Little old lady days.

I will let you into a secret, many years ago I stumbled onto a wonderful remedy for self care.For those days when the world seems to behaving like a scary out of control fairground ride, or when my hormones have made me feel like chucking my ovaries under oncoming traffic, or perhaps when it is just one of those days.

The secret my friends is, regardless of age, to have a ‘ little old lady day’

A little old lady day for me, consists of doing very little, I must add at this point, my secret remedy does not have to last the whole day, an evening will suffice, not many of us have the luxury of doing nothing all day, but I digress. So let us assume you have followed my advice so far and done very little, another necessity is that you do not watch the news or participate in any social media,the family have had beans for tea and nobody died, now you need to run yourself a calming bath, add a cup of Epsom salts, 8 drops of lavender oil and 8 drops of mandarin oil, whilst the aforementioned bath is running, you will lay your clean nightie/pjs out and prepare your bed accordingly. You may read or watch tv if you have one in your bedroom( I have so shoot me) You will need to prepare a tea tray for after your bath.

However, the caveat is, and here come the little old ladies, you must only watch comforting nostalgic type of tv programmes, often but not always involving little old ladies, we are looking for escapism here, comfort, tea and cakes, a cosy murder mystery (cosy and murder in one sentence, is that even possible?) my recommendations are

Last Tango in Halifax ( my favourite, 5 seasons)

Midsummer murders

Ladies of letters( so funny, as was the original radio show)

Miss Marple ( classic)

If you prefer to read, then it is light fiction only, no non fiction allowed, we are not on a fact finding mission, escapism remember.

Some of my favourites are;

The Agatha Raisin mysteries by MC Beaton

84 Charing Cross road

The darling buds of May

Cold comfort farm

So go and make a steaming pot of tea, a teapot is essential as you are planning on not moving other than to pour yourself a couple of refills, add a little plate of biscuits to your tray , maybe some delicious shortbread fingers, sod the diet.

Take thee up to the boudoir, tea tray in hands, plump up your pillows and settle down to a few hours in the company of a familiar character, an environment so far removed from real life, that under normal circumstances we would be laughing at it.

I kid you not, little old ladies are the way forward.

20/20 vision

As years go I think it is safe to say that 2020 has not been our best! we didn’t see that one coming did we? Whilst I would like to say I have sailed through it, reclining, book in hand, lounging on a hammock, of course I have not, it has been a worrying and anxious time for all of us, if you have been affected by Covid19, my heart goes out to you. However, as with most challenging times ( massive understatement I know) we somehow seem to dig really deep and not only learn some important lessons, but actually gain something in the process.

So what have I learned during ‘Lockdown’

It is perfectly normal to have the odd wobble, however it is neither healthy or helpful to stay there, distraction has been my saviour, I love to read, but I have also binge watched on Netflix, I have gone for the odd walk, but am not putting the pressure on myself to go out if I don’t feel like it, sometimes just going into my own back garden is enough. I have not started a new exercise regime or taken up a new hobby, but hey if you have that is brilliant! whatever works for you. ( horrendous back problem, just to add to the fun and games)

I endeavor to see as little news as possible, for the moment! initially I watched every update and it just terrified me! there are those who will of course say I am burying my head in the sand. Yes, I am, by limiting myself to this information, I am getting through the days with far less anxiety, same goes for all the conspiracy theories on social media, bloody terrifying stuff.

I really don’t need that much crap! seriously, why do I buy so much? who needs that many pairs of shoes? I have been decluttering my home and it feels so good!

I have devised a workable budget, I am truly shocked and disgraced at how much unnecessary spending I do, as a result we have ended up saving money, I have actually used this time at home to do the research and get the better deals out there for internet providers, insurance, energy suppliers. Do it! honestly it is so worth it.

I love cooking anyway, but more time has enabled me to try more delicious recipes, using fresh local produce wherever possible, spending time in the kitchen with my Daughter, cooking an amazing pasta dish is more than special.

I have been sleeping, Oh Lord does my mind and body need it! if I feel exhausted during the day, I take myself upstairs and lie down, as I mentioned before I am in pain with a back problem and sometimes I feel my body is screaming at me to drop the load and look after myself, it is the singular piece of advice that I try to impress on clients ‘You can’t pour from an empty cup’ I am finally taking my own advice.

I am making my living space as comfortable as possible, we are here almost 24/7, this is our haven, our ‘bubble’ it is not super stylish, but it is home, the cushions are plumped, there are throws in a basket for curling up on the sofa, Lavender and geranium oils diffused and flowers from the garden are crammed into redundant jam jars.

And finally, it sounds a bit of a cliche, but I have learned to be present in the moment, if 2020 has shown us anything, it is surely that we really do not know what is around the corner, tomorrow is not promised to any of us, make today count, be thankful for what we have and be kind, always. There is so much good out there, be happy, be well, be safe, this too shall pass.