As we prepare for an easing of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, we ask ourselves what will the future look like?

Credit: Unknown

It has been almost two months of strict lockdown here, though some countries have obviously been much stricter than others. Spain and Italy were the most stringent, France perhaps a little easier but still with strict lockdown conditions and in the UK and Germany, whilst many businesses were closed, and people were asked to stay at home, it did not seem to be so much an enforced lockdown as an advisory one.

Continue reading “As we prepare for an easing of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, we ask ourselves what will the future look like?”

The Virtual Recluse becomes an Actual Recluse as the world continues to self-isolate.

Firstly, my apologies. I realise that we are perhaps all at coronavirus information overload, that nobody really needs yet another amateur blogger airing their views about it, that there is possibly nothing new I can add and for all these reasons I sincerely did refrain from writing about this subject for a very long time but as both an avid reader and a writer, it would feel supremely abnormal to me, not to mention, document or at the very least make note of for my own posterity, perhaps one of the most globally significant and unusual circumstances to occur in my lifetime, thus far.

If you choose not to read on, having long become weary of unnecessary anecdotes about this situation, then I perfectly understand.

Continue reading “The Virtual Recluse becomes an Actual Recluse as the world continues to self-isolate.”

How ludicrously loooooooooooong?

Can I just say ‘well done’ to everyone for surviving yet another incredibly challenging January. 

Whether you chose to do it dry, carb free, or instead promised to get your ten-thousand daily steps in, or whether, like me, you deliberately increased your carb and alcohol intake in order to numb the endless suffering, whilst each day failing miserably to make even the slightest dent on the so called daily recommended amount of physical activity.  

Never mind how you managed to survive it.

The important thing is that you did!

Continue reading “How ludicrously loooooooooooong?”

Brexit Blues

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum,
Accept that the point of no return has come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky that ‘Common Sense is Dead’.
Put crepe bows round the necks of white doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

Whilst the fat cats in Parliament tally their scores,
The stipends are paid to the media whores.
The spin doctors and bullshitters prepare each careful verse.
The iron bank of England steadies it’s purse.

The clown ruffles his hair and again takes the light,
Rehearsing his victory speech he’ll deliver tonight.
Bringing joy to the Leavers, but ‘Remainers’ to tears,
He’ll overlook all of his lies in the last tumultuous three years.

But we’ll all still remember just how we got here,
The deceits, the falsehoods, the promotion of fear.
The gross misrepresentations, when the dice was first cast.
An ugly, divisive and bitter campaign to the last.

Adapted from W.H.Auden’s ‘Funeral Blues’ 

You know you’re something special and you look like you’re the best*

I was never a ‘Duranie’ whilst growing up.  If anyone were to have worn that label in our household it was most definitely my brother, a year my senior. Whilst he was a fan of their music, he was never a banner waving devotee, I think that was left more to the female fans back in the day, the screaming armies of teenage girls who would pack themselves tightly at the front of every gig, waiting for hours and hours for the band to make their entrance and then faint instantly the moment they clapped eyes on the object of their desire.

Continue reading “You know you’re something special and you look like you’re the best*”

More crimes against literature and books we just love to hate.

Powerful, magical and utterly romantic, On the Other Side will transport you to a world that is impossible to forget, and it will have you weeping from the sheer joy and beauty of it all.

I must start by saying that I feel partly awful for writing this, especially since I didn’t even buy the book and therefore I can’t personally claim that I have wasted my own money on it. It was, instead, left behind at my house by my visiting sister-in-law, who read it and obviously decided that it wasn’t worth the valuable space in her luggage on the return journey.

Continue reading “More crimes against literature and books we just love to hate.”

Little Miss Not so Sunshine

I think it’s fair to say that I could never be described as “having a wonderfully cheerful disposition”

In fact, Mrs Gibbons, my infant school teacher back in 1977, once described me as ‘a rather solemn child with a frightful frown’.

Perhaps it is because I was born on a Wednesday, since we are all familiar with what they say about poor Wednesday’s child in the poem ‘Mondays Child’

Continue reading “Little Miss Not so Sunshine”

Do you think all cockerels must be under the impression that they are called “OH SHUT THE F**K UP!” ?

Have you ever wondered how often a cockerel crows?

