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I’ve tried to write a post about five times and failed. 

The goalposts seem to be moving by the hour and I can’t keep up.

I’m sure I will be able to write about this at some point, but not now.

So instead of that I will tell you what I am doing to keep myself level.

Since last week I have brought much of my studio home. Paper, pencils, paint, lino and cutters… sundry materials… just in case. 

So I am making. I’m waiting for the Lino ink to arrive in the post though, before I can print. But I have three blocks ready to go.

I also responded to the news of more isolation by reaching out to my neighbours. We have lived in this house for over 35 years. We know long-standing neighbours, but not the newer ones. I posted a note through the doors of the ten closest houses, either side, over the road, just the ones we can wave to really. I gave them my phone number. Within a couple of days 8/10 had replied, and we now have a neighbourhood WhatsApp group. It feels reassuring to know who is around us. We’ve had offers of shopping etc already. Lovely kind people.

When Boris announced he was “closing” schools, I did what any teacher would do (and, how ever much I try to deny it, I am still a teacher of sorts). I offered art parcels for children, including guided activities. Then as an afterthought, wrote at the bottom of my message: 

(Or for bored adults, hahahaha!)

Wind on a few days and I seem to be running a WhatsApp Art Club! I have delivered parcels to six households, paper, pencils, charcoal, chalk, a note with instructions/guidance. They are saying thank you to me, but I don’t think they realise what a huge part they are playing, and will continue to play, in me retaining and maintaining my mental health. 

My family have a bit of a list of things to be done while housebound. This ranges from DIY and chores, to dafter things like board games, jigsaws, and yes, I might even get them drawing too if things get really bad!

My own list contains the need to isolate myself further, as I would usually by going to the studio. This is really and truly vital for my mental health. Uninterrupted time on my own to think clearly, and make, and write.

So in the time I wait for Lino printing ink, I write, and read. I know that I will have a long time ahead to do things, so I am picking at things as I get the urge.

I brought home all my songwriting notebooks to review. So now, I’m going to shut myself in the dining room and try to make some sense, and possibly come up with some writing good enough to send to the band… 

By the time we get out of this, I will almost certainly have new songs to show for it.

Sending out love to you all. Exxx


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