Isolation has become our everyday. Zoom is our window to the world. I haven’t seen my family for two and a half years. I had tickets to visit them in March 2020 – go figure. Summer provided a brief respite where we danced in meadows and barbecued on beaches and tried our best to maintain a government-approved distance (although this proved increasingly tricky as more bottles were drained). 

But now we find ourselves in the deepest darkest midwinter, and garden tapas and sunset barbecues feel a lifetime away. We’re back in our hidey-hole, biding our time and taking our pleasures where we can. We steal chocolates off our tree and drink Shiraz late into the night. We invent our own fun. We dance in the kitchen and stay up talking till three a.m., the alarm clock mute until nine. Griffin has got used to this new schedule. He is wonderfully adaptable (and spectacularly floofy, which is an immense comfort).

People have been reading my book, which is an incredible feeling. Daunting and nerve-wracking and totally exhilarating – something to make my heart soar while confined to these four walls. I keep receiving reviews, some that make me jump with joy and assure me it was all worth it; and others that highlight reasonable points that I will try to take with me into future work. It’s all helpful and unspeakably heartwarming.

I’ve been sketching and toying with my next novel, but something is keeping me from jumping in. Pandemic paralysis, anyone? With each day so small and repetitive (however comfortable and happy and lucky I am, considering), I’m starved of all those soaring moments of connection, insight, adventure, life-affirming glimpses of eternity; the essential building blocks of inspiration.

We escape in all the ways we can, while firmly housebound. I’ve covered my face in glitter and jewels for an imminent virtual disco. (A webcam boogie is still a boogie.) And we dream of the day we can set foot in a new place, steer the wheel towards unfamiliar roads.

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“It was time. I had to see who I could be outside those walls.”

THE COLOURS WE SEE is available in ebook and paperback on Amazon.

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