another thing I don’t need online (blame the wine).

4. Healthy life style living in countryside

I have 100% gained COVID pounds and the scales are becoming less liked daily. I don’t get it. At Christmas each year I work stupid hours at a rate of knots, still drink gallons of alcohol and always, ALWAYS lose half a stone or more. This year is different.

In attempt to help the situation I’m doing little things in walking a longer way to work to get the steps in, always making sure I exercise more on my day off and trying to (mostly) eat better. While I’m still drinking too much wine which is something I’m not yet ready to sacrifice, I do feel healthier for these tiny efforts. Each time I walk I feel thankful for the health benefits of living in the countryside and I take in that extra clean country air.

Adulthood Non-fiction Observations Stories Writing

Lock down – an update

Week 10, 11, 12? I don’t really know to be honest. This week I left the house for the first time since Boris announced we stayed home on March 23rd. It was stranger than I had imagined.

I only left to get my MOT!

Having waited patiently in an empty reception at the garage, nothing seemed too different to before. Besides, my life hasn’t changed much during this in terms of routine. Of course, it is busier than ever and I am more tired than ever, but in terms of my daily schedule it is much the same. Wake up, go to work, drink too much wine, fall asleep and do it all over again.

I’ve seen people. I’ve witnessed social distancing but not to the level of supermarkets and hour long queues to get into a bank. I don’t intent to experience that either. No thank you.

So, having enjoyed an hour to myself reading my book while waiting to see if my car was broken or not, I upped and left. My car wasn’t broken. Hoorah!

I decided to make a trip of it and fill up with petrol too (I know how to live) so I pulled up into the garage next door. Well, I didn’t expect to find it so bizarre entering the first building that wasn’t my work in ten weeks. I felt like I was in an apocalyptic film, the only person left on earth, trying to survive. An essential purchase of a packet of Jammie Dodger biscuits, my petrol and I left.

Writing during lock down…

In terms of writing during lock down I am having mixed experiences. Last weekend was a bank holiday weekend. It was also the first weekend which I didn’t have to go to work for any amount of time so I made the most of it. I wrote two chapters of my second novel and was very chuffed with them.

This morning I have organised myself a bit in terms of my blog and general laptoppy admin duties so I feel good about that. This week I finished a great book (Lucinda Riley is now a favorite author of mine).

However, there are many many times when I get overwhelmed by the little amount of time I have during Corona-life in which to write. There have been some weeks where I’ve hardly written at all. There have been weeks where I couldn’t remember the last time I sat down to read. It really gets me stressed.

Trying to juggle is a skill I am usually good at but have not yet mastered and giving myself a break from the pressure is something I mostly fail at. Yet I am understanding that it is only me who feels stressed after a week of no writing. Also, writing is a long process and one that often produces many drafts before quality work so bad days can certainly be accepted.

My blog and lock down…

I am going to change the arrangement of my blog slightly for now and aim for two posts per week. I was bogging myself down with content and figured that good content is better than lots of it.

Therefore, I will provide you good people with one post much like this one per week. An update, a personal experience, a ditty, a good story – whatever it may be. And I will then post a fictional snippet of things I am working on. A bit of lighter reading at the weekend. A short story for competition, a section of my novel, a random piece of prose for inspiration.

Thank you…

As always I thank you all for your time in visiting my blog. I really hope my work leaves you with a smile on your face.

H x

Non-fiction Observations Stories Writing

In a crazy world where good things happen.


This little snippet happened early on when we were all trying to figure out what lock down meant and if what we were living through was reality or some horrible nightmare. We’ve now realised we won’t be waking up, it’s real, but I feel this sums up the beautiful innocence of children.

A lady and her daughter who are now regulars were piling up their shopping on the counter. Piles and piles of goods. The mother was telling me how she simply can’t face going to the supermarket so our shop would be her shop for the duration. I thanked her for that.

The goods kept on stacking up and I commented on how helpful her daughter was being who was getting things she was asked to get and also packing everything into the bag once I’d totted up. I was extra thankful for this as my packing skills are beyond appauling.

The two of them were chatting away while shopping and the little girl said, “Mummy, can we please go to the park?”

My heart sank. How can you begin to explain to a little girl of no more than five years old.

“Sorry darling but the park is closed.”

“But that man is walking his dog on it so it can’t be closed,” she quite rightly replied.

“He’s allowed to do that.”

The girl’s confused expression made the whole situation even sadder and harder to understand. Oh, the beautiful innocence of children.

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

Adulthood Non-fiction Observations Stories Writing

In a crazy world where good things happen.


Ever tried to write two novels at one time? I think I may have just taken on the challenge.

