Coronavirus #Self-Care #Daughters #Nails #Beauty #Authors #Bloggers #Promos #Montreal #Travel #Dreams #Disturbing

Last year in May my daughters and I went to Montreal and treated ourselves to salon nail gels.

So, we thought as we’re in Lockdown why not do it this at home instead? We clubbed together to buy a gel nail set from Amazon complete with nail gel polish, base, and top coat.

Saturday 4th April we cheered ourselves up, by painting our nails.

It wasn’t quite salon luxury – I donned the necessary hygiene accessories: gloves, disinfectant wipes to clean, a fresh sheet of newspaper for each person, etc, and we were ready to go. (Don’t do this at home if anyone is ill – i.e. has a cough, sore throat or any symptoms of Coronavirus, or if you are at high risk of getting the virus, or have serious underlying health conditions.)

I pretended I was a professional! And we had a good laugh. We even joked with my hubby that he could have a go to but he declined.

When it came to my turn I chose a neon colour, I love jazzy nail shades. Inadvertently, I chose the same brightness of colour I had last year in Montreal, though the shade this time is more pink/red than pink/purple! My eldest daughter went for red and my youngest for a pink, plus she decided to paint one nail on each hand in glitter purple.

They turned out really well and took ages to do, so it’s a great way to spend time!

Poor hubby felt a bit left out. He disappeared in the garden with earphones to listen to music but when he saw our nails he said he thought they were very nice. And, he even said my longer hair, (which I normally get cut every 6 weeks,) suited me.

Later on I skyped mum and dad which really cheered me up too. My dad always says the nicest things – I think he thinks I’m perfect! Lol, so if I ever need a boost to my ego all I need is a five minute chat with him. Mum and dad are both staying fairly cheerful considering everything. Bless them.

Then…

A Frightening Dream

Last night I had the most frightening dream. I was on campus somewhere, (a mature student!) and these three young lads terrorised me, (one was only fifteen,) as I walked home one night, They taunted me with sexual innuendos and followed me all the way to my bus stop. Then they sat near me on the bus home. I was terrified that they were planning to get off at the same stop as me. By chance a friend of mine joined me on the bus, and they started chatting to her as if everything was normal. I asked her to move with me to the back of the bus, so I could tell her what happened without them hearing. She seemed a bit surprised by my request but did as I asked. As soon as we were seated I explained what had happened – how they had been suggestive, threatening and lewd. She was shocked to hear that. We were so relieved when they got off the bus before us.

If I was analysing this dream I’d say it shows the depth of my anxiety and uncertainty about life at the moment. We have no idea how long Lockdown will continue, how many people will become infected, or how many will die. It is so unsettling, upsetting and disturbing.

So, it’s even more important to focus on those things that will lift your mood and take your mind off the situation. Whatever makes you happy – whether it is pottering in the garden, drawing and painting, watching TV, reading a book, keeping fit, caring for your house plants, meditating, or painting your nails! Everything that makes you happy is so important right now.

Here are my Montreal inspired posts:

https://mjmallon.com/2019/06/16/scrummy-food-tulips-and-cocktails-food-montreal-canada-holiday-tulips/

https://mjmallon.com/2019/05/26/grafitti-murals-montreal-canada/

https://mjmallon.com/2019/06/06/notre-dame-basilica-montreal-canada-travel-holiday/

https://mjmallon.com/2019/06/11/colleens-2019-weekly-tanka-tuesday-poetry-challenge-no-131-synonymsonly/

Some links from my blogging and author friends:

A scam to be aware of via Hugh: https://hughsviewsandnews.com/2020/04/02/warning-covid-19-scam/

From my friend Ritu –

From Charli Mills at Carrot Ranch: https://keweenawnow.blogspot.com/2020/04/guest-article-keweenaw-joins-grassroots.html/

An article featuring a couple of bloggers/authors I follow: Darlene Foster, Debby Harris:Views of COVID 19 – Thailand, Mexico, Spain and Australia – https://traveltalesoflife.com/views-of-covid-19-thailand-mexico-spain-and-australia/

From Richard Dees who is in self isolation in Devon – all his daughters are in the nursing profession – one daughter is a midwife, another one is a nurse in ITU, (her husband is a consultant,) and daughter three is in her third year nursing training. Do pop over to his blog to say hello. He has some books on sale: https:///another-week-has-passed/

Natalie Ducey is offering a free download of her poetry: https://natalieducey.com/2020/04/04/the-hearts-lullaby-poetry-collection/

Last day of Anne Allen’s promo #booklovers Bargain! The Guernsey Novels Books 1-3 boxset only 99p/99c until 5/4/20 drama/love/mystery on a beautiful island https://books2read.com/TheGuernseyNovels1-3 @AnneAllen21 #guernseynovels

Stay safe, stay well, stay in!

