Procrastinating is a passion killer. It doesn’t pay.



“Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.” – Julia Child

If you could have a peek at my CV, dear Lord, you would find that this writer has done just about everything. Literally. Somehow a real career, as some would like to refer to, was not amongst the titles. No lawyer, doctor, astrophysicist or marine biologist lurking.  Why?

Married young.  Helped my husband set up his practice.  Teaching locums. Raising children. Full diary of swimming galas, pottery classes, teachers meetings and dinner parties – and I regret not a moment of those years. The experience was like pages of a recipe book:  I could do something from every little part of life, if not an expert at one particular thing.

Memo lost.  What to do when the children leave home? Floated, feared and fell into an abject conviction that if I was not the perfect mother or consummate wife, I was fit for nothing, out there in the real world.  What was I to do?  And I know there are so many of us in the same situation.

Having walked through a million one hit wonders, this Jill was a skater of many trades but a master of nothing hugely employable.  The Platinum card and Business class sector was not something I ever aspired too (did the nose grow a little?) though the past few years have seen a major shift in the pattern of my life, and forced to confront not only my demons, but my place in a work environment was going to be up to me.

Doodled the months away.  What shall I do?  Who shall I be?  One day I would imagine myself this … and the next day that.  Bake some cheese scones and think about opening up a coffee shop or arrange some flowers and fancy myself beyond gifted.  The truth is that being able to do these things, may be fair and well, but the realistic aspect of actually setting up a business was so daunting, the day would end, and the only true activity indulged, was procrastinating. Absolutely no-one to blame but myself, and that lethargic, numbing, depressing lack of conviction, was depressing.

We have all been there, no matter what the age.  Some say, procrastinating is good. I disagree. I don’t have the time, or willpower. In a matter of years I will see my life controlled by those who think they know best.  Not today.  Today is a lesson to self.  Procrastinating is a passion killer.

No doubt, the pile of self guide, self help, self determination books lie like volcanoes on my desk.  You read them too, don’t you?

Honing in.  Not too late, we are not too old.  Honing into what is truly passionate in your life, and if you should want to turn it into a profit making business, hesitating for even a second is not an option.  Love doing lots of things, but what am I really passionate about – what drives me with curiosity and wonder? Does not matter what it is, could be a passion for removing barnacles, but if it floats your boat – than everyday, every working hour, everything you plan, should drive you to resolve, to develop, create, establish and know that the hard work, which will be there for sure, will give you a single focus, oblivious of critics and fear mongers.

Have you ever walked past the many small businesses you see?  Florists, artisan bakeries, florists, wine merchants for example and think about how much courage is required to put your dagger to the sticking place and commit to a business plan, a loan, signing of contracts and all the expenses involved before you even begin to break even?  The passion is the straight arrow.  During the pandemic, many have lost their incomes and opportunities but have they lost their passion? I doubt it.

Take courage from so many wonderful entrepreneurs who have accomplished so much.

Without too much analysis, the pandemic has made me realise how much I miss travel, engaging with others.  Doing the walking tours in London, planning trips that I stopped doing for a while.  Doing research on history, new restaurants, different kinds of tourism and how much I want to do it again. That is my passion, my family and the sharing my experience and knowledge with others. Seeing people take that trip of a lifetime, light up at new knowledge, feel the pulse of the place.

Perhaps the lull in the lockdown has rightly led to procrastinating. Not anymore. Life is opening up.

We work with suppliers, friends and colleagues, all equally passionate. Sometimes I will bring the cheese scones.

We are, each and everyone of us, great at so many things, passionate too, but finding the path that will bring you absolute joy, and an income, is waiting to happen.

Anything.  And I repeat, anything if possible.  Driven by passion, the shadowed gremlins of ye god of procrastination, will disappear.




Embrace the new ways. It’s not always better in the old days.


