How to beat loneliness without actually seeing people

This time last year I was bragging about how much lockdown suited me. I was writing my novel, learning the guitar, doing puzzles and accessing the Hay Festival by Zoom.  I had the whole flat to myself, acres of time, a million things yet to watch, tons of books to catch up on, and all my clients via Zoom so I didn’t even have to keep the place all that tidy.  Smug, is the only word to describe my state of mind last April. Now, though, it’s fair to say [...]

How we’ve all heard quite enough about cold water swimming

I was going to write a post called what I have learned from swimming in the sea in winter. Ten short points, nothing particularly original, a bit about endorphins, a bit about doing the thing you think is impossible and possibly a mention of brown fat. Then I saw John O'Farrell’s tweet (gently) mocking ‘yet another’ cold water swimming piece in yesterday’s Guardian, plus a string of like minded comments. So I didn't. I'd write about shame instead; referencing Brené Brown, wondering what shame does to us, how it differs [...]

How To Not Feel Dread

I am a creature of habit, almost detrimentally so. I never change my running route, I swim at the same time most days, I write my diary, I buy the same things from the supermarket, I have two bicycle circuits. One goes down the big hill then up a short, steep climb to the golf course; the other takes the same roads but the other way around which including a long tough hill on Saddlescombe Road. It’s this second version that I dread, enough to stop me enjoying the entire [...]

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