Available for free on kindle unlimited and to buy in kindle and paperback: http://mybook.to/MrSagittarius

Coronavirus #COV19 #Birthdays #Cancellations #LifeonHold #Family #Mum #Daughters #Edinburgh

2nd April 2020 – It’s my mum’s birthday today, so Happy Birthday mum. I don’t know when I will see you next in person, (oh that makes me sad,) but we will keep on Skyping!

Me and Mum

Posing together

Two gals out

Shopping Trip

But much more – mother daughter

Friends, always best friends.

For me, birthdays separated from loved ones and the cancellation of The Edinburgh Festival, Fringe, and Book Festival have been oh so sad. BUT, there’s no point on dwelling on disappointments, we must all look to the future – beyond what is happening now.

I’d like to share with you some of my photos and poems about Edinburgh.

It calls me

This Scottish City

Beautiful

Lights twinkle

Edinburgh’s dark shadows

Perfect time and place

Your buildings

Adorned like parcels

Pink in blue

They twinkle

My home from home forever

The best gift of all

I see you

Bright castle hiding

Beyond trees

Magic night

Such a blue sky highlights you

Nestled on a hill.

And this one from 2017!

Tourist attraction

Make up Check,

Hat check

Time to beguile the tourists,

Hunt the illusion,

Where my legs should be

There’s air!

Find my pins when punters gone.

Some Coronavirus links:

D G Kaye author:

The #Corona Diaries – Observations – Online Madness, Quarantine and Masks

https://medium.com/@amcarter/i-had-no-immune-system-for-months-after-my-bone-marrow-transplant-1b097f16040c
https://girlvsworldblog.com/protect-your-mental-well-being/

We all have events that we were looking forward to – weddings to go to, concerts, birthday parties and the like, but the most important thing in our diary at the moment is TO STAY SAFE and WELL and to ensure THAT EVERYONE STAYS SAFE AND WELL TOO.

STAY AT HOME!

Hope you and yours are keeping well.

Much love,

Available for free on kindle unlimited and to buy in kindle and paperback: http://mybook.to/MrSagittarius

Mr. Sagittarius is a collection of poetry, prose and photographic images inspired by the botanical gardens in Cambridge. Photography is in the genes! Both my uncle and grandfather were photographers. My grandfather A.G. Ingram was originally with the photography company Ingram, Gordon & Co in Haddington up until the mid thirties.  Then he ventured on his own to form the Scottish Pictorial Press in Edinburgh supplying photos to the press.  When war broke out Scottish Pictorial Press became defunct.  After the war he started AG Ingram Ltd, Commercial Photographers, at 3 successive locations in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Coronavirus #Bloggers #Artists #Writers #Creatives #Isolation #AprilFool’sDay

Well, it’s April Fools Day and I reckon we’re the fools and we don’t need no jester. Instead the politicians and leaders of the world seem to be making a right ass of everything. I can’t help but think that if we had acted more decisively, and more quickly to Lockdown sooner, our situation in the UK would not be as grave as it is.

Anyway, I don’t want to make this a political rant. Instead, I’d like to talk about the impact of isolation.

The human race is not meant to be cooped up, or to spend long periods of time alone. Neither are we meant to go day after day without physical contact, a hug or a kiss.

We’re meant to be out skateboarding like Homer from the Simpsons, surfing the waves, chilling on a beach, or sipping coffee in our favourite cafe with our friends and family.

Instead, we are jumping over a Gorge everyday. Let’s just hope we make it to the other side of this Coronavirus.

During times like these we definitely need some humour to lift our spirits. Tik Tok to the rescue, some Jack Black Quarantine Dance.

So, let’s spare a thought for those people who are currently in Lockdown isolation who are at the mercy of Jack Black’s quarantine dance day in and day out! Lol. Only joking. I love Jack Black.

I was chatting to my Malaysian blogger friend Tiffany yesterday about her beautiful bird paintings. These birds make her happy and grateful during this time. I casually asked her if she was with family, friends or alone during Lockdown. She said she was alone.

Please visit her blog to see her beautiful paintings of birds. As we can’t travel at the moment let us go virtually to Malaysia for a visit! http://www.bulanlifestyle.com/

Here she Day 3 of Lockdown on her YouTube channel:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=6&v=OTRH4-Y_SpE&feature=emb_logo

Her youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZ-QuBQ_1Wwrhl2bqPTLcqA

She is doing a diary of her paintings during lockdown.

So do pop to her blog to say hello.

Some links:

Book Sales Surge as Readers Seek Escapism and Education: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-52048582/

This could be why some get symptoms more severely than others: https://myhomefarm.co.uk/coronavirus-and-viral-load

https://www.sciencetimes.com/articles/25142/20200328/101-year-old-spanish-flu-and-world-war-2-survivor-has-now-beat-covid-19-as-well.htm/

Do you have any friends, or family in Lockdown alone? Or do you know of any bloggers and writers in a similar position?