‘Most millennials I know would rather get off with Nigel Farage for an hour than pick up or make a phone call. We’ve grown up with so many methods of communication – from MSN Messenger to Instagram DMs – that we naturally gravitate towards the least intrusive means of contact. Our thoughts are carefully composed, edited, screenshotted to a friend and edited again; an unexpected phone call is akin to your mum bursting into your room while you’re stark naked, doing something questionable.’

Don’t Text Me – I’m Only Using Voice Notes Now- Juliana Piskorz. Refinery29

My heart chipped a little today.  Thinking I would surprise my son with an impromptu call, mortified to have it declined. Doesn’t do well with chatting to his mother, voice to voice it seems.  Voice note, a text message and that’s about it, when we are far apart.  So I started wondering:  is it just the way it works today, and how do I, as a mature woman feel about it?  Why am I so quick to seek rejection in things I tend to compare to ‘back in our day’ and when am I going to realise that. rather than comparing and feeling I’m being left behind, get into the new way of communicating?

Then I read the article above.  There are many more, but sometimes we have to do a little research to take cognisance of what is really going on.  So at risk of just looking back when we get to this age.  Everything is memory bound, habit bound, fearful bound sometimes, and so very much resolved to still be the primary educator, judge and guidance in our children’s lives that when we do finally realise that they are now smarter and have lives of their own, we falter, fold and feel so sorry for ourselves.  It puts us in a place we are unfamiliar with.

That feeling and all those anxieties are for another time.  I would rather not spend an hour with Nigel Farage, but I need to get over the idea that phoning someone who does not relate, is not a personal affront.

Despite what many younger people think, we are still able to explore, and occupy new forms of social media, it may just take a little longer, and just when we get it, there are more apps and characteristics to master – and we shall. In fact, it’s exhilarating to think of the possibilities.

There are also some I don’t care a jot for. Love looking at the reels on Instagram, loads of giggles and after a while the boredom of desperate people in squeaky voices, who must have spent hours getting the reel together is no a burning desire in my daily life.

There is a certain vanity at stake here.  For individuals who cannot bear the thought of intimate conversations with another, surprisingly have no problem with filming themselves.  The love of self on film is one thing, but it still brings no confidence when in the same room.  Interesting not so?  You would have a million followers, a few hundred stalkers and a smattering of really damaged people who stare at you, yet you cannot deal with a simple conversation, face to face or voice to voice?

The first few voice notes had me at: ‘ what is the matter with you? I know you are online so just pick up the phone and tell me directly what I now have to listen to.’  Voicemail proceeds voicemail trying to establish a meeting, decorate a room, organise a flight, or Christmas, when all could have been settled by just speaking to one another. In half the time.

I get it now.  Going to forget about how I sounded when we used to tape each other back in the day and my voice, totally unrecognisable, and have some fun.

I was furious at my father for saying Leo Sayer looked like he was dancing with a wooden leg.  The Millenials prefer voice notes. Just laugh.  Imagine how mastering all these new social tools will help you in business, in your journey forward, and your relationship with those, who are smarter than you now.

Or are they …


Trusting to Travel again? How anxious are you about committing?

Brugges in Autumn

“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta

The truth is, we have all become a tad more boring over the past year.  Lack of stimulation in lockdown, and I say this tentatively, has increased skills of baking and the like, but what do we really talk about now since the world went into freeze the tape mode?  I for one, almost fear the C word conversation now, it’s negative and boring and look forward to being able to JUST GET OUT and experience things.

Like a walk through a gallery, or sitting at a sidewalk café, being able to talk about a route taken, a plan make, a holiday laid forth, which is why I write.  We are being allowed glimpses of foreign holidays in the near future, but are we really?  Will we make plans and then be disappointed?  What do you think?

Camps Bay, South Africa.

Next month was supposed to see me sitting at Lake Como.  Not going to happen.  So today I thought, ok, we’ll move it to Autumn, still a beautiful time to visit the Lakes.  Or Brugges, or Paris or …

And I begin.  Flights.  Have vouchers and look at dates.  I begin to lose my nerve.  What if this is going to end up being cancelled, all over again?  After the previous, plentiful cancellations, I find myself fearful of dashed hopes. Interestingly enough, looking at dates for Varenna, the hotels are surprisingly full, which indicates that others like me are hoping things will resume some sort of normality again.  Maybe I should just get those dates in, imagine waiting for the green light and I am stumped for accommodation? She ponders.

