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 [...]

From FOMO to FOGO

The end of lockdown is just around the corner.  Data permitting (oh yeah?), we’re going to be released in stages, end of March, mid April, mid summer.  Travel companies have started to beg people to book holidays. People are planning their catch up parties.  It’ll be a summer of celebration. Even writing that paragraph has sent a shudder of buzzy anxiety through my system.  Hang on while I take some deep breaths.  Asking around, it seems this feeling is common. There are some obvious reasons for this growing panic: the [...]

Sixteen things I didn’t know a month ago:

Even when everything’s closed, there is still slightly too much to do; Starting any new project – making curtains, writing a novel, learning the guitar requires will, determination, routine – not just time; I knew I was an introvert, but I hadn’t realised how much of my happiness depended on not having to go out; What furlough means. My guess is like tsunami after 2004, we'll find it popping up in every other sentence from now on; That face masks protect other people more than the wearer - using one [...]

Who Loves a Lockdown?

  When I was a kid I wanted to be a long distance lorry driver. I hadn’t thought about motorways or transport cafés, fatigue, the health impact of sitting down for ages, deadlines, queues at borders etc.  My  fantasy was about being all by myself, in a snug little cabin, all day.  I’m reminded of it now. I have been noticing how friends and clients have been responding to this voluntary lockdown.  Some seem to be glowing with it, secretly (or openly) relishing the prohibition on crowds, travel, social contact.  [...]

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