I made this page to make What I’m Doing Lately conversations with strangers easier, at a time in my life when contracting smallpox would have felt considerably more enjoyable than needing to have them. Things have got better, but I’ve kept it here anyway, and try to find time to update it…
Things I’m up to lately:
- I wrote and edited my first book in 2017 and, with the support of TLC/The Arts Council, will hopefully be querying in 2018.
- Learning to drive! ALL the best people learn in their early 30s, don’t you know.
- Trying to work out how best to restore my German fluency (at the moment, I can follow the news and read political thinkpieces but barely remember how to have a simple friendly conversation . Mind you, that’s also pretty true of English. Boom boom…)
- I’m in my fifth year of Pilates and I get quite annoyed when people are snarky about it.
- I’m an advisor to and former trustee of The Dyspraxia Foundation, and support several mental health charities, including Mind and the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) through fundraising, volunteering and paid copywriting/comms work.
- Generally grabbing life by the wotsits and trying out various new things that aren’t natural to me.
Things I was up to:
- Learning Beginners Italian with Duolingo, until they changed their whole levels system and confused me.
- I ran the London 10K for the second time in May 2017.
- I ran the 2016 London Marathon for Mind.
- My first concerted attempt at writing a novel was The Blue and the Gold, about a Lib Dem-Tory marriage during the early years of the Coalition government. It developed over five years until, for several reasons, I sadly decided to stop writing it in 2015. If you like politics, current affairs, theatre, Radio 4, Durham and Twitter, you might have liked it. If you hate all those things, you might have liked it too. A screenplay version of the novel also made it to the advanced stages of the BBC’s Script Room.
- My short play Who To Follow explored personal and political tensions in the Twitter age.
- My short story Why Catch A Moving Train explored dealing with loss, in ways far removed from my own life and perspective.
- In 2015, before the Marathon, I ran the London 10K and the Oxford Half Marathon. Both were fabulous.
Things that are “on hold”:
- Running the Berlin Half Marathon.
- Learning Beginners Tap.
- Learning to horse ride.
- Finding a choir.
- Mental health first aid training.
Ideas which haven’t formed into anything remotely proper yet:
- My second book.
- Being involved in Creative Writing workshops with children and young people.
- Volunteering and possibly retraining to work with bereaved children.
- A proper, non-writing holiday for the first time in ever would make for a lovely 2018. Probably walking in Lefkada or horse riding in Spain.