What helped this week



I bumped into an old colleague in the supermarket the other day, who remarked that she hadn't seen me for ages. An awful lot of people haven't seen me for ages because, well... I haven't been going out of the house very much. I think my record was a six-day stretch over the Christmas holidays (which was enabled by having copious amounts of food in the house), but most weeks I can easily not go out for several days. 

While staying in and keeping safe can be a powerful healing tool, it's not a sustainable one, so I've been making a greater effort to actually leave my cocoon and brave the February weather, and can chalk up a trip to Lidl, and a lovely long walk as my achievements.

The walk nearly didn't happen. Having got up and dressed and mentally prepared, Leo asked me if I'd checked the weather forecast, and of course I hadn't, and then she told me it was going to rain, and I felt like such a fool to have put so much effort into planning my trip to the beach without thinking about the weather. I guess when you stay indoors it's very easy to forget about things like rain and temperature. But another thing I'm working on right now is Not Being a Flake, which means that unless I'm desperately unwell, I'm making myself do things I've committed to. So waterproofs and boots and fleece-lined leggings from Primark (life-changers, I swear) were donned, and off to the beach - well, two beaches, in fact - we went. 

The wind was epic in a blow-you-over kind of way, and I don't know about cobwebs but the sea air cleared out my sinuses in a manner equivalent to a week's neti pot usage. I also found some excellent treasures:


I've recently started eating meat again. It's probably a subject I'll dive deeper into in a future post, and the reasons are complex - I still haven't totally finished working some of them out for myself yet. Anyway, yesterday I roasted a chicken and enjoyed it immensely. Leo did the all the complicated bits and we had a very good Sunday roast indeed.

When I'm not feeling up to elaborate food prep (which is most days, if I'm honest), Pinterest continues to give me umpteen ideas for easy, one pot recipes. I have a board right here with some of my favourites.


I'm re-reading  The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver. The character of Frida Kahlo steals the show somewhat (and quite rightly so!), but the writing is beautiful and poignant and pleases me greatly.


Spotify's Deep Dark Indie playlist is throwing up some corkers, like Broods and Ruelle. I no longer have a reliable source of exposure to new music, so this has been a revelation, even if my son was a bit indignant that I've been listening to Banks.


I attempted to give myself eyelash extensions after watching a Youtube tutorial where a gorgeous young whippersnapper threw them on her face in a heartbeat and looked adorable. For me it was an hour of staring far too closely at my face in the mirror and realising that I am too long-sighted in my right eye to ever achieve success at a task which involves accurately doing things to my left eye. I did contemplate going to get them done professionally, but I have a hair cut and colour booked this week and that's quite enough physical contact from strangers to be getting anxious about for one week, thank you.