Back in March 2020, I was part way through getting Home by the Sea on paper so for a short period of time I was completely submerged in the lives of my characters, but gradually the reality of what was happening in real life began to dawn. I quickly realised that exercise was important but being disabled, I am limited in what I can do. I began walking with my walker around the Close where I live but I wasn’t as savvy as Captain Sir Tom Moore. He did 100 laps of his driveway and raised millions. I’ve done my Close over 365 times and slightly raised my temperature.
I’ve always enjoyed crafting but always made the same things. Aprons, ‘Nobody wears aprons anymore, Mum,’ dressing dolls, ‘Kids don’t do dolls, Pam,’ and lavender bags, ‘Who buys them?’ After a radical re-think, I found some fabulous ideas on the Internet. So last Christmas, the women in my family had a small hessian sack with a patchwork pattern on the front. I filled it with things like soap, perfume, sweets, garden tools and seeds. Then came the mice. Little felt mice fixed onto a coaster. I gave myself a challenge with their setting, so I’ve got a child on a swing inside a margarine tub, a woman doing her knitting (her knitting needles are toothpicks) and a bride and groom. I’m still working on choir boys under a lamp made from a hand sanitizer pump.
Home by the Sea finished, I began the next book (as yet no title). In between times, I was busy zooming with friends, watching my church services on Live Stream and enjoying doorstep, socially distanced visits from friends and family. We were fortunate enough to have supermarket deliveries. Spot on most of the time although I admit I was a little puzzled when they substituted a jar of peaches (unavailable) with one lunch box size of dried raisins.
Like everybody else, we made plans for Christmas, a family gathering on Monday December 28th, but in the end it was just hubby and me. The ginormous salmon I’d bought for the buffet was lovely but we were a little tired of it by the first week January!
Joking aside we weren’t untouched by the situation. My husband is a cancer survivor so we had to shield many more months than most. One of my daughters is a front line nurse so I worried about her exposure to the disease. To begin with, PPE was in short supply. We had a couple of scares but thank God she came through unscathed.
During the third Lockdown I revisited another craft I used to enjoy, needle painting embroidery. My skill isn’t as crisp as it used to be but I really enjoy doing it. Oh my, now you must absolutely promise not to tell another living soul. I’ve just let slip what my girls are getting for Christmas this year.
Find your special time to write. If you are a morning person, get up a bit earlier. If you are an evening person, turn off the telly and switch on the laptop! You may also have to ‘train’ the people you live with that only a fire, flood or earthquake should be allowed to interrupt your writing time...