Virtual Coffee Date

virtual coffee date

Hello? How are you doing?

I was really keen to check in with you all today to see how you are getting on in week whatever we are in now. Is it week six? Does anyone know anymore? Whatever week we’re in, I thought wouldn’t it be lovely to grab a virtual coffee together. It might be cabin fever kicking it, so do humour me, but let’s grab a cup and have a natter!

What have you been up to? My lockdown life has been far from remarkable. Unlike the rest of the internet, I haven’t made banana bread, or sourdough bread, or heck, any kind of bread. We’ve not done any DIY. I’ve not learned a new skill or a language. We’re just, you know, getting through each day at it comes, which I feel is the best anyone can hope for, really.

I have come across some really interesting articles and videos though. Here, let me share them with you, in the absence of Ten Things. I’ve gone for a mix of informative and cheery because we definitely all need some light relief right now:


One of the few mailing lists I subscribe to is that of Paul Jarvis. He wrote this newsletter article on Ins and Outs which I thought was a perfect read.

Life right now feels like déjà vu, in that it reads so much like dystopian fantasy novels I’ve read in the past. Here’s the book summary:

A new virus ravages the world and throws it into economic and social chaos, splitting society in two.

The “Ins” are able to stay sheltered, isolated, and safe. Their time is spent disinfecting things from the Outside, trying to juggle childcare and working from home (if that’s possible), and… inexplicably baking a lot of bread.

The “Outs”, on the other hand, have no choice but to keep working Outside. Risking their health, with the danger of contamination ever-present in their minds. Every sneeze, every cough, every inadvertent or work-required bit of contact, a threat to both their lives and the lives of their families.

The Ins can quarantine indefinitely, because the Outs can bring them everything.”

Go read the rest of the article, it’s food for thought for sure.

On the back of this, remembering which companies screwed over their employees is going to be useful going forward. Here’s the direct link to the spreadsheet in question by the way – it was pretty hard to find in the Vice article.


It’s been Fashion Revolution Week, and so this money diary of a Bangladeshi garment worker was a really interesting read. When we – and by we I mean Western society – buy our clothes, we don’t really think about the lives of the people who made our clothes. To get a look into life as a garment worker really brought home the problems of the fast fashion industry by humanising the labour behind the must-have dress. Here’s how to get involved in Fashion Revolution Week if you are keen to learn more.


In matters completely unrelated to anything, but cheering me up on a daily basis, Richard E. Grant has been reciting lines from Withnail & I on Instagram. The fact he cracks up every. single. time. has me in stitches.


I’m not a big sports fan but Andrew Cotter’s commentary is the absolute best.


Wasting less food seems more important than ever. Here are a plethora of food waste tips from my archives. It’s also made me realise that I’ve not shared any food waste tips since 2015. What can I say, my youngest daughter was born in the earliest days of 2016 and we’ve been in a whirlwind since then! Excuse me whilst I go get busy rectifying that!


Finally, working from home during a global pandemic bingo.


Thanks for the chat!



Ten Things Is On A Break

I have tried to write this post about a hundred times over. Trying to find a hundred clever ways to simply say that Ten Things is taking a break. Its return was fleeting, but with coronavirus ravaging our communities, all news is quite rightly so focused on this immediate threat.

The environmental news that is coming out at the moment – celebrating reduced air pollution levels, cleaner water, and so forth because of coronavirus – makes me feel sick to my stomach. This isn’t the environmentalism I have committed my life to. Celebrating short-term environmental ‘wins’ at the expense of loss of human life across the globe should never be something we rejoice in, and not something I want to share here in this space. Before you share a ‘good news’ post about how clear the water in Venice is, please watch this for some perspective on this.

Whilst Ten Things is on a break, I do plan on trying to carry on the rest of the blog as normal the best I possibly can without being too tone-deaf. Like so many others, my day job is looking precarious. If you are in this situation or have already lost your job then my thoughts are very much with you.

I also don’t know about you, but to me, some normalcy in these tumultuous times feels welcome. Many (far too many) members of my family fall into the high-risk coronavirus category through a matter of age, or underlying health conditions, or both. We’re staying well away from them all, which is painful in itself, so some diversion from having to think about this helps, as does the wonder of video calls.

Blog posting will be light. Like all parents of school-aged children, my two children are at home from both school and nursery indefinitely, and so my partner and I are attempting some, shall we say loose, form of home-schooling with them whilst we both try and work our day jobs. I have no tips for this at the moment other than our expectations are low! I can write more about this in the coming weeks – what’s working for us and what’s not – if it’s of interest?

In the meantime please take care of yourselves, your loved ones and your communities, and please please stay home if you can to help stop the virus from spreading. For our super-hero NHS staff, and other key workers and front-line employees who can’t stay at home – thank you for all that you do to keep the rest of us healthy, safe, and fed. Staying at home is the very least that we can do to help you.

Sending much love,