Then I begin to wonder about the thought of having to wear masks in public, in restaurants, on public transport.  Will that still be required – how is it going to feel when one goes exploring for hours on end, only to have to breathe through cloth for most of it?  Will it be the same, will I be tentative of every entrance, a crowd of people, buying a ticket?  How anxious am I really?  Do you feel the same?  Have we become so fearful of the unknown virus that it will keep us from living full and curious lives, indefinitely?

Left bank. Paris.

The braver amongst us will be on the next flight. Cheap as chips, anything to mix and mingle and party into the night.  I remember that energy, I wish I still had that bravado. Families will staycation, but when you are a single, solo traveller like me, later in life, it is the cities and culture you crave, more than a suntan, in my case anyway.

It is the storytelling in travel that takes hold.  Witnessing cultures, art and drama.  Tasting new flavours and hearing new languages.  Stories all. The days are different when we are not at home.

As much as I yearn, and itch to travel soon, I myself am still in quarantine – facing hotel quarantine and a million COVID tests.  South Africa will be a long time in receiving the vaccine and so the months are spent patiently waiting, yet burning to immerse myself in airports, cobbled streets, beaches and castles again. How will things look though, and how will they be?  Another day passes and I withhold for final bookings, payments are withheld, like the dreams of being able to collect more stories in my life to share.

Yet, we can follow the rules, be careful and courteous and still push ourselves, or trust ourselves to take the chance.  We need to support tourism, we need to widen our horizons once again, and we need to travel.

The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page. – Saint Augustine

Afraid I am not much company at the moment.  My stories may be getting a little tired.

For me, it is not the fear of the unknown so much as the fear of moving forward from the known.

And I cannot make Banana bread and tell one more person about it.

How do you feel about travelling again?

Images: Travel pockets

April Double delight.

A beautiful Happy Easter to all,

I have been blessed to spend this summer in South Africa.  As the weather turns towards Autumn, the days are still balmy and warm enough to spend time on the beach, lunches on the captivating wine farms though the evenings a little crisper than they were a few weeks ago.  It is the natural light that is the real princess here, natural light and space.

Been doing a bit of DIY at the same time.  Finally, after nearly eight years, the slither at the back of the house has been paved. Technically not DIY since I had little to do with it, other than the rudeness from my neighbour at the back. All my other neighbours are wonderful and we live in a very happy corner of the estate.

With thoughts turning to Spring, being able to meet a friend and soon all the shops will be open, some, like me, may still be faced with no clear plans.  Lockdown has hit the tourism industry really, really hard and the pain of watching planes parked on runways, small pensions close, restaurants flounder and fold under the protracted rules, I am also waiting for visitors to return, and realistically this is going to take some time.

With so many redundant and that is all ages, the chances of getting work when one is over sixty is all that more difficult.  The options are a little limited, but not impossible.  It’s a question of rewiring if need be.

So the days are still slow, and the mind always thinking of many things to do.

Have a wonderful April, be rejuvenated and positive.

Eat all the Easter eggs you want.







Easter Time.

The Origin of the Easter Egg Hunt

The Origin of the Easter Egg is Pre-Christian, when eggs represented new life and Spring.   Christians believe the Egg represents the resurrection and the shell the empty tomb.  Families would gather eggs to bring to church, to be blessed and gift to neighbours, landlords and friends.

The idea of having an Easter egg hunt originated in Germany.  Stories go as far back at the 16th century, when Martin Luther organised hunts for his congregation.  The men would hide the Easter eggs to be found by the women and children – it was women who discovered the empty tomb.

Queen Victoria celebrated the hunting of Easter eggs, as a child in Kensington Palace and for her many children.  The idea of painting real eggs, to hide before sending the children to find them, remains a beloved tradition at Easter Time – the only difference now, is that they are made of chocolate.