Initially I struggled to find the time to read during lock down, let alone write. Work has been so busy and my breaks were mostly spent coming to terms with what just happened. As if I’d been hit by something very hard and my whole perception knocked right out of whack.

Eventually I gave up trying to understand everything going on in the world and instead dedicated most of my time in my breaks to reading. That way my brain can shut off completely. It’s a great escape, particularly when the books I am reading are brilliant.

I finished Marian Keyes’ latest novel Grown Ups at the weekend and loved every page. Now I have started The Butterfly Room by Lucinda Riley and I am really enjoying it. It’s set locally to me in Southwold, Suffolk, so I can relate to the place (somewhere I’d love to be right now) and I can also relate to some of the characters as well.

While reading just now I came up with an idea for another novel. A total light bulb moment and a very cliche way to say my novel began if ever I am interviewed about my work.

I tried to find a way to entwine it into the novel I’m half way into writing, but it simply wouldn’t work. They are too different. So, I started a note page on my phone and when I next find time (difficult, but I will make it happen) I’m going to attempt to juggle writing two novels at once.

Lock down is doing wonders for my inspiration! Watch this space . . .

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

Adulthood Non-fiction Observations Stories Writing

In a crazy world where good things happen.


At risk of sounding big headed, I’m proud. The more I hear about and witness the challenges many people are facing with the current situation of the world, the prouder I feel.

It’s kind of gone by me unnoticed how at risk myself and my colleagues are each day that we show up to work. I forget because of the sheer business of the place. I naturally wash my hands like I’ve never washed them before (listening to instructions given to us early on) and busy about, but until someone comes in with a full blown mask to remind me, I almost forget in my little bubble that Coronavirus exists. Well, kind of. You know what I mean…

I see people petrified to come in, people scared to work, people paranoid about the two metre rule, people getting very cross about other people’s actions.

While we’re taking it very seriously and doing everything we can for the safety of our staff and customers, every now and then I feel really proud.

An NHS worker was in with a badge on and my boss, who was serving her in the Post Office, thanked her for all she is doing. Her reply was “and thank you too.”

Says it all.

We are all in this together.

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

Adulthood Non-fiction Observations Recommendations

Isolation: best of a bad situation 4-6

As promised here are some more ideas to make lock down/isolation/social distancing/ all of those things we are currently living through more bearable.

Candles/ Incense

Creating a calm space is always healthy but more so now. Sometimes lock down has made me feel stressed because I am able to think about what is happening and think too much about everything else. Sometimes I even feel a little trapped. By lighting the many candles in my room and an incense stick, my room becomes a calm, peaceful space and I think, quite frankly, I could stay there forever!


I have always harped on about how important music is to me and how I couldn’t live without it and this has remained the case during these mad times. At the beginning of the lock down, I was running at the weekend and, occasionally if I felt totally reckless, in my breaks. It was great. I was getting some exercise in, increasing my heart rate but also it was a release for my mind and my soul.

Bad knees soon put a stop to this but on walks (if without company) and always while walking to and from work each day I listen to music and I really appreciate that feeling of feeling alive.


Reading allows me to lose myself entirely. I escape into another world where, though problems potentially are many, they aren’t mine and they aren’t real. That reminds me, I must finish my book and get onto the next in the pile!

NB* since scheduling this post last week I have finished said book Grown Ups by Marian Keyes and it’s a brilliantly, feel-good, entertaining, hilarious, relatable and also heartbreaking read. I have begun The Butterfly Room by Lucinda Riley which is great so far (will let you know how I get on).

Any book recommendations welcome and I’ll keep them coming your way too.

Over and out.


Adulthood Non-fiction Writing

In all of this breathe in the good and breathe out the bad…

I was walking home this morning from some friends who let me stay.
My sister has just arrived home from Mayuma and so near to her I do not wish to be!
She must quarantine for two weeks and before then she needed my bed.
So I had to ask my dear friends if I could stay at theirs, somewhere to rest my head.

The shop has been so frantic the past few days so after six we simply crashed.
A few beers in us and a quick but yummy tea what was on the tele mostly trash.
So we slept and recuperated for the community needs us to be around. Morning came, a delicious breakfast and then I walked out into the Sunday morning sound.

Fresh air and peace and spring time sunshine and smells.
The beautiful colours, the wonderful noises, the happiness it all brings. Walking along, breathing in and out I thought to myself in all this mess.
Life goes on, the flowers grow, the birds tweet and lay their nests.

So soak it in as much as you can, I thought, for this too will pass.
Life will go back to functioning, one day, and with our changed perspectives perhaps, peace will last.

Adulthood Non-fiction Observations Special moments Stories Writing

In a crazy world where good things happen.