Well I can reliably tell you….every sodding eight seconds from about five am until it just becomes bored of doing so, which is somewhere between several hours and NEVER!

Eventually, after well over two hours, I just stopped caring and finally got out of bed. To be fair, after the first half hour it had reduced it’s infuriating and utterly pointless outbursts to about every twelve to fifteen seconds but by then I was almost completely insane anyway. 

As it happens I’d already been fully awake since three-thirty am.

Continue reading “Do you think all cockerels must be under the impression that they are called “OH SHUT THE F**K UP!” ?”

Talking to my sister in law recently, I recounted to her how utterly exhausted I am of feeling the need to lose weight.

When I say that, I do not mean that I am physically exhausted on account that I am a little overweight, I mean I am mentally exhausted from the perceived pressures of our society that makes me/you/us feel like we should be actively trying to lose any excess weight if we are not what is considered to be ideal BMI or body perfect.  
Are any of you sick of feeling guilty or ashamed for being slightly overweight?
Are you sick of the self-deprecating comments you feel it necessary to make?

I am.

Continue reading “Talking to my sister in law recently, I recounted to her how utterly exhausted I am of feeling the need to lose weight.”

Our Lady of Paris and a world gone ever so slightly mad

Following on from my last blog very quickly, I hope to be able to bring you a sequel in the near future, perhaps a ‘Desperately Seeking Sally’ or a ‘Finding Tony’.


Though he may be rather less than enamoured with any uninvited contact (even after my long overdue apology)  and, of course, I don’t want to tempt any legal sanctions or injunctions.

Just because I consider what I do to be ‘extensive research’ does not mean that some people don’t actually simply refer to that as ‘internet stalking’.

I jest, of course,  naturally I did have a quick look around. I couldn’t really find anything overly helpful so I have put the feelers out with an old acquaintance in an attempt to make contact with Sally and am now just waiting.
You never know, I might open my ‘Inbox’ one morning to a wonderful surprise.

In the meantime my thoughts effortlessly turn to events of this week because I am fickle like that.

As I’m sure you all know; I’m fairly certain the news has reached every corner of the planet, except perhaps a few small isolated tribes deep in the rainforests of the Amazon and the Congo basin, that the Notre Dame Cathedral had a dreadful, devastating fire this week.

Continue reading “Our Lady of Paris and a world gone ever so slightly mad”

Notes to my thirteen-year-old self and an apology that is thirty-four years overdue

This post will not be to everyone’s taste. Some may find it too long, others may simply find it too boring. For this I apologise, however, since it is a genuine memory, I was not prepared to embellish it in order to make it more amusing/appealing/entertaining to my readers and I was not prepared to skip any bits just because they seemed a little mundane.

It is what it is, an early chapter of my life………

I’d like to start by saying that being a ‘parent’ is difficult.

It’s difficult because despite your very best efforts to nurture, nourish, protect, support, advise and relate to the children in your life, once they have reached the dreaded teens, they undoubtedly think you are a total knob and this generally continues until they have reached adulthood themselves, which is not simply the point at which they turn eighteen, but the point at which they demonstrate a conscious responsibility for their own actions in life and display, at the very least, a modicum of capable independence.
For boys, this intersection can run on indefinitely!

Continue reading “Notes to my thirteen-year-old self and an apology that is thirty-four years overdue”

To tree or not to tree….that is the festive question.

So this year, for the first time in my adult life, we are not having a Christmas tree. My husband was genuinely not bothered either way (he would actually stop celebrating Christmas entirely if he thought he could get away with it), the ‘kids’ (21, almost 19 and 14) will possibly not switch their technology addicted, vacant gazes from their iPhones long enough to even notice it’s absence and I just could not muster the enthusiasm to once again lug out the same tree, with the same decorations, to place it in the exact same footprint of our home.

This is not laziness on my part, I can assure you, nothing could have been simpler for our Christmas tree was placed in the barn last year, fully decorated and completely covered over to protect it from owl pellets, batshit, cobwebs, the nibbling of mice and anything else that ‘nature’ or as I like to call them; uninvited and unpaying guests in our barn, could throw at it.

It simply needed dragging across the road and unveiling…tah-dah!

Continue reading “To tree or not to tree….that is the festive question.”

Of course I want to hear your opinions, I just prefer mine!