Decorating of Easter Eggs for the table on Easter Sunday is a fun way of including the whole family. Though some may love the bright colours, I prefer a pastel basket of decorated eggs.

Celebrating Easter is a special holiday.  It is a spiritual time, a reminder of Christ’s cruxifixction, on Good Friday, and this is when we eat Hot Cross Buns.  Try this recipe by Paul Hollywood.

Easter Sunday is the celebration of the Resurrection.  Invite family and friends, hang the bunting, lay the table (with those beautifully decorated eggs) and put on a feast.  What would you serve for Easter Sunday lunch?  Old favourites?  Family traditional fare? Like any great Sunday lunch, chicken or lamb will go down very well.  We have a favourite Roast Leg of Lamb recipe handed down over the years but I do try and do something different with lamb when the opportunity arises. Here is another lovely recipe, for Roast leg of Lamb and Hasselback potatoes.

There are so many wonderful ideas for setting up the table for Easter Sunday lunch.  Or breakfast, whichever suits.  I used to love making a true theatrical experience of it, and the children loved having their talents put to use (not always matching of course) for decorating the table.  Using simple flowers, boughs of blossoms, twigs and nests, even tied grasses will create the right effect.  All about Spring, so bring spring into your home.

And then there is the cake.  An act of love in food.  Plenty of recipes, but love this one.

However large, or small your party may be over this coming Easter Weekend, make it beautiful.  Even if you find yourself on your own.  It may take longer to eat the cake, but more for you.  When we are at our age, and things are quieter in our lives, we sometimes don’t want the fuss.  Then we think of all the memories and for me I would rather still make the fuss, make the eggs and a little egg hunting on the side, regardless of my age or number in my party.  It can still be a party!

Images: Good housekeeping, Garden and Home, BBCfood, redbubble, English Heritage, Country Living


Disinvited, disengaged, dismissed and disgifted … all just another form of rejection.

Disgifted is not actually a word, more like the undoing of giving a gift, and if that is so, I was thoroughly disgifted yesterday.  Massively upsetting really, for no matter which way you peruse the situation, I was promptly dismissed, which in turn means, rejected.

And I am still mad about it.

My decision to come to sunnier climes, as I live happily between South Africa and the United Kingdom, was both frugal and medicinal.  Post Christmas in London, with only the local co-op for daily visitation,  me turning a whiter shade of pale, faster than the covid, post Christmas tree stripathon – it’s ok, it’s expected.  We did put up the Christmas decorations in September, and the day after, nah, didn’t work this Christmas, so tore them down again. I can’t even remember which Christmas ad won this year, was there a Christmas ad?  Oh where is John Lewis!

Southwards I go, I mean, few restrictions  apart from a curfew only the ghosts would have to adhere to, and the beaches re-opened.  I am lying on the beach, with a face mask. I digress.

With no work coming in, it also seemed financially viable to return to our little home here until London opened up again.  Things to be done, DIY plans, including new paving in the back garden.  Everyone is in to DIY as we know, and so she goes.

Dilligent I am, informing my neighbour.  There shall be builders, there shall be noise, there shall be dust and then it shall be done.

There was more noise than I expected, more dust like dust storm dust, and dust covered builders knocked off for the day.

Attack over the fence had me verbally pinned against the wall. You la la this and my tee tee that and oh my gosh, I could not escape.  The guilt.  I could not escape the guilt of maybe having irritated my neighbour, for one, silly day. It was official, my neighbour is not nice.

Fearful as the job still needs completing, I found my way to her garden wall carrying a bunch of roses and a box of chocolates.  She would not step away from the door. And told me to take my flowers with me. Confused, I laid them, like a wreath of humility on the grass and left with promises of being a better human being for having irritated her, for one, silly day.

Turned into a spy fest. The flowers lay there, with the chocolates, in the late afternoon, on the grass.  Still later, I look furtively through the window to check the defiance and watch the pale, white roses wilt. It was in darkness that the gifts, no the disgifted, returned to my door.  I don’t know how to describe it really?

