It’s December and I’m wearing my leather gloves as the temperature is dropping. I was wearing them constantly in March. For a while they felt like my armour against the fearful global climate. It was a bewildering time and I’m not sure if that time has ended. We block out stressful periods so I remember only snapshots from earlier in the year. The eery feeling … Continue reading Manoeuvres
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
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?
It has been impossible not to lately. The death of George Floyd in the US after a police officer knelt on his neck was the catalyst for widespread protests. It shocked us out of our Coronavirus news coma. Black Lives Matter demonstrations happened all over the UK, reminding us that this is both an international and a local problem that we need to address. We … Continue reading Thinking about race
As lockdown starts to ease across the UK, spending time with other people is coming back into the realms of possibility. I’ve been angry, perplexed and at times despairing at how the Government advice has never addressed the mental health aspects of remaining isolated or socially distant from all others. Too often it seemed the face of power was a middle-aged white man in some … Continue reading People are more than 2D
As we enter week 7 (8?) of lockdown in London, it strikes me that my life now has similarities with caravan holidays from my youth.Back before I’d ever been on a plane, Summer holidays were taken in Devon. It was roughly a 5 hour drive from Stoke-on-Trent where I grew up, punctuated by an overnight stay in Bristol to visit my grandparents. I remember the … Continue reading Caravans
What I’ve learned from living by myself during the pandemic and lockdown SO FAR: 1. Stock the fridge It’s a funny thing going from being in a relationship and living together for a long time to living solo. On one hand, you get freed up from an awful lot of responsibility and on the other, you gain sole responsibility for everything. I love cooking, but … Continue reading Lockdown lessons
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?
Eventually there had to be some kind of upside to Coronavirus lockdown, the stay at home sentence which bans spending time with anyone outside of your household or going out for non-essential reasons. The mental health challenges are obvious. We put all plans on hold. We have to process the grief of everything being turned upside down. We are lonely and miss people. But I … Continue reading The neighbourhood is back