Monday 7thJanuary

Still emerging from the shadow of our Grey-Staycation. The 2018 ‘festive season’ was re-categorised as a pre-exam study break and meant staying put under the cauldron of skies.  The permanently damp sidewalks are now populated by Xmas trees lying naked on their sides and grimly determined commuters in puffer jackets with AirPods jammed in their ears. My New Year’s Resolution? Screw resolutions. ‘Just get through it’ is more freakin like it as the Brexit vote looms.

Tis the season of late sunrises and gloomy forecasts. If another weather update predicts ‘dull’ skies, I’ll whack myself in the face with Gwyneth Paltrow’s Clean Living cookbook. While walking at 4pm today I was briefly surprised it was still light.

“Practically spring,” mutters a teen in the kitchen later, their eyes glued to the constant light source that is their iPhone.

I had resolved to bury my head in the sand and ignore Brexit, having been spared it over the Staycation. This proves impossible with the rising chorus of Hard Brexit indications and the talk of police and the army preparing for potential unrest on the 29thMarch.


Tuesday 8thJanuary

A blue sky with white stripes! I make sure to absorb the Vitamin D.

Today I saw a lone fox trotting boldly in the centre of our road. Narrow and slender with a fat orange tail. Last night’s plant-based meals had varying degrees of success although the vegan pizza was ghastly, tasting predominantly of smoky cardboard. I resolve to continue the meat free kitchen for as long as I can but please don’t call this a resolution.


Wednesday 9th

Sunrise 7.15 and the blue sky continues to pep us up. A jumbled nest of chargers at breakfast and an array of fruity beverages.

Someone shouts “Mum, what’s that you’re playing?”

“Bach?” I reply

“Yeah, that. Turn it off!”

Another non- resolution dashed.

A drone sighted at Heathrow throw flight departures into chaos. They appear to be unstoppable. Brexit news is strident, lots of politicians shouting at each with red faces. Theresa May sports a double strand of baubles round her neck and her mouth is a lipsticked grimace of determination. Something about a financial bill amendment rapidly accelerating an unstoppable course towards a No Deal Brexit is setting everyone on edge.

In brighter news, the critically maligned Bohemian Rhapsody continues to spread joy through the world, most notably in Japan where audiences dress up as Freddie and sing along.

At 4.10pm the darkness gathers.


Thursday 10th(the anniversary of David Bowie’s death.)


At 7.22am I spy a lone bird in the near darkness. Far from waking up refreshed after a detoxing week thus far, my brain feels like the bladder of a camel.  The safest way to banish peculiar feelings is by finding solace in reading. Books as an alternative to sunshine. To this effect I have finished my first book of 2019. “The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle” by Haruki Murkami. This author takes me on a unique journey every time. I adored his latest publication “Killing Commendatore” and also sandwiched in “Kafka by the Shore” pre-Xmas. Murakami is the master of the metaphor. His are a thing of peerless, shimmering beauty, always apt even when they are far out crazy. Over the past few months I have been down several wells and dark stony pits on strangely profound quests in unreal landscapes. Murakami has a special power.

He gives me inspiration to continue with my manuscript which thankfully has all flashbacks EXPUNGED. What was 19,000 words was savagely pruned back to 1000 but is now back up to 8000. As Ann Patchett says ‘novel writing is like channel swimming: a slow, steady stroke over a long distance in a cold, dark sea.’


The sky a whitish grey expanse today which somehow feels as though it has been leaked through my ears into my brain where it has turned to staticky puff.

This afternoon I saw two birds, the first of which was a bluish black and white with a long tail. I wondered whether it had made a long journey back from somewhere warm. The second was a plump and very clean pigeon exuding good health.


Friday 11th

A ‘grey start’ as predicted by the BBC last night.

The government is in a bind. This No Deal business is a huge almighty bust up. Freeze Brexit? Suspend Article 50? Time is ticking towards the vote.

I’m still in avoidance mode, when I feel an episode of the BADs coming on (Brexit Anxiety Disorder) I read compulsively. It’s a guilt-free-no-calorie-way to combat stress. Yesterday I consumed Conversations With Friends from cover to cover even though the millennial heroine at its centre irritated me.


Weekend 12th/13th.


The Chairman travels again. I ask the teen to babysit the youngest child on Saturday night and come home to discover an impromptu party  taking place in my wake. Try to be the ‘cool parent’ and fail badly, shaking someone’s hand amid the chaos, too stunned to protest.

I take my mind of the looming Brexit vote next week and the Y2K ish vibes that shout from the Sunday paper headlines by consuming a huge calorific brunch and then watching the latest Predator movie…all the actors trying so hard to make the best of a terrible script. At least my 11-year-old is happy and he is the oracle of Predator related matters. On Sunday evening the sun goes down at 4.30pm which feels nothing short of miraculous with the clear pinkish skies and the glowing embers of daylight.


Monday 14thJanuary

This morning the BBC broadcast on Radio 4 are along the lines of the Brexit situation creating the most significant parliamentary disaster since WW2. How did the nation get into such a mess? Wouldn’t it be easier to say ‘let’s defer, it’s all a bit too hard basket’? That would be my advice for what it’s worth.

Tomorrow is the big Commons vote.


Tuesday 15th

A big greige day. Even the birds are silent.

Everyone a twitter about the vote in the House of Commons this evening. Tonight will bring some answers and clarification. Every newspaper is predicting disaster, the end is nigh. Is there any way they can press the snooze button on the whole thing? That would still be my advice…defer! Defer!

This week my exit- Brexit strategy involves burying my head in between the covers of The Overstory by Richard Powers, a book so epic in its wisdom that everything, even the din of the panicked commentators on the BBC gently recedes.

This ends on a cliffhanger so expect more from me with the announcements at 10pm tonight…