Author Kate Bradley
Author Kate Bradley

We all have those little – or big – things that make us feel safe, don’t we?  For some, it’s having a house, a regular income or perhaps just enough money to buy yourself out of trouble.  Some people mock preppers, but I’ve always found the idea tempting.  I’ve even gone as far as to buy a few extra bags of rice and lentils, just in case… since I’ve had kids, I wouldn’t want to be without food in a sticky situation.  I can’t yet call myself a prepper, but a few extra cans of tinned tomatoes does make me feel a little safer.  But if canned food doesn’t cut it for you, perhaps one or two things from the rest of my list will…

I love my bed and being able to crawl under my duvet is the perfect way to make me feel safe, so my bed and my home is the second on my list.  I worked with homeless people for years, so I’ll never undervalue my safe front door.

My number three is streetlights.  I’ve never lived in the country – I couldn’t brave those dark, isolated lanes.  I’ve always had an overactive imagination, and I’m still fearful walking the streets at night – even a gin and tonic or four doesn’t chase away the potential I see in those slinking, stealthy shadows.  The glow of streetlights helps, as does my number four, which is my prayers to get safely home.

I think we’re all a little freaked out by the current reality of our planet, so Great Greta is my number five. Go get the greedy corporations, Greta!

And whilst we’re thinking about kick-ass woman, my number six is the Me Too movement.  I watched Weinstein wheel himself into court and I’m glad he didn’t get to stride out.  We’ve all suffered the lecherous boss and I’m glad our daughters’ generation will be safer for Me Too.  Progress: I hashtag love it.

Last, but not least, is love.  Love makes us all feel safe, doesn’t it?  But I’m not just talking about the love we feel for our near ones, but something bigger, something broader.  That wider love that drives people to do good things for people they’ve never met – and perhaps never will.  Like the women who got angry enough to do something about harassment and didn’t want others to suffer.  That love Greta feels for the future generations she will never meet.  That’s why I wrote To Keep You Safe -- I know I’d do anything to keep my loved ones safe, but I wanted to pose the question: how far would you go to keep someone else’s child safe?  A child that no one loves?  My lead character, Jenni Wales, is like the Terminator’s Sarah Connor and Alien’s Ellen Ripley – a kick-ass fighter that goes further than anyone to do the right thing, and I love her for that. Let’s hope we never need a Sarah, Ellen or Jenni in our lives, but if we do, let’s hope we find one to keep us safe. 

To Keep You Safe by Kate Bradley is out now (Zaffre, £8.99)


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