I write about the body and my relationship to it often. It’s something I feel changing over the years, as life happens. During the pandemic our bodies felt like machines to exercise and precious goods to protect. There was a battle between physical and mental health, where keeping ourselves safe came at a cost to our social connections. Friendships shifted and are still reconfiguring. I … Continue reading Healing
Once again we’ve reached the post-lockdown phase, restrictions tentatively lifting around the UK. The big difference for me is having had the first dose of the Covid vaccine. It felt like completing the final levels of a computer game as I walked round the cavernous conference centre. You give personal details at one desk, receive medical advice at another, go this way, go that way, … Continue reading Blue skies and high ceilings
I haven’t written much lately. Lots of things are half-written, half-read and half-thought. The end of 2020 and start of 2021 blurred into one confusing block of time, which has now passed. I had reached the point where anxiety affected me physically. Stomach pain, leg cramps, awake each day at 3am in panic, frantically googling symptoms. Living in a fog of tiredness, yet on high … Continue reading Communal living
I’ve spent a lot of time horizontal recently. Some of which was giving into the need to rest after a draining year. But some of it has been involuntary; being unable to move much due to unexplained pains in my abdomen. It’s not really what I wanted for Christmas, but on the positive side at least I was off work anyway! This particular problem got … Continue reading Bed rest
I can’t remember when I discovered that introversion was a thing. It wasn’t widely recognised during my childhood. But what was recognised was being different. Children were expected to behave in a certain way in social contexts. I was under 5 when it was noted that I did not behave that way. In nursery classes I was shy and would head to a corner of … Continue reading Introspective
The latest contradictory message from the government came with new proposals to reduce obesity. This was hot on the heels of the ‘Eat Out to Help Out‘ plan, encouraging us to go to restaurants in August with a 50% discount incentive. Lose weight, but also eat steak and chips. Stay alert! It’s confusing stuff, considering most of us have experienced hardship this year ranging from … Continue reading Body neutral
We’re in a remote working revolution driven by a pandemic. Thank you 2020. But what does the future of working hold for us? Are things getting better or worse? Office life Like many I’ve spent years working in offices. The first one was a concrete cube on the Hanger Lane gyratory, a massive roundabout in West London. I learned how to navigate office life there … Continue reading Working in the future
I’m angry. It feels good to say it. I only register a small amount of guilt for this unlikeable, unfeminine emotion. Maybe one day I’ll have none. This year I’ve spoken to people in senior jobs where I needed to enlist their specialist skills. These were not just senior professionals but leading, highly paid professionals. Men at the top. And my experiences left me questioning … Continue reading Am I the expert?
During lockdown I wanted to keep my mind busy with learning. I need not have worried that I’d be bored since I still had a demanding full-time job, but gaps did start to open up where I would previously be out and about. In those new hours was a chance to explore personal interests. One of these was an online course on The Science of … Continue reading The science of happiness
There has been a lot of talk of when and if things will go back to normal. I find myself questioning normal. It seems a narrow way to live at the best of times. The pursuit of normal may be unhelpful. Before the pandemic, I got on the underground train most days for work. I’ve been doing that one way or another for 17 years, … Continue reading What is normal?