The Gift of Presence

I’m writing this a week after Black Friday/Cyber Monday, the US discount-frenzy that’s firmly planted itself into British culture. I’d like to say I was immune but, with Christmas fast approaching, I bought a couple of gifts for friends and loved ones. Hey, I’m human.

It’s hard to know what to give people, though. Most of us have too much stuff already. And, because it’s been hard for us to meet up for a while, I know that I’m in danger of exchanging physical objects with some friends in lieu of physical presence. Continue reading “The Gift of Presence”

In praise of doing nothing

The first month of 2016’s now done and dusted. One down, eleven more to go.

The festivities of Christmas and New Year’s Eve are naught but a hazy memory, replaced by endless sale offers, credit card statements, calamitous weather and scattered fragments of new year resolutions.

I’ve had a cough and cold virus for the whole of January (which is only now abating), so I feel I’ve pretty much done zero, zip, NOTHING so far this year. No playtime at the Museum of Happiness’s pop-up event, no tea with friends, not even further damage to my credit card in those darned sales.

I recently read that the cold virus is supposed to make us feel depressed and lethargic so that we don’t go out and pick up another infection whilst fighting the first one. Continue reading “In praise of doing nothing”

Only the Lonely – for Girl on the Net

I discovered the very NSFW website of Girl on the Net via Twitter a couple of summers’ ago.

It was at the height of women sharing their experiences of sexual harassment and assault on public transport, and her blog post on the subject On Your Power remains a compelling must-read (I shared it with a male acquaintance recently; it both shocked and enlightened him).

The powerfully vulnerable comments beneath a recent guest blog raised the spectre of loneliness, a topic I’ve written about before here and here. I was moved to contact GotN, who kindly published my guest blog last Friday. Continue reading “Only the Lonely – for Girl on the Net”

How I Suck at Success (And You Can, Too)

It felt surreal to sit there, on a pew, amidst deeply unfamiliar people and surroundings.

Held for the tiny intellectual powerhouse who was my landlady whilst I was a student almost twenty years ago, it was hard not to feel like an interloper at her funeral. Continue reading “How I Suck at Success (And You Can, Too)”