Reading and Writing in Isolation

In these difficult times, when many of us are isolating due to the dreadful Coronavirus, it has often proved difficult for many of us to stay positive. I have neighbours who have the virus (my husband and I are well on the way to recovery) and I have friends with ageing parents who have not been able to physically touch their loved ones for weeks due to isolation but those involved have come up with some lovely ideas to communicate and stay positive.

Reminiscing: Seven years ago at the London Book Fair

Yes, we’ve tried Zoom and Houseparty, but neighbours in my street have also started leaving books outside their front door for others to pick up and read; allotment owners have been leaving rhubarb on the doorstep; keen cooks have been leaving sourdough bread starters. Local shops have been delivering goods and we’ve been shopping for each other.

On the bright side, (well, for my husband and me anyway) our two adult children are both having to work from home so, for the first time in a long time the family is back under the same roof. We’re taking turns shopping (now we’ve recovered) and cooking, we’re playing board games, sitting in the garden (weather permitting), watching TV and listening to music together.

And then there’s writing, of course. Since The Stranger In My Life was published I have been working full time as an editor but a month ago I retired, so now I’m writing again, just for myself. And isolation at home means there has been no excuse not to keep on writing.

Coronavirus is very scary and it’s not easy to see light in the gloom. But it’s been a curiously calm, peaceful month for me: getting the virus, recovering from the virus, reading, cooking, baking, chatting, playing games, reminiscing (see photo above: me and Janet at London Book Fair April 2013) and lots and lots of writing.

Janet meanwhile is very well and she sends her love.


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