2 Sep 2020

The “At-Home” Diaries: Are We Following Our Lead?

You know that saying, “Do as I say, not as I do”?

I have a feeling I can apply it to my post lockdown behaviour and myself. I don’t like to admit it but some of my seriously good intentions have been wavering as life has freed up. When I started writing these diaries there were so many small (and big) elements I wanted to focus on. In the main part, I have, but I am ever conscious it is easy to slip.

A slow tumble is a slippery slope.

You know the drill.

So easy to miss the exercise and indulge here and there.

A bit here and a bit there – all well and good – as long as it is here and there. The promise of balance is always my greatest challenge. I must find balance boring because it’s not my strength.

Tune in to Netflix and forget to read? Honestly, how many series can I watch before they all start blending into one? Do we ever remember the plot lines of these supposedly fabulous shows?

Still open for recommendations though  – see what I mean? I need to de-charge the iPad and turn the pages :) I started out so strong with my reading and audiobooks – I don’t want that to change. It is one facet of lockdown I really enjoyed.

What about walking every day?

Did you commit to that one? I did and I have become a little flaky there. I promised myself I would walk despite the rain or any other unfriendly weather – the weather wasn’t the point, marching out the steps is.

*Note to Self.

And what about the revelations?

The thinking deeper, harder and longer about what we do and how we do it. I am trying to maintain my chosen approaches and I want to make sure I do but I can see it’s very simple for them to be relegated to the backburner as daily life kicks back in.

It’s so much easier to be resolute when our time is our own.

I forgot to mention the cooking crush.

Okay, I do not want to let this newly found fun slide. Fewer restaurants and fewer takeaways, symptoms of the full-on urban life, are conveniences I’d prefer to avoid – delicious and necessary from time to time but not all of the time. It’s such an easy one to fall into with time constraints.

Isn’t it all about making our time suit work for us?

The important words being “our’ and “us”. Sometimes I forget my time is actually mine and does not belong to anybody else. It’s for me to manage, divide and decide and if my choices are poor, that’s on me. Time and how we spend it not only needs management but also direction. If it doesn’t work for “us” then we aren’t spending our time wisely. These bright spark ideas aren’t beneficial if we don’t follow our own leads.

Writing it down helps. xv

And  a big P.S

Thinking about this “slippery slope” and making sure I don’t tumble has had me looking for the triggers to take me off course. Okay, there is one huge one for me and it is tiredness.

When I am tired I want to slump, I want to eat all and everything and I want to lounge; all my greatest intentions belong to somebody else. For me, tiredness comes with the lack of quality of sleep and over the last few days, I have slept badly. The more exhausted I have felt the easier it is for my undesirable habits to take the lead.

**Big Note To Self:

Sleep better, deeper, longer and work on that and hopefully, the rest will take care of itself.

image, photographer tim walker

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Ah, the best cure for the tedium that is Netflix is Mhz–lots and lots of great foreign content and the very fabulous Detective Montalbano.


I absolutely loved Montalbano… I hope they make another series! Makes me long to explore Sicily :)


Vicki- Try Young Montalbano. I resisted because it is so hard to change gears with the beloved characters of the original series but I have to say they did a very good job with casting–with the exception of Mimi–and it fills in a lot of blanks re the mature Montalbano. Slow getting started but gets better!
And too, the original is supposedly returning with more of the series. I have to admit, I have a bit of bias with the original as my husband is Montalbano’s twin–looks exactly like him.


Good morning dearest Vicki.

I know the drill.

I also know that the drill can often turn into an ALARM bell – that usually jump starts better intentions, then, we slack once again! However, there are certain alarms that go off in our lives that change us, change our way of living forever and hopefully transform us to become permanent seekers and doers of what is right for us and those around us. Over the last year, a loved one’s health has been on slippery slopes. Lately, a new event has occurred that has brought us to an even better vision of what happiness entails. Being together, truly “making memories” that will stay and to simply be the best version of ourselves. Here’s to becoming our best.


Time to be retro …… Reinstate those lovely events called “dinner parties” ….. A core few friends, divine food, candles and ambience. Some things from the past are worth reinventing!


