In these (semi-regular) posts, I share five things.

Loves, hates, ideas I’m pondering, places I’m supporting, whatever.

This week is quarantine focused, since we’re in lockdown due to COVID19. Stay safe, guys!

Here we go:

FAVOUR I’VE BEEN GRANTED

So, back in December 2019, I lost my Amazon pre-order privileges for a year. I didn’t realise at the time just how big a part of my writing business pre-orders were, and it’s fair to say I’ve missed them ever since.

Yesterday morning, I wondered what Amazon would say if I asked for them back.

So I emailed their support and was really open with them – I said I knew I had no right to get the privileges back until December 2020, and that losing them had had a big impact on getting visibility for my releases. I asked if they would consider reinstating the privileges early, and thanked them for their time no matter what the decision was.

Guys, they replied the same day to say they’d give my pre-order privileges back!

I was so touched by their flexibility and quick response, and their willingness to help me.

So, if any Amazonians are reading this, THANK YOU!

GIFT I’M APPRECIATING

There was a knock at the door earlier this week, and my husband went down just in time to see my dear friend Helena run back to her car. She’d left a parcel on the doorstep for me.

It was only a Joe Exotic mug! Helena and I have a mutual love/obsession for Tiger King, and this unexpected gift really put a smile on my face. I love it!

ANNIVERSARY I’M NOTING

This week was the eleventh anniversary of my dad passing away.

Growing up, I was a total daddy’s girl and I got many things from him – my curly hair and my fiery temper. My dad was a complicated man – an orphan who never took off the armour that had been necessary for his survival.

I miss him a lot.

Combine this with the global pandemic, and I’m doing a lot of thinking about my life. Is this the life I want to live? Am I being the person I want to be? When we can add things back into our life, what should I add and what should I keep out?

SIMPLE PLEASURES I’M APPRECIATING

This lockdown really is a chance to check in with what really matters.

I can be sucked into a materialistic way of life just as much as the next person, so the lockdown is a good chance to reflect on what really matters.

And, it turns out, life is pretty good when we have good weather, a garden, garden furniture, outdoor activities (the trampoline, sandpit and hot tub have all proved to be great investments), books to read, healthy snacks, green spaces nearby to walk to and explore, and great podcasts to listen to.

LOCKDOWN SURVIVAL PLAN

We’ve settled into a nice routine now.

I work each morning, we have lunch together then hubby works for the afternoon. We’re having home cooked meals each evening and my daughter’s helping chop the ingredients, dish the meals up, lay the table. I’m walking the dog most evenings, listening to podcasts – The Best of Both Worlds and Brene Brown’s Unlocking Us are firm favourites at the moment – and then evenings are a little more work, a little TV, a little reading.

I’m appreciating the kindness in every day. Each time I go for a walk, I’m saying hi to everyone I pass in a way that I wouldn’t normally do. Sure, people are crossing the street to respect social distancing, but they’re smiling as they do so. A neighbour is stood in her window often as I pass and I wave and say hi to her – I’d never spoken to her before this. The UK Government is providing huge amounts of financial help, and as a business owner I’m appreciative of that not just for myself but for my team. I appreciate the key workers on the front line who are still serving in the shops, collecting refuse bins, providing medical care. An ambulance has been attending the same house on the street behind mine three times a week the last couple of weeks, and I have no idea why… but isn’t that a miracle? That there’s a number we can call, free of charge, and receive an ambulance to treat us, free of charge?

Times are scary, of course. But there is beauty in these strange times if you look for it.

I choose to look, and I hope you do too.

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