|Stradun - paved in white marble
Monday 22 November 2021
Dubrovnik, jewel of the Adriatic, once a prosperous trading hub, now a tourist's dream. Our half-term visit in October to this beautiful old city still glows in my memory. After 18 months of being confined to the UK, it was our first trip abroad post-Covid. Blinking sleepily, we stumbled through the sliding doors at the airport into a sunlit world with china-blue skies and breathtaking views of the glittering sea.
We felt like we'd been magically teleported back into a European summer. Wall-to-wall sunshine, with highs of 21 degrees. Woo-hoo! Back home, it was raining. With a rush of euphoria, I realised the endless form-filling and antigen tests were finally worth it. How lucky were we.
Tuesday 8 June 2021
Sometimes you don't realise you need a break until you're sat on a beach in the sunshine, thinking thank goodness. This was me last week, staying in Cornwall with extended family. It was a celebration of my sister-in-law's birthday but also a much needed holiday.
After driving down through the madness of half-term traffic, we arrived in a different land. Here, the sun shone and the sea glistened. Every pore in my freckly pale skin peeled open to soak up the vitamin D. It was bliss. After months of rain and unseasonal chilliness back home, summer had finally arrived.
|Port Isaac, a former fishing village
Monday 10 May 2021
There comes a time in a woman's life when she doubts herself. Wonders if she's made the right choices. Inevitably, she looks around at her peers and find herself lacking. I guess we've all been there, in one shape or form.
Wednesday 17 March 2021
The shocking murder of Sarah Everard has unleashed a torrent of emotion around male harassment of women. Abductions of young women are tragic but thankfully rare - I reminded my teenage daughter of this when she told me a friend was worrying about walking into town. However, the case has shone a light on the commonplace fears that many women experience throughout their daily lives.
For the most part, these fears have become normalised: don't walk down a dark alley, spike keys through your fingers for protection, be ready to press the alarm on your phone, walk confidently, send texts to make loved ones aware of your whereabouts, etc.
|Darkness and light:
In memory of Sarah Everard ❤️
It's just common sense, right? Or have we learnt to subjugate ourselves to the threat of violence?
Tuesday 9 February 2021
Today I'm sitting at my computer in three jumpers, looking through the window at snowflakes swirling around the garden. As ever, I'm peering through a screen at the real world beyond. The pandemic has turned us into a nation of voyeurs, gleaning our entertainment from Zoom, television, mobile phones... and now windows.
Not that I'm complaining. I've had my fresh air this morning and it's chilly enough in the house, let alone outside. I'm also quite a fan of Zoom and its ilk. Without video conferencing, I wouldn't be able to read Jacqueline Wilson to my nieces, catch up with family/friends, watch live theatre, enjoy Arts Society talks or take part in an upcoming Chinese New Year quiz this weekend. This is life in 2021.
|Living in a bubble
Tuesday 12 January 2021
Here we are again in Covid country. Either I've become habituated to lockdowns, or I secretly crave a quiet existence, as I'm not finding it too hard this time around... as long as I ration my consumption of the news. Occasionally, for my own buoyancy, I need to think about something other than mounting Covid cases.
The big distraction for me in lockdown 3 has been my writing. I'm inching towards the finish line (first draft) of my latest novel about New York in 2001. When I conceived this book in the summer, it was intended to be a light piece of escapism, based on my own experiences of living in Manhattan during the late 1990s (more City, not much Sex). Inevitably the story has become a shade darker as September 11 looms in the latter stages of the plot line.
|Photos of the twin towers in my album