28 Feb 2021

She's not my cat

A moment of silence for my lockdown roots, if you please.

When I was in primary school, we had to create a book. Like the whole thing, not just write the words. Fold the paper, draw the illustrations, devise the marketing campaign (maybe not that one, can't remember). And I think it had to be an instructional book because I created mine on how to look after a cat.

I wanted a cat. I wasn't allowed a cat, and thought that I could prove to my parents that I was very knowledgeable and capable in looking after a cat by creating (not just writing, remember) a book on the very subject. This was in the 90s without the internet so my knowledge had to come from my own tiny primary school brain. 

Anyway, I was proud of the book but I still wasn't allowed a cat.

31 Oct 2020

Three words

In September 2019 (six decades ago, right?) I booked myself a ticket to join Intention Seekers, a guided workshop run by Holly June Smith. She's a life coach and a wedding celebrant and very wise and eloquent and kind. An all round good egg, they'd say.

Intention Seekers is a satisfyingly-worded workshop which helps you to dust off your foundations and reconnect with, or even identify, your values, needs, and wants. I won't go into it all because SPOILERS in case Holly runs it again, but I found it incredibly helpful, wholesome and strengthening. The bit I do want to go into is her final task: choose a word that will ground you for the next month, season, year...

One word? Impossible. I'm a copywriter, I like words, but to pick just one? A nightmare. You couldn't pay me enough. 

So I chose three. Fuck it. Three words to act as a lens through which I made my future choices, dealt with future feelings, and bring me back to my foundations when I was in a kerfuffle. 

Boundaries. Energy. Intention.

I didn't really expect to be using them during a year of break-ups, bereavements and banned-from-doing-nice-things-and-seeing-loved-ones pandemics, but there we are. These three words were truly put to the test and I found them powerful. This is what they mean to me...

8 Sept 2020

Dear Louise, by popular demand...


Hello... how are you? You nearly-40-year-old in 2030, you. *sweats*

I hate to ask but, um, are you still alive?

When I wrote a letter at 16 years old to my 26-year-old self, I never considered that I might have actually died in those next 10 years. It was all future and hope, not death and misery. Imagine not thinking about death, like, 96% of the time. Bliss. 

Anyway, I hope you're still alive.

5 Aug 2020

Weren't we lucky

Whenever we used to visit my grandparents, my nan would come to the door, open it and say, 'No thank you, not today!' and it'd be hilarious and we'd all laugh. 

Grief's a bit like that. Approaching the outside world every morning, saying, 'No thank you, not today!' and laughing at how silly it all is. Because what else can you do but laugh? 

Whenever my grandparents visited and left ours to go home, my nan would roll down the car window, give a royal wave, and call out, 'Bye, Sarah! Bye, Catherine!' and we'd all laugh as if calling us by the wrong names on purpose was the funniest thing in the world. 

I would give a kidney for her to call me the wrong name now. 

My nan, Doreen Joan, died 129 days ago. She was 82. It would have been her 83rd birthday today. I said when I wrote about her dying during a pandemic that one day I'd write about her - just her and everything she was - so today seems fitting. 

Which is an absolute lie, because no day is fitting to write about your glorious, silly, kind, funny, stubborn, childlike, caring, interested-in-anything-and-everything-about-you but now dead nan.

8 Jul 2020

Dear Louise, again...

Ah, fuck. 

10 years ago today, 8 July 2010, I wrote a blog post called 'Dear Louise...'. It was a letter to my future self from 16-year-old me. I wrote it, I published it, and I told myself not to read it again until I was 26. Today. 10 years later. A decade later. 2010 to 2020. It's happened. We're here. Time has done the thing. I'm about to read it and reply.

CAN YOU SENSE THE EXISTENTIALISM. CAN YOU. Buckle in and hold my damn hand.