Lost; a voice

Oh the hideous irony. It’s been years since I’ve written anything – for a number of purely logistical reasons, rearranging the furniture of my life, moving house, being divorced, blah blah blah. Then 2020 happened. Lockdown. Gardening happened, which was WONDERFUL. Then another lockdown. Then, just before the Christmas lockdown, I trapped a nerve in my hip. AGONY. And I couldn’t go anywhere, or do much of anything, for weeks. Hell. Amitriptyline has been an absolute godsend.

And in the meantime, I have felt my voice, my will to speak, slipping away. I barely say a word these days – except to my daughter. But she’s busy with her world online, both school and social. I talk to no one, not even myself – and I was always, before, one of those suspicious people forever chattering away whilst pottering along, alone. Except then I didn’t feel particularly lonely, because I wasn’t alone; I wasn’t exactly talking to myself, but rather to my idea of a particular person – any person at all. The idea of going back to work, of being with other people, talking, the idea of another person actually listening to what I might say, is at once electrifying, and horrifying. I’ve forgotten how to do it (apparently I’ve forgotten how to write too, can you tell?!). How DO you make conversation? Is it like knitting? (Oh god, I thought I’d have a go at learning to knit so as to actually make something useful – I can already cast on, and do various stitches – and I bought this marvellous book, but when I went looking for my needles – I was given lots by my grandmother a million years ago – I found only three, and none of them the same size. My house eats things, I swear. It’s eaten my yoga kit, and god knows what else I haven’t yet thought to go looking for.) Maybe it is like knitting, with mismatched needles and an illegible pattern that neither of you can quite make sense of. I’m simply not equipped. I’m out of practise. I’m rubbish.

But wait, it gets worse. Today I literally lost my actual voice. That’s right. I have a sore throat, one side feels closed, and it hurts to swallow. Ugh.

I give up. I’m going back to bed. Tomorrow is another day. Whichever day it is.

Life Is Like A Song

Lately that song is Suzanne Vega’s Tom’s Diner.

Real life is happening all around – and let’s be frank, the reported news, in any medium, is universally grisly – and I am only a spectator, waiting at the counter for my coffee, too inconsequential to be given the full cup, and making the best of it. And it’s okay, because people watching is what people who are writers do (assuming I can still call myself such). I watch life happen to other people, until it’s time to catch the train, only I don’t know from which platform, or my destination. Out there, somewhere. Single, not return.


If it sounds like I’m moaning, I’m really not. Maybe a bit, but, don’t we all? I never was a Polly-Anna type. Having stepped back from social media, it’s become harder to fully participate again. So I lurk, non-malignantly. Leaving Facebook helped save my sense of self, although paradoxically means that I have fallen off the edge of the planet/am dead to some people. Oh well. Twitter is the stream I dangle a few toes in, and sometimes a hand. I just can’t seem to get into the swim though. Instagram is for pretty things. I like pretty things. They’re restful.


I can’t stop thinking. I can’t stop thinking long enough to do, to make, to write. And I must. I keep promising myself that I will. But, WHEN?


Oh, help.

Starting Again.

Gosh it’s been an absolute age since I last thought about writing a post. And there are lots of good reasons why that has been the case. It’s just I hadn’t realised so much time had passed. Oh, gulp.

So, here I am, taking a deep breath, mucking about with the design of this thing (procrastination much!), and starting again.


How are you?

Are blogs still a thing, now? Sod it, even if they aren’t, I’m still going to (re)do this.

So. The reasons why I haven’t been writing AT ALL for the last nearly two years:

Separation, followed by online dating (absolute hell), followed by feeling Very Low Indeed, followed by discovering hygge (yes, I know, and it helps me) followed by preparing to move house, followed by actually moving house (the first bit always takes longer than you think), followed by settling in and loving it, and looking at the sky a lot, followed by a realisation.

I haven’t been writing. I’ve edited, a bit. A very little bit. And I’ve been having thoughts and making notes, but I haven’t been actually writing. And now it’s been so long, that sometimes I wonder if I should even try. Resurrecting this blog is a way of beginning that process. Because I feel guilty, I feel less than I think I could be. I’ve become a lurker in my own life, never mind how far I’ve pulled back on the social media thing. The world has changed so much, so fast, and the lunatics are in charge and it’s all going to shit and what can you do?

I want to not feel so hopeless (helpless is a given, while things are the way they are in the wider world, and you’d better believe I am LIVID about all of it – but I can’t live like that, burning up all the time), and then it came to me, that as my world has shrunk, as I have withdrawn, because I needed to, I have been living without passion. And it’s awful. I must reignite it. Fuel it. I must write.

Here it begins, again.

A realisation:

I’m currently reading – and very near to finishing – David Mitchell’s The Bone Clocks. To say that I’m loving it is an epic understatement. I’m finding it strange, and wonderful, and gripping, and beguiling. Hilarious  in places, the literary scene leg pulling; laugh out loud hilarious. And delightful too, from a writerly, rather than readerly, perspective. When David Mitchell plays with language, he really plays; poetic writing that riots across the page, teasing  with rhythm, with balance, with alliteration, with semantic strings of meanings and oppositions. In my opinion – humble or otherwise – he is a writer’s writer: fearlessly, genre bendingly, inventive.

It’s not overstating the case to say, that whilst reading The Bone Clocks, I arrived at an epiphany. A moment of clarity, if you will. A reference is made, in the novel, to a piece of music I had not come across before. I’m not particularly au fait with Sibelius, but for some reason I had to stop reading to google The Swan of Tuonela. A rewarding hiatus in reading, for it gave me a thing of beauty, and an inspiration, a way back into the story I began in my aborted NaNoWrimo effort. And it gave me the realisation that all stories are maps. They show us the way – if we are receptive to seeing – the way into other stories, and the stories of others. They show us ways into ourselves, and the way through our own stories. They show us the path behind us, that brought us to here, to now. And they show us all the ways forward. This may already have been blindingly obvious to you. Intellectually, I knew it. But, listening to the music, I felt it. Epiphanic. And, ecstatic.