Thursday 24 December 2020


Well, as I look back at my last post which was shockingly long ago (nearly 8 months), I realize with horror that not much has changed since then! The UK and the world is still gripped by this awful Covid19 pandemic. If anything, the situation is WORSE now than back when I last wrote in April. It's winter in much of the world and because so many of us are now indoors for the majority of each day, this is helping the virus spread out of control. And out of control it is, with new variants and mutations of it popping up in the UK and in South Africa and with others probably lurking undiscovered in other countries. 

How gloomy does all that look and feel? It's all rather depressing news which makes me feel heavy in the heart and head and is made harder by a new, tough lockdown in London where I live. Everything apart from supermarkets and chemists is shut; there's nothing to do; nowhere to go. Everyone is walking in the same parks because there's nothing else to do and it's actually so busy everywhere that it's impossible to socially distance from anyone.  

And yet it isn't all gloomy. There is hope. There is now a vaccine being rolled out although it does feel like it will be a good long while before the majority of the population (including me) will be vaccinated. 

But hope is powerful and I'd like to hold onto it, because I'm desperate for 2021 to be a much better year than 2020 and with that in mind I've been thinking about how to make that possible. 

And I finally came up with a list of 6 things we must do in 2021 to make it a better year. And I'd like to share that with you. 

This is my abbreviated list - the full version can be seen here on my YOUTUBE VIDEO

1. Book a holiday - have something in the diary to look forward to in the summer

2. Add something greener/eco into your life

3. Drink less alcohol - I don't know about you, but I have started drinking WAY more than I used to in lockdown

4. Exercise more

5. Learn something new/do something new/experience something new

6. BELIEVE - believe that the year will be better! There's nothing more powerful than positive thought...

If you've got any other ideas as to how we can make 2021 better, please do share them - they could help us all!

And in the meantime I wish you a very happy, safe Christmas and a healthy, prosperous and better New Year. 

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Wednesday 29 April 2020


Wow, I've just seen that the last blog I posted was shockingly long ago - more than a year! There are reasons for this. My father sadly passed away and last year (i.e. 2019) felt like my annus horribilis. Not only did I lose my dad (and my mum died ten years ago so now I am really 'alone') but I also had to clear out his house which was our childhood home. The emotional exhaustion of sifting and sorting through those memories was really hard. As well selling what had been such a happy house and moving on to the next chapter of our lives. I kept writing off 2019 and saying "next year will be better". If only I'd had a crystal ball!!

It started well enough. I took my kids on an amazing adventure to Chile in December. At the time I'd justified the expensive air tickets, thinking my twins (age 17) were getting older and might not come away with me for much longer and that we should make the most of it. Thank goodness I did that. Because now we can't go anywhere because of the lockdown and it's unlikely we'll be able to do much adventurous travel this summer...though I can still live in hope!

So, how are you all dealing with lockdown?

We're now entering our 6th week here in the UK and at first it wasn't too bad. We're some of the lucky ones with a garden and because we had amazing weather we were at least able to be outside enjoying the sunshine, which really helped. Plus in the UK (unlike in Italy or Spain) we're allowed to go out once a day for exercise, as long as we keep a 2 meter distance from people. So I've gone on great 1.5 hour walks which have been a godsend in terms of not feeling too cooped up.

Because this is such a once-in-a-generation contagion (well, at least I hope it is) that we're dealing with, I thought I'd try to diarise it in video form and I made a few 'lockdown' films for my YouTube channel which show how we're dealing with being cooped up and how the kids are faring with online education and not being able to see their friends or go out and socialise.

They weren't meant to be spoofs, but my family is so crazy that each mini film is pretty funny and feels like a spoof. Take a look:




After this we spent a week doing our own family Come Dine with Me special (that film is also on my YouTube channel) where we all took turns cooking the family meal one night of the week and we voted for the winner. It was hotly contested and some delicious food was eaten that week and my kids proved very creative  - preparing Mexican taco feasts, homemade brioches and homemade pasta even! I promise not to do any spoiler alerts here. You'll have to watch the film to decide who is the winner: 

Alas, the weather has now taken a turn for the worse and it's becoming tougher for us all. The kids aren't coping that well with an online education (some are faring better than others) and I'm not enjoying being their educator. I'm trying to fill in the gaps where I can, especially with languages, because it's hard teaching languages online.

Also, I'm used to traveling the whole time for work and  now that I'm not going anywhere - and have no idea when that might change - I'm starting to suffer a bit from cabin fever. In those moments I remind myself how lucky we are. We have a garden, we have each other, we have food to put on the table and we have so far managed to stay healthy. And I keep trying to remind myself of that whenever I get in a minor funk...

Funny things still to happen: when we struggled to buy toilet paper/pasta and eggs at the beginning of the pandemic (when everyone was stockpiling and going crazy) my husband had the idea to build a chicken coop at the back of the garden so that we could provide our own eggs. The coop is built, as is the hen house - all that we're now waiting for are the chickens to arrive. I promise to keep you posted.


Anyway, do let me know how you are coping with any restrictions you're experiencing wherever you are in the world? And whether you're scared of catching Covid19, or whether you've already had it or know someone who has?

And in the meantime, stay safe and be well and I promise to update you all sooner rather than later.

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