Later than evening, my gifts are returned to my door.  I have been disgifted.  They look lovely in my house.

A small incident, soon forgotten, but never forgotten. No damage done, yet damage done.

I wait to hear when the world will allow me to fly.

Why are some people so mean, so intolerant?

Image Northern Star, Clifton packaging



March Mad Love

Happy March and Spring!

Most fitting to welcome the month of, could we hope, a lightening of mood, a smattering of hope, a glance towards the summery light?  Some naysayers keep telling me to be realistic and honestly, realism is rude enough, so I am to the joy of the beginning of the end of the worst of times.

Congratulations to Josh O’Connor, Emma Corbin, Gillian Anderson and all the amazing cast of ‘The Crown’ for your accolades at the Golden Globes.  Loved Josh in ‘Hope Gap’ and of course ‘Emma’ by brilliant director Autumn de Wilde – and Gillian Anderson is an icon in my life.

What could be more fitting than this shot of Josh at a photoshoot – so very March, don’t you think?  We have absolutely no idea of what the weather will hold each day.  The long winter may be over, but fickle she is: sunshine, balmy, rain and frost – ideal choice of clothing in the pic – we can dare for the shorts but keep it well within the layer dressing, and down to the funky socks.  Still tend to get fooled when the sun is out and we step out, to remember just how cold it actually still is.

March and blooms.  This is one of my best times, when the daffodils and other blooms peep up from the ground.  I am inexplicably joyful.  Childlike glee at every bit of nature I see. Sjoe, those colours after months of grey are a true sight for sore eyes.

March is also a birthday month. My beautiful eldest has her birthday in March. All those years ago, being so unsure of being a Mama and knowing that it has always been the past part of my life, being a mother.  All are grown, and not easy to let go, but knowing that they have developed into strong, independent individuals is just great.

It’s going to be a fabulous month.  I am positive, upbeat and making plans.  Patience still prevails, and travelling may still be a dream, but one coming closer every day.

‘I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.’
William Wordsworth
That’s it – it is the unexpected delight of finding spring, sprung.
I hope that this day finds you at a new delight, of something better coming along. Of strength and planning for a new chapter.  Perhaps you are planning a new business, have let go of what can no longer be, something for yourself.  Finding inner strength, fortitude, imagination and romance for everything, especially yourself, overflowing with the golden river of spring deep in your heart.
Image: Pintrest

Are you ready with your ‘Cape of Abilities?’



‘A revival or renewed interest in something.’  The months of a sleeping and creepy, dying world is shooting glimmers of hope.  The Vaccine, oh good and bad and evil and suspect and in the end, the only way of opening up the skies and the doors and getting those all essential hugs underway.

But much as this was, is a war in the world, the initial devastation and bombing of hope, livelihood and heartbreaking loss of life, we began the journey with much resolve.  This too will end, the collective must stand resigned and resilient against the enemy.  Consideration and kindness and mountains of banana bread smells emanated from open windows.

Garden centres flourished in our clawing need for nature and affirmation that the world will carry on turning. We both respected and were a little bit jealous of those still working, even under the worst conditions, whilst we slowly began to give up on Pelaton and exercise, baking and craft making when the second wave took us under.

Oh dear God, not again, we lamented, cursed and felt very un-Christmassy. Down like a lead balloon along with a non New Year.  Some hopefully bought 2021 diaries (I did) thinking, it just has to stop.  Much has been written about the pandemic, friends who are doing the same, hoping to be published, taking part in the launching of the ‘new genre of pandemicism’ (if that is actually a word.)

Post war, casualties lie all around you.  All is rubble and much of it, on a personal level, part of your life.  Have you still got the same job?  Do you still want the same job? Relationships survived?  Has lockdown brought the angels of transformation upon you – to begin something different, something new, get a new job and then you realise, not so easy when everyone is on the same sidewalk, but no reason to think this little, personal renaissance is not possible.  It is.

