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It’s been a while and there’s a lot to tell but also, not much has changed.

The pandemic rumbles on despite the fact almost nobody wears their masks in the supermarket anymore. Tattooists are opening up next week, and pubs and restaurants are already open again – which is amazing for these industries – but it’s also bloody scary.

I’m stuck somewhere between never wanting to leave the safety of my sofa again and wanting to dive right back into the mix without a care in the world. But I won’t be doing that fully until I’m comfortable and confident so it may still be a way off.

I still can’t believe we’re living through a global pandemic, man. I’m quite proud actually that we’ve got to this point, it’s been really hard at times – there’s been maximum worry and stress, naturally – and we’re not out of the woods yet – but we’re still here and personally, my mental health is just about holding together. Better than I would have imagined anyway. Small victories and all that.
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A brief hiatus

Hello all (Mum & Jill),

I’m taking a brief hiatus from the blog (and the Collab) for a week or so to concentrate on finally moving house.

Yes, we got the house, despite COVID’s best efforts and we couldn’t be happier. I can’t even describe how I feel right now but it’s all positive and hopeful, I promise.

This has been the best of times and the worst of times, actually for a cornucopia of different reasons – but I do feel ready for a new chapter now. And – *spoiler* – this next one is the one in which I finally become houseproud and also, a real adult.

I’ll talk about that more in a general update soon, I promise. I also want to share what I’ve been reading and what Jillian and I have been watching. It’s all good stuff.

Until then, I’ll be buried under the bubble wrap. Oh also, Happy Global Pride Month! This is very important.

Word to your mother.

#blacklivesmatters #translivesmatter #blacktranslivesmatter

Cupboard Love

About six weeks ago we ended up adopting a cat. This turn of events aligned perfectly with the start of lock-down and the fact that my stepson and his mum needed to rehouse their cat. Enter five year old Mittens, possibly the most beautiful boy I’ve ever seen and definitely the oddest.

Despite the fact Mittens permits me unlimited pictures and my Instagram is heaving with photogenic shots of his heavenly face – I have to be honest and tell you that the cat doesn’t like me. To the point now that I can’t put it down to my own paranoia. He loves Glynn, sleeps beside him, allows himself to be picked up and fussed – but if I so much as put a hand near him he screws up his face and runs for the hills.

It’s wonderful for self-esteem.

I’ve read every web page I can about how to make him love me and most of them say it will take time and to be patient. Right now I have nothing but time so I can wait him out but when I look at him all I want to do is bury my face in his fur. A few weeks ago he was cool with me and strokes weren’t unthinkable – but he seems to have made up his mind and he hates his new mama.

So I’ve been bribing him with snacks. Fully cashing in on ‘cupboard love’ to try and build trust. He follows me around now and comes when I call but if I don’t have a treat for him, he’s off. I hope as the days pass he’ll chill a bit more but every tiny rejection hits me right in the heart. That I know of I haven’t done anything to upset him – I’m gentle and I talk to him all the time.

Maybe he’s just sick of my shit, like so many people are? Whatever the reason, I love him. I’d die for this little fucker.

I truly believe pets are brilliant for mental health. Regardless of whether they love you back it’s just nice to have these little bodies in our home. I enjoy loving them and treating them.

So far Mittens has eyed the gerbils but has made no moves beyond looking at them in wonder. They’ve not even acknowledged his presence so I’m hopeful they’ll love harmoniously together.

And that’s the new pet update.

Can cope, will cope

Original working title: Can’t cope, won’t cope

“Don’t despair: despair suggests you are in total control and know what is coming. You don’t – surrender to events with hope.” ~ Alain de Botton

Yesterday morning I had probably my worst panic attack since all this happened. I couldn’t stop crying and throwing up – and I really have no idea what the trigger was. Everything’s been coated with a general malaise since all this started happening for everyone and I think it might just have been information overload that did it.

For a moment there I thought: I can’t do this.

But then it passed and I came to my senses. I CAN do this because I’m not just doing it for myself. I’m staying in, following the rules and getting on with it for the people I love. For the elderly and the vulnerable, which includes a lot of friends and family. I have to stay strong for my husband, who’s currently (thankfully) on furlough leave and about to start volunteering to help the NHS in the time he’s got off.

For my mum who’s home alone and even though it kills me to think of that, she’s got my lovely cousins taking care of her from Bexhill HQ, and we talk all the time. Much more than normal and I am loving it.

I think when this all finally changes again, and we get a truer picture of what the new normal is going to look like, we’re going to be better, more appreciative people for it.

I swear I’m never going to take my liberty, my loved ones or my mental health for granted again. I’d do anything for this to all be over but I know it’s going to take time. One day at a time.

How are you handling life right now?

Working From Home diaries: Day 4

It’s funny how quickly you can become used to the unusual. WFH doesn’t feel quite so alien as I thought it would.

I’m definitely more productive (because I’m one of those weirdos who feels they have to prove they’re properly working) but I have some practices I need to work on.

Like I’ve always got the TV blaring/ It’s just the way I comfort myself, I always have. Getting ready in the morning, eating dinner – I need some noise in the background. I’d like to work on a way round that, by having the radio on, playing records or listening to podcasts instead. I’ve queued up a selection of new pods to try – ranging from the darkest true crime to more upbeat well-being channels. I’m avoiding the Corona newscasts because duh.

Honestly, I don’t really like having my work life in my safe space. Everything works and needs must and all but, it does encroach. It’s harder to let things go and people are under pressure at the moment and can be blunt, which in turn stresses everyone out – things stick with me, little things that have probably been misconstrued anyway. I need a ritual that separates the two.

Like at five thirty when the work day ends, I need to do this ritual – be it a hot shower and a beauty treat or a hula hoop session in the yard – I need to break them in two and keep them apart. We don’t know how long this is going to go on – and although I’m grateful to have a job at all and I (mostly) enjoy the work I do – I guess I’d better hunker down for the foreseeable.

This weekend I move from the dining table to Glynn’s desk in the corner – I’m going to make it mine for now.

Are you WFH? How’s it going for you?