I have just listened to a podcast from author Marian Keyes. I first heard Marian talk on a radio show about her books, some of which I downloaded and have yet to read. She caught my attention with her lovely Irish lilt and sharp wit. I followed her on Twitter after hearing her and after watching this video of her using a hair curling device, I was hooked and laughed until tears were running down my face: https://twitter.com/MarianKeyes/status/1240643190258098177?s=20

Marian, like the rest of us has been having a hard time with the negative press and Twitter at times, so stepped back and I was gutted she was not on line for a few days. Tonight she has reappeared and vlogged again and her theme tonight interested me – 3 good things about the situation and one difficult thing, so it got me thinking along the same lines.

1/ A good thing for me is Wii fit yoga, it gives me something to focus on, try and improve on and eases my aches and pains from a lifetime of nursing related strain injuries. In the good old days we did not have hoists and lifting devices and it takes its toll as you mature! I find it incredibly relaxing and a challenge to stand on one leg and get in all manner of poses. The animated personal trainer is a bit of a charmer and tells me he likes my flexibility and my form isn’t bad too. It also told me my Wii fit age was 45 today = 6 years younger than I actually am, which really made me smile.

2/ A second good thing is craft. I have had time to pick up some knitting that had hit the back burner and this helps to relax me and shows some progress which means I am actually getting more quality time to myself when off work. I think this is vital to my mental well being as my job is stressful, responsible, exhausting and draining to say the least and to be able to get some switch-off from it is much needed. I have a lovely craft corner with a variety of wool, bobbin lace making and machine sewing materials, so plenty to keep me going for however we are kept behind doors.

3/ Music. What a joy it is to still have the radio, vinyl, Spotify to keep us all going and make us smile. I have a very eclectic musical taste ranging from Bocelli to Madonna. The only music I really dislike is jazz apart from the Orleans kind. Ever since I was a young child I have loved music, sitting with my head against the old radiogram, listening to my Aunties old records – John Denver, Glen Campbell which stayed with me, then onto Barclay James Harvest, Led Zeppelin stolen albums from my Step Dad. I still get a real smile from opening up a vinyl album, looking at the artwork, reading the lyrics and hearing it on the deck. One person who makes me smile on the radio is Rylan Clarke-Neal, his positivity and joy of life makes me laugh out loud and you need that in these times.

The one difficult thing for me is distance and hugs, contact with those you love. This is always a difficult thing, but it can sometimes be overcome by talking on the phone, videos etc. Even though the distance is there, you know there will soon be a next time to meet up, it may be a long way off but it is something to plan for and look forward to. This unexpected situation has put a halt to all of that with its uncertainty looming over us. It is impossible to plan or look forward too far because we simply do not know. It is out of our control, the one thing that fascinates me by nature, climate and science is that they will always have the upper hand and catch us out. I am a big hugger, its just part of my whole soul, so to have that distance and incapability of hugging those you want to is physically painful. You can try to push it away but it is always there, so perhaps its best to acknowledge it, be grateful that you care and love someone that much, knowing they feel the same and try and look forward to better and bigger hugs in the future.

So, thank-you Marian Keyes for giving me the inspiration for todays blog, thanks for reading our replies, giving us a like and I will get around to reading one of your books on my Kindle soon, honest!