I am a little in that place.  My work is travel and tours.  For most of this coming year, these two sisters are staying at home.  Travellers hold their breath, and their credit cards until they can afford the joy of travel, rather than the immediate earning need, and unless you are Mr. Amazon, most are going to be a lot more frugal.

But what I mean, in being ready, is that lockdown brings lethargy – not to want to think, depressed at the very thought of everything, inertia central.  And when we can move and leave the house again, work again, socialise again, what kind of life are you going to want?  What kind of things matter more more than before?  Will you be ready to greet the world with your new ‘cape of abilities’ and empowerment tools?

Will you be prepared?

For this year, I have to diversify – remaining optimistic about doing what I totally love, and also being practical that financially other avenues may be more fruitful in the meantime.

Will I be ready and how can I prepare myself for the full return of the New Normal?  How has this been a lesson, a time to re-adjust, re-evaluate and re-align my life to be better, richer, more fruitful than it was before we stood dazed in half disbelief, and laughed when asked to bump elbows …

I’ll be ready.  Will you?

Of course you will.  With all those fabulous powers you have …

Image pintrest

Hotel Quarantine? The personal Dickension version, perhaps.

A plague was bad enough. Is bad enough … the dame seems to want to hang around for some time still.  I have been a good girl I have, doing the quarantining when I should have, two weeks in isolation and staring at the ceiling, but then there was the odd spot of walking, and taking in a much needed gulp of fresh air.

Now, dear Lord, the Hotel quarantine has raised it’s ugly head.  For the opportunity to return to London after my stint in the South, I will face a ten day sentence, at my expense.  To recap, just to really ponder it deeply, I shall voluntarily submit to being locked up in a hotel room, at the airport, in mid-winter, at my own expense for the price of a castle, for ten days.  In this time, escorted to jail, I will have the dubious experience of three delicious meals a day, and that is it. Travel supreme.

The vision: travel for twelve hours, subjected to a Covid test with nostrils flaring and gagging on a stick. Mask wearing for close to twenty-four hours. Reception, dark. Interrogation, for sure. Marched to a room, door locked and sealed and … the tragedy begins.

I shall call it debtor’s prison, for surely the cost of the tests, flight and storage of moi, will bankrupt me.

‘It was an airless room, still dank and smelling of the previous occupant.  The stale stench of hibernation pervades. My only companion, my suitcase, must find residence in the small space, enough to see for comfort, not to become the object of ‘Wilson’ to which I may cling as my sanity escapes through the keyhole.

The utmost of fears, realised, is that the window is one that will not open.  It is a non-opening window. Air is expensive. Being an airport hotel, the view, through the unwashed window shall resemble a veil of British waste, streaks of grey to peer between to view, gray. Anxiety reigns.  It is only the first five minutes, so I shall steel myself to the outcome and look for the many bottles of wine I packed in the second suitcase for the very purpose.

As I look around, the bed offers no comfort but a a future womb of troubleness.  There is a desk, a television, a chair and in the beside drawer, a bible.  The latter will come in handy when I say my last confession. The bathroom, no window, will be my second home, complete with small cake of soap and a shower cap which I must resist to put over my head to end it all.

I will exercise – despite the carpet looking like a map of the world with stains resembling cities and the others, we shall call them something else. Perhaps I shall exercise on my bed. Or in the bath. Or, on top of the basin. In a cupboard, if there is one.

Day two will find me at fifty hours of sleeping. Netflix has invaded my veins. Facebook, my best friend and books, well, I forgot to bring any. Good for me though, brownie badge for getting changed into clothes. Make-up done.

Day four and I have forgotten whether I did get dressed, or perhaps just pretended to. The thirty showers a day has become moot. I am trying to remember what day it actually is, so brushing my teeth could have happened yesterday.

Day six and I am Fagan, gnarly and suspicious of sound. Paranoia descends and I am convinced the world has ended and I am the last person alive, only no-one will find me and I shall be locked in forever.  I have made friends with the marks on the walls, given them names and speak to them regularly. The sheets have become monsters and I am singing Christmas songs with stale toast to celebrate.