Just a very brief post, firstly to let you know that I am still alive and well and also to provide an update on the current goings-on.

As you know from my previous post some weeks back, my friend was imminently about to visit for a week to officially launch our writing collaboration and partnership.

Well, his visit has now been and gone and almost two weeks have passed since then. Continue reading “Of course I want to hear your opinions, I just prefer mine!”

When 2 become 1……

I’m writing this post, partly to apologise (again!) for my lack of posts these last couple of weeks due to excessive travelling and being very busy indeed but also to inform you that this may well be my final post for a little while, perhaps even a very long while.

I know, right? It doesn’t seem to make any sense, literally just a few months after finally getting off my arse and launching a business page I’m now taking an undetermined hiatus.

Well, all I can say is that sometimes opportunities present themselves, we don’t always plan for them and we can’t always ignore them. Continue reading “When 2 become 1……”

When is a stomach bug not a stomach bug?

Recently, during the very hot weather, I found myself suffering from some kind of bug or malady.

One minute I would be fine, then the next I would come over very clammy and be feeling very sick indeed, my stomach would gnaw and clench like someone had made a fist inside it and I would dash off to the loo expecting the entire world to explode forth from one end or the other, possibly even both simultaneously.  

The strange thing was that nothing ever happened. No sickness, no explosive diarrhoea, nothing.

One morning I dashed to the loo on three separate occasions in the space of just half an hour, each time expecting the ‘full purge’ but still nothing! Continue reading “When is a stomach bug not a stomach bug?”

Bollocks to it, I’m going to have a moan about the heat…..because I deserve to!

Unlike almost all of my friends in the UK who were quite pleased to welcome an actual Summer for once, I hated it from the moment that it arrived and that is because I live in the Limousin region of France where it went from absolutely pissing it down every single day in Spring to BAM!  Here’s thirty-eight degrees, deal with that. Continue reading “Bollocks to it, I’m going to have a moan about the heat…..because I deserve to!”

I literally (and literary) don’t know where to start…….

That’s the whole problem when you return after a bit of a hiatus and let’s face it, it’s not just these last couple of weeks, I’ve been pretty flakey for some months now!

  1. Do you avail everyone of everything that’s been going on in your life since the last time you shared your experiences on your blog and risk boring everyone to death?
  2. Do you pick out the highlights and then just come across as a sickeningly, self-indulgent ‘show off’?
  3. Do you pick on the more comedic lowlights that you believe everyone will be able to relate to but then somehow come across as a whining, pessimistic grumble guts moaning about the heat, moaning about the lack of sleep…moan, moan, moan?
  4. Or do you simply bypass everything that happened before today,  like someone suffering from instant onset amnesia, pick a completely random subject and wax lyrical about it in the hope that everybody just falls back in? No questions asked, no explanations given.

Let’s see how that pans out after my usual preamble rambling. Continue reading “I literally (and literary) don’t know where to start…….”

A World Cup special….one woman’s point of view

Naturally, what else could I possibly write about just before the biggest football event of the year? Yaaaaaaawn.

Now, I’m not going to pretend that I know the first thing about Football because it would very quickly become quite evident that I don’t.
I’m just like Jule’s mother from the film ‘Bend it Like Beckham’, played by the wonderful Juliet Stevenson.

“Right! So, don’t tell me. The offside rule is when the French mustard (long pause whilst thinking) has to be between the teriyaki sauce and the sea salt.”

Bend it Like Beckham.

But of course, that doesn’t stop me from being an absolute armchair expert, just like everyone else, when England are playing and winning and then losing.

Continue reading “A World Cup special….one woman’s point of view”

This week, I’d like to talk about the much reviled smear test and internal examination!

Now, I know that it’s not every day that you will read a full and frank account of such occasions but I’m certain that many women will relate to the following and for any readers of the masculine variety, before you think to yourself “Ugh. Yuk. Womens issues”  and go to click the exit button ready to tune back into yours truly next week, just think, this could be someone you know, or it could simply provide you with an amusing insight into the world of very female problems, or it could make you stop and think that maybe you are due a check-up of your own male variety.

Whatever your thoughts, please keep reading. It’s not boring at all. Promise. Continue reading “This week, I’d like to talk about the much reviled smear test and internal examination!”