I think it’s safe to say – we love our NHS.

In my village each Thursday night, the clashes of saucepans and spoons is getting louder. The clapping and cheering takes over. Even trumpets play from windows. We heard the lovliest rendition of Somewhere Over The Rainbow last week, it was beautiful.

At work, we always support charities. From Saint Nichs, to Marie Curie, to the air ambulance, Macmillan and so many more – we have a very generous group of customers.

In the week a generous customer came in with bags of old style sweets. She said she’d been given them by her family for Easter, over seventy bags, and that they wouldn’t get through them all. She suggested we sold them.

I said happily, we’d sell them and then all the money could go to the NHS.

This got me thinking.


Over the time I’ve worked where I do, we have raised so much. The Macmillan bucket usually makes almost a thousand pounds yearly. The bucket we had for the Moonwalk raising money for Breast Cancer Research raised even more.

So, we got a bucket.

People are so generous and giving. I’ve had customers buy a bag of sweets and put a twenty pound note into the bucket. Others have spent four pounds and given me ten, saying to put the change in the bucket. It’s lovely.

What’s even lovlier. The children have all decorated and made posters to display around the shop. Rainbows and colours all in support of our wonderful NHS.

How lovely.

Adulthood Non-fiction Observations

Isolation: best of a bad situation 1-3

As with all of my Covid-19 related posts, I am trying to keep things as upbeat as possible. While I feel I haven’t properly experienced lock down due to being a key worker and work being busier than ever, I fully understand how people can find it difficult.

Of course I miss things. I miss being able to pop out without purpose. To mill around the shops without anything urgent to buy and while away minutes, sometimes longer, just mooching. Allowing my mind to completely switch off from work and, and, well life.

I miss popping to the pub for a quick livener and then stumbling out however many hours later having chatted utter rubbish all afternoon and into the evening. Not remembering a thing with those I’ll never forget.

I miss going out for dinner and lunch. The other day my friend showed me a receipt from a place we have been quite recently, just before the lock down was enforced in fact, and we stopped for a minute just missing normal life. I hate to think of how these small businesses must be suffering.

I miss family and friends who I’ve not seen and the social plans that have been cancelled due to this awfulness. I feel so bad for those who have had to cancel or postpone big plans that they have eagerly awaited for so long and worked hard to make just right.

I have found, particularly on Saturday afternoons after a week of it (so tiredness probably doesn’t help matters), that I have been way more emotional. I have worried about everything way more. I have found myself feeling sad and then taking a nap so that the feeling can’t worsen.

I could continue but, as I said at the start, I want to focus on the good.

I have also found peace in many things and it has felt good. Here are just a few… finding the best in a bad situation ideas 1 to 3.


Podcasts are very similar to books in that they allow that same escapism while feeling like I’m doing something useful. I learn a lot from Podcasts. Currently I am addicted to Dawn O’Porter’s new series Dawn O’pod. I don’t listen as soon as they are released as I haven’t the time in the week but on Sunday’s I make a point of catching up and it’s lovely. Yesterday, I found the Dear Dawn very relatable and it made me feel so much better after hearing that other women think the way that I do.

Noticing things

Pre lock down I evaluated more than I noticed. I still do, but before this lock down I did it a whole lot more. Hear me out. I analyse my every move. If I didn’t say “thank you” at the right time I will beat myself up about it for ages afterwards. I assess how polite I was always. Judge how I held myself. Ensure I did everything correctly to the social norms. When I leave someone’s home. After every conversation. Every encounter. When alone and just thinking about my life, possibly comparing to others, possibly not. It’s exhausting.

Recently I have found myself still doing it, but being able to (mostly) shut my brain off and instead notice. Noticing the birds, nature, my surroundings. Noticing my life and what a huge bunch of beautiful souls I have in it. Noticing smells of flowers and the warmth of the sun. More than usual. I guess it’s the same practice as meditating and being in the moment. It really helps.

Red Wine

My drinking throughout this craziness has, like so many others out there, got out of hand. But, hey. Red wine makes me happy. I know drinking anything alcoholic has this effect after the first few sips. That buzz that fills you and the sensation of total relaxation, especially after a long day (my reason for drinking every day).

Isolation, or what of it I’ve experienced, has made me notice that the same buzz happens with red wine but on a heightened scale making me exceedingly happy and relaxed. You probably already know this but if you’re not already a red wine drinker, trust me and give it a try.

These certainly don’t exhaust my list of best bits during lock down and things to help those struggling, but they are some of the things I have found help in a positive way during these desperate times. There will be more so watch this space.

I hope you can take ideas from this new blog series and that they help you too if needed xoxo