Brownie in the post and more corona kindness

I’ve been pretty overwhelmed by how kind everyone has been throughout lockdown. Friends with cars have done shopping for me (I had a chip butty courtesy of my cousin on Monday night, and my friend S dropped off some more salad and included a lovely orchid this week), and yesterday my friend K sent me a delicious brownie through the post, which was an absolute treat (I love brownies, but as I can’t eat nuts I am always wary of them if I can’t read the ingredients – this was delightfully nut free).

I was also really touched that some friends and strangers contributed to my Ko-fi  account, in part inspired by this piece I wrote on Newcastle theatres for Exeunt.

I started this last year as a bit of an experiment, since it feels a bit cheeky – you are, after all, just asking folk to give you money – but then I realised that if I am happy to support artists I like when I am able to, why shouldn’t people be happy to support me? And while I haven’t exactly got rich off it, each donation gives me a total thrill that is wildly disproportionate to the actual amount of money, so it always feels like a complete treat – and who doesn’t love a treat in these lockdown days?

I admit I am struggling a bit with the whole lockdown situation. I know I am luckier than most – and, god, much better off than I would be if I were still in Brighton, when I’d be struggling to pay my rent – but I feel disconnected and discombobulated. I feel guilty I am not being more productive and using this time to complete the book that is now well overdue or get fit or learn a new skill or something. I feel guilty for feeling bad when so many people have it worse, and even most of my own family are still having to work on the frontlines while I stay safe on my sofa. I feel lonely in a way I haven’t since I moved back, missing all the thousand little connections that made me feel at home, and I worry about whether this break has fatally interrupted my writing career, my business, and whether I will be able to bounce back – and that seems petty but also less depressing than my larger worries about what will happen to the rest of the country.

And like most other people, there’s nothing I can do about any of it. But at least I ate my brownie.

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