“My Isolation Is A Positive Thing!”

I am now 6 weeks into my personal lock down. Having been through much isolation due to my disease, I feel I am coping with the mental side well. The biggest miss for me is my grandchildren. Particularly my youngest Bonnie who is 11 months. In the last few weeks she has got teeth and is almost walking. It is very sad to miss these little milestones. But I do realise how lucky I am in relative terms

It has been a great pleasure for me to share these wonderful stories from others, during these challenging times. Getting little snapshots of how others are managing to live their lives, and what is important to them. Of course happiness and satisfaction are different things to different people. One of my real pleasures is having dinner with friends. But that seems it might be a while till I’m able to do that again.

This week I am delighted to be able to feature a piece from the wonderful Naomi Brook @NemoBrook. Naomi loves writing and runs her own website from the narrow boat where she lives in ‘normal times.’ It seems that for her situation, isolation is a positive thing!

I admire honeycomb patterned white bumps, and stroke my hand over these soft, flat peaks. Basking in the delight these pillowed goodies bring to my world. These small items of luxury would never have crossed my doorway in usual times, yet I have a stack of nine of them to enjoy, piece by piece. Yes, I am bringing us back to the subject of the humble toilet roll.

The hype about this ‘essential item’ seems to have calmed down as people’s bathrooms, bedrooms and garden sheds are now full of them. A few weeks ago I, on the other hand, was genuinely running out. This was while I was still living on my narrow boat and I was starting considering more natural options – because, what else do I do? I finally managed to order anything available which meant more expensive toilet roll than I have ever bought in my entire life, hence the ode to toilet roll intro.

We’re now ensconced in my mother in law’s summer house (more on our decision to do this here) and it’s yet another luxury that we get to be here, of course. With much in the media about how we shouldn’t be at any ‘second homes’, I’m not sure what officials would say our homes would be anyway, with mailed post for my partner coming here, mine to my Dad’s address and where we actually live being the narrow boat.

And then there is the luxury for me, which is everyone being encouraged to isolate. As an individual with chronic migraine, I have found life on the narrow boat isolating in a very positive way for my health. As socialising is a massive trigger for my symptoms, being away from being able to do so, so easily, is helpful. Now I am in a place where I could get to people I know very easily, and they could come to me – and yet we’re not allowed to. This way I get the luxury of living in a fixed location, with running water and a flushing toilet – with the addition of the fluffy toilet roll, hurrah! – without the increase in symptoms or the guilt for not seeing folk.


While others in the country are struggling with the virus, with poor mental health, with financial struggles, I have the luxury of ‘just’ managing my health condition with its usual frustrations. In fact, this time for both me and my partner to ‘stand still’ – but especially for my partner, who has more energy – has meant our musings about starting a business have finally been given time to manifest. 358 Walking Sticks is almost up and running, which will be selling not only walking sticks but other handcrafted items like jewellery, mostly based around woodcraft. I have no idea if this is a good time to do this, but for us it feels right and we have both had struggles in life which mean that when the world is in chaos, we might just let a little bit of luxury in. If all goes well, perhaps one day we can pay a bit of it back.

I would like to say a massive thank you to Naomi for sharing her own unique view of these times. If you would also like to share your views and experiences, please feel free to leave me a message below.

Unfortunately there are many issues developing in the cancer sector at the moment, and I will be back to them as soon as it feels appropriate. Please stay safe out there!

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