MY hands are shaking. I can feel a dull headache coming on. My heart is racing. All this from filling in a form.
But it’s not just any form.
This form, or series of forms, represents everything to me.
My hopes, my dreams, my sense of adventure, and, most of all, my freedom.
And that’s something we can all relate to this past year, in this Covid-bruised world.
Filling in forms has never been a favourite thing to do.
But since being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2006, it’s taken on a whole new meaning —…
February is LGBTQ+ History Month. On the eve of my birthday, I’ve put together a very special timeline. One that reminds us all that #LoveIsLove
1968: At a Kent hospital I enter the world, kicking and screaming. A second daughter for Gwen and Alan.
1969: the Stonewall riots break out in New York City in protests against police raids on LGBT+ venue, the Stonewall Inn. Many see this as the birth of the modern LGBT+ rights movement.
1971: the Nullity Of Marriage Act passes, legally barring the marriage of same sex couples in England and Wales.
I’m a three year…
IT won’t work. I know it won’t work.
I tell the client it won’t work.
I explain why it won’t work.
I am a journalist. Some may say an ex-journalist.
You see, I went to the dark side.
PR. Public Relations.
The ultimate sin for a journo.
In this moment, as the client is on the verge of making a major U-turn on their PR, by playing it way too safe, I am still a journalist. Even in my role as PR consultant, journalism is in my veins.
And this journalist, working with the client to attract the positive attention…
I HAVE a confession to make. I have hugged. Several people. During Lockdown.
There, I said it.
*Looks around for blue flashing lights.*
It felt amazing.
Like a supreme power prized open the rusty locks, opened my chest, unlocked my heart and let it fly freely.
Of course, I’m not suggesting you do the same.
Nothing’s worth risking your health.
But, you know what?
It’s what was needed. What I/we needed in that moment.
And it reminded me to go back to those basic truths of the human condition.
We need connection.
TODAY I’m grouchy. I’m finding it hard to settle to anything. My time blocking plan has gone out the window, along with my creativity.
So, I’m writing this.
Write it out and all will be well, I tell myself.
“Just write” — award-winning author, Sarah Waters said to me once.
I quote her words often.
Today is a day to put those words into action.
To be honest, any action is better than none.
So, I’m writing.
How am I feeling right now? Relieved.
There’s something strangely comforting about the sound and feel of fingers on a keyboard.
WE often hear about the stages of grief:
Shock and denial.
Pain and guilt.
Anger and bargaining.
The upward turn.
Reconstruction and working through.
Acceptance and hope.
But what about the stages of lockdown? Could we apply the same principles?
Stage 1: Shock and Denial
Shock for sure. Denial? Never. Maybe I’ve read too many dystopian novels and overloaded on disaster movies, but this was always going to happen, wasn’t it?
Whether you believe it’s one big master plan by the one per cent to cut the population and reap the profits for themselves or you think…
When was the last time you slagged off news coverage?
Not too long ago, I suspect.
We are in the age of fake news, politically biased ‘news’, where often we have to search for grains of truth in the words we read, hear and see.
How many of us have been left confused, angry even at Boris’ press briefings, urging journalists to ask the questions we want answered?
Are the press doing their job, really challenging the Government on their Covid plans, simply playing at it, with the headlines already written or is there something else going on? …
I’d never met her. I’d never written about her. And yet here I was sitting in front of my TV crying for a woman I had no connection with.
Maybe it was the alcohol, (I’d just arrived home from a club after a boozy night) maybe it was something else.
As a visibly shocked newsreader broke the news, I couldn’t quite believe what I was seeing and hearing.
In my world, journalists were supposed to be impartial. There to report the facts and nothing more. But this moment was something else.
The tremor in the announcer’s voice took every viewer…
I never got that Blue Peter badge I so desired in my childhood, but don’t worry, I’ve worked through my pain.
I’ve lit my joss sticks, I’ve sat cross legged and chanted, I’ve even considered wearing a Kaftan or knitting a jumper with the lentils I found in the back of the cupboard (no, hang on I might need those — but then what do I do if I need more loo roll?). It was all in a bid to help me work through my Blue Peter FOMO.
But, with or without a Blue Peter badge, life must go on…
YOU stare at the screen of your laptop/phone/tablet. You stare some more and you sigh. Your fingers poised on the keyboard, but there’s only silence. Agonising silence. No words, no inspiration. Just frustration as the clock ticks and all you see is a blank page in front of you.
Ever had this feeling? Don’t worry, you’re not alone, and there is a solution.
When you run your own business, coming up with content for your social media accounts, writing blogs for your website can feel like you’re trying to push water uphill with a fork.
I get it. I do.