Tried pleading for a walk, a talk, a trip to the lobby to get tampons and a gun, but they said no. You are too old for tampons and we don’t supply guns. My knives are plastic now. They took the bathrobe belt away.

Day three.  I’m good. At least I think it is day three, or was that last year? I have fallen in love with Piers Morgan, and he speaks to me, I know it is just to me, sending little signals through the television. I have started climbing the headboard, just like I did when I climbed Mount Everest, or was it the Parliament buildings, or the gallows at Tyburn – I forget. The hag in the mirror is cackling at me, bubble, bubble, toil and trouble.  But I am not afraid, I am Amazon. What was Amazon? Bits of food confetti my bed. Someone screamed close by, dying in the Great Fire. But I am good.

Day whatever. Fear of water and Golm under my bed. I can play the castanets now, and dribble for long periods of time. The gas lamps are lit, the candles burn and my music makes me long for Barry Manilow. Invented fifty ways of lying on my bed. Was my first glass of wine at six am or six fifteen, I forget but it does not matter … have forgotten a few things of late. Like my name, for instance.  So I will be known as Lucretia.

Call me Lucretia.’

When the hotel staff came for testing, I was naked, begging for more.

When the hotel staff came to let me out, I was sleeping in my suitcase.

Singing softly about coffee houses, gin and toffs who collect dog shit for the tanneries.

So, with this wonderful possibility of a) going stark raving mad, or

b) going stark raving mad.

I may just wait until the hotel/prison/bedlam/gulag/dying in a suitcase/begging for swabs up my nose situation is lifted, I may just sit tight and dream of England, from afar. Oh, England, I long to see you, but your demands are too high for a mere waif like me who needs air to breath, a walk in your wonderful parks, and a coffee that doesn’t taste like the Thames, circa 1600.

Just saying …

Image: Eurocheapo


Quite content in my solitude.

‘I find that I can bear the solitude very cheerfully, I find myself quite content with my situation Lizzie.’

Charlotte Lucas – Jane Austen’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’, 1997.

A person I don’t know very well asked me to join them for a cup of coffee.  Seemed simple enough, friendly enough, an activity done without much thought. Ordinarily.  Only I declined, and they did not take it well.

To explain that I have become so used to my own company, in semi-isolation, and only venturing into the midst of others in my ‘bubble’ where comfort and knowledge of the familiar, seems safer, did not appear to be believable.  But this is how it is.  Been months of it, either cosseted within my own walls, or an intimate téte -á-téte of no more than three for a few brief hours.  Solitary habits have formed, and I too, am quite content with the situation.

It was not always so. I am a city dweller, a curious craver of action and art.  A must have the packed diary and dates to validate that my life is a full one.  The Pandemic has changed all that; initial fear, still fearful and waiting for my turn for the vaccine.  Travel is something I miss greatly and fear most of all that I will be prevented from seeing my children over the coming months.  But I bide my time.  Find things to do, wistful things that takes a little longer than a date at the top of the tube elevator.

Life has, for all, turned inwards.  Zoom fatigued and now selective about the conversations that seem to dwell on one subject, little else to tell.  Pray harder for the safety of my family and friends and those who have suffered so greatly from the virus.  Turn to music rather than the news … and yes, have little to say, but lots to say about just being quiet for a while …

Am I lonely?  I am alone, but never lonely.  Have I fallen into a form of depression and procrastination as a result of a halted life, and world; not at all.  Plans continue, hope prevails.

High heels and smart clothes hang in the cupboard.  I smooth the sheets upon the bed, gentleness in the making of it. Caress the new rose buds in the evening light.  Savour meals I make from old recipe books, and turn to poetry when the day is over.  Rise with the dawn, with no intentions and sleep with dreams of my childhood belonging.

Is it good?  Not so much – it will not last, this solitary life for I am a creature of doing.  Content now, to wait until the hands of those I love are slipped into mine.

I am Charlotte.  I shall return to Elizabeth soon.

And it is perfect, for now.


Image – Pintrest