Long time, no write

Oh, this poor neglected blog! I’m always complaining about bloggers who don’t post for months on end and here I am, guilty m’lud. It’s just that lockdown seems to have contorted space and time. I never know what day it is and I appear to have lost the ability to use a paper diary.

Once upon a time (showing age alert!) I remember struggling to get my head around the new Psion organiser and now, here I am, puzzling over sheets of paper. I keep penciling things in the wrong section and then I forget to look at my schedule for weeks on end.

I use the term ‘schedule’ loosely. My diary is a white desert with the odd Zoom call here and there. It used to be a mass of scribblings and a rainbow of highlighter colours, but now I am in a phase that feels a bit like retirement.

There’s a voice in my head that keeps telling me I am being lazy. It never shuts up, but thanks to my work with Marion I have learned to be kind to myself. I ask it to quieten down and run through a list of the things I HAVE achieved since lockdown began in March – two non-fiction books, one novel (it’s nearly finished!), three new clients and at least an hour of exercise every day. I haven’t done that badly at all.

I always yearned for more free time and now that it’s here, I panic that it is not being filled. I see this as an old, bad habit that needs a little gentle correction and you’ll be pleased to know (or maybe not!) that I spent a whole week at the seaside and only did two hours of work! (That’s not including the cooking, chores etc. As I said to my husband ‘Cinderella never goes on holiday’).

One thing I haven’t done much of is meditate, which makes me feel a bit of a spiritual fraud. I’d got into the habit of doing it for an hour a day as I wanted to stay connected to the big universal love I’d discovered on retreat last October. I started off okay, but then I signed up for a novel course that suggested I sit down and write for an hour every morning. I also had my hour of exercise to do and so, meditation slipped down the list and got forgotten.

That’s not to say I don’t have moments of connection, because I do. I try and visit my local cemetery at least four times a week, if not daily. It is the quietest and greenest place in the neighbourhood and it enables me to breathe into the present moment, in a way that I rarely manage at home.  There are numerous species of trees there and I have noticed that each makes a different sound in the breeze. It’s also a popular hangout for birds and I’m fascinated by the swarms of starlings that swirl above the tombstones in such numbers, I can hear the wind in their feathers.

Lately, I’ve been picking blackberries there and on the way home yesterday, I took home a handful of apples that had been in a box by the roadside along with a note saying ‘please take.’ I also found a couple of free cucumbers along the way.  My kids looked horrified when I told them that supper had been foraged as they feared it might be poisoned. ‘This isn’t Sleeping Beauty, ‘ I said. I worry about how mistrustful they are because I know from experience that such an attitude makes life more difficult than it has to be. ‘The universe is abundant today!’ I breezed as they looked at me as if I ought to be strapped into the nearest straitjacket. They refused to eat the blackberry and apple crumble I made while I managed three portions and can report that there were no ill effects aside from adding to the lockdown lard that is swallowing my waist by the day.

I am doing well, but my children are not. They lie in bed all day long on their phones and it is hardly surprising that their mental health is suffering. I try and encourage them to come on walks, pick blackberries and take a picnic, but I am met with scowls and whispered expletives. They think I’ve turned into a crazy bird lady and their biggest fear is that they might end up like me. For their sakes, I pray that they do.




  1. Hey, hello, My Gal Sal! Finally catching up on your most recent (though tardy, but that’s life) blog post. Like you, or somewhat like you, the lockdown hasn’t bothered me much except for the people who disregard the seriousness of the situation because they can’t be arsed to limit their usual activities in any way and would rather believe the fools who spread false information about it all being a hoax or a government trying to control the population. Covidiots is a perfect description for them. When there are so many of those out and around, why would I mind staying home more than usual? At the office this week, I’m going to lock the door and only allow one person in at a time, seeing as there is always at least one who ignores the sign on the door that says “Only one at a time, please” and barges in because she can’t wait outside for five effin’ minutes.

    Your life right now sounds idyllic; you’re not even letting snotty teenagers get to you. That’s progress! LOL

    My sister did a fabulous true-to-life painting of her teenage daughter looking oh-so-bored during the lockdown. I’d’ve suffered if this had happened to me as a teen. Mind you when I was a teen we didn’t have social media or internet or more than two TV channels, so it would’ve been even tougher. Our kids have NO idea.

    Well, just wanted to say hello. I miss your frequent blogging but it sounds like I can look forward to your books! You’ve been productive, even though you don’t give yourself much credit. I laughed when you wrote that you hadn’t done much besides cooking and chores. We just don’t pat ourselves on the back for the time and effort those alone take out of our day, or insist on acknowledgment for the way those activities make life so much more easy and pleasant for those who live with us.

    From what I see, you drive yourself pretty hard and don’t allow yourself much time to just slack off like everyone else and read a book instead of “doing.” You’re doing plenty for others in your household while not demanding or expecting they do anything for you. You might just be a saint, Sally!

    Stay well, my girl.

    • Gosh – so sorry it’s taken me an age to respond. I seem to have been swallowed up by summer! It’s lovely to hear from you. You’re so right, I have done heaps during lockdown. You’ll be pleased to know I am just back from he coast where I slacked off nicely. 😎

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