Yes… wasn’t it fun!
Dinner parties seem to be a thing forgotten, even before Covid, or maybe I’m just out of the loop!

Linda B

There has to be a balance between sticking with our fabulous intentions, and being gentle with ourselves when we really can’t live up to them. . .Sometimes we do need to re-organize and adjust our expectations to fit our actual reality. But others, we really must find the way to adhere to our healthy plans (and I mean “health” on every kind of level.)

I have found myself doing both of these things recently, during my two month stay up north in proximity to my daughter’s family. Some of my adjusted expectations have to do with how generally different things are in the time of pandemic. More of the changes I have made are because I am daily helping my daughter and son-in-law with child care for their darling 15 month old, so they can have more ease while working from home. I adore my hours as grandma-caregiver! And, I admit I have had to lower my hopes and dreams for my own creative work time; the art and crafting supplies I brought with me are mostly staying packed away. But it is exceedingly precious to have this time with my very active wee sprite of a girl! Perhaps the best time of the day for us all is the post-lunch walk through the neighboring forest.


Very precious, Linda and very exhausting!

My 15month old grandson is heaven in every way but he is a tornado… I have spent last weekend with him and I have never been more tired… ha ha… he keeps me on my game for sure ;) When I am with him I now understand there is no “me time’ and you know what… its the best of all times playing with him and I agree so very, very lucky to be able to be with them…


I’m following this same pattern. It’s so easy to decide to walk later, maybe tomorrow. If I’m not careful I’ll need an entire new wardrobe.
The enticement of getting out is not as strong when I’m “allowed” to do it.
There are so many positives to come out of this for our family. I too want to hold on to them. Xx


That’s the problem we always think there is “tomorrow” but actually “today” is what is really important :)
My father-in-law would always say, ‘why put off until tomorrow, what we can do today”… He was a fabulous man and lived a very young 96 years.

Paula Robinson

I hear you on the sleep thing, Vicki! I found the only that worked was to put myself back to bed and stay there all Bank Holiday Monday. Long bath, napping, fab French film (“Le Prénom”) and Jeremy Irons reading “Brideshead Revisited” did it for me. I felt human again by yesterday. When the body needs to rest, let it…


Paula.. what a wonderful idea to listen to Brideshead… I will download it this afternoon ( If I do it now I won’t write to you all today.. ha ha)

Paula Robinson

I find Jeremy’s voice so addictive! I’ve now taken to listening to him reading “Brideshead” in my bath at night – it’s like storytime as a child. Sooo soothing! I shall be distraught when the 11+ hours of this audiobook are over. Fortunately he’s done a number of recordings for Audible, including “Damage”. Enjoy “Brideshead”! x


Have I!! I adore it and have watched them all… that is one which is well worth watching :)


I’m in St Remy at the moment but have felt a little disrupted as life isn’t like it usually is for me as friends have been unable to travel. I’ve done a little yoga outside but not the usual classes whilst here. However I have slept well and that makes such a difference to how I feel. I started dropping some Neal’s Yard Clary Sage Oil on my pillow just before I get into bed. What a difference. I find it so relaxing and it seems to trigger me into thinking of a peaceful and calm night’s sleep. I’ve been doing this for about 3 months now and have noticed a difference in that I don’t wake during the night often at all which makes a difference to how I feel in the morning. It’s worth a try Vicki. St Remy looking beautiful as ever even through a mask and sunglasses! x


Thank you! I shall get some and try… I really need to get into a better routine and this sounds very hopeful…


Since we recently started taking magnesium capsules at bedtime we get 7-8 hours straight sleep. The only time it can come unravelled is if I sneek a quick look on a device before turning off.


I have taken magnesium but I’m a bit on and off with it so I will make sure I do.. thank you for the reminder…


If you won’t feel too guilty, My husband and I watched the Netflix series High Seas and loved it. Definitely some pretty clothes!! :)

I hope you can get some good sleep!! I’m terrible without it.


.. Thank you Missi… I’ll force myself ;););)
Yes!! I slept so well last night… a new woman :)


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