Oh, and whatever you do don’t forget to check out Jack Black’s Tick Tock Account: https://www.tiktok.com/@jackblack

Available for free on kindle unlimited and to buy in kindle and paperback: http://mybook.to/MrSagittarius

Coronavirus – #Treats, #Mood Enhancers #Fitness

On Sunday my daughters and I were talking about ways to keep as positive as we can. I’m doing my best to keep our spirits up but it’s difficult. We are all feeling stressed and anxious, which is only natural. My youngest daughter is parted from her friends and boyfriend which is causing added stress. My eldest is coping a little better but of course she is also missing her friends too, as am I. Perhaps, it helps that she’s a bookworm and writer like myself, but, even with our beloved books and writing we’ve been showing signs of anxiety: a tight chest. We tried to alleviate our stresses by doing a mini gym session in the house with resistance bands, weight ball, yoga mat, etc. Hubby wasn’t too impressed by us leaping around the kitchen! I wish the weather had been better so we could have done our workout in the garden.

Keeping fit is vitally important for mental and physical fitness right now.

Also, there is the problem of everyone being cooped at home together, some of us working, some not. On Monday 30th (I hate Mondays!) I had to escape for a while, to get away from hubby’s grouchiness so I disappeared for a quick walk to our local country park during my lunch break. It was a brief walk but it did me so much good.

Hubby hasn’t been well (he is much better,) and the night before he hurt his already dodgy knee climbing the stairs. So, that was a stress too. I didn’t fancy the thought of taking anyone to A & E at the moment. Fortunately, it wasn’t too serious. No wonder hubby’s grouchy with all the stress of work, money worries, and fear of the family getting ill, plus us three witches leaping around his kitchen, etc.

He is a outnumbered. Shame we never had a son!

What have I been doing?

I’m continuing to work on a part fictional/part factual compilation of short stories, poetry and flash fiction about the Coronavirus. My work count for that now stands at around 6,000 words. I’ve been working from home, (usual hours) and also I’ve been cleaning the house, of course.

And… I’ve been keeping an eye out for helpful links for you all.

Here are some which you might find uplifting, or useful:

https://jennyinneverland.com/2020/03/30/things-to-treat-yourself-to-after-lockdown/

Date Ideas For Couples During Lockdown

https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/2020/03/29/sir-chocolate-has-a-youtube-channel/

Bestselling Children’s Author Mo Willems Is Teaching Kids Drawing On YouTube

https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-10-university-art-classes-free-online/

Below, I’m included some information about my poetry, prose and photography collection. It is receiving 5 star reviews! Mr. Sagittarius is an uplifting read, suitable for these difficult times.

Take care, and stay in! Unless it is necessary to go out for food, or a daily walk.

And remember

Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise ― Victor Hugo

Available in Kindle Unlimited, in kindle and in paperback: http://mybook.to/MrSagittarius

Mr. Sagittarius is a collection of poetry, prose and photographic images inspired by the botanical gardens in Cambridge. Photography is in the genes! Both my uncle and grandfather were photographers. My grandfather A.G. Ingram was originally with the photography company Ingram, Gordon & Co in Haddington up until the mid thirties.  Then he ventured on his own to form the Scottish Pictorial Press in Edinburgh supplying photos to the press.  When war broke out Scottish Pictorial Press became defunct.  After the war he started AG Ingram Ltd, Commercial Photographers, at 3 successive locations in Edinburgh, Scotland.

 

I’m thrilled to announce I am included amongst some wonderful poets in Colleen Chesebro’s poetry book store: https://colleenchesebro.com/poetry-books-for-sale/

Early reviews: 5 stars from Ritu Bhathal https://butismileanyway.com/2020/02/29/february-2020-books-amreading/

And 5 star review from Colleen Chesebro: February 2020 Books #AmReading

Another 5 star review from Sally Cronin: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/03/04/smorgasbord-book-reviews-poetry-and-prose-mr-sagittarius-by-m-j-mallon/

Coronavirus – Mental Health #apps #selfcare #mentalhealth

It’s a challenging time for everyone. So self care for family/flatmate/friends whatever grouping you find yourself in, is crucially important. Support each other, perhaps elect one person (or one might naturally be inclined to do so without prompting) to be the cheerful buddy to keep spirits up. If you are living alone connect to your friends, family and wider family via social networks particularly visual ones with face to face experiences such as Skype. You can still elect a buddy but a virtual one!

Top 10 apps like Skype: https://www.techlazy.com/apps-like-skype/

Limit your use of social media – keep informed but avoid too much scrutiny of sad reports which come up on your feed. Instead, focus on the positive, the humour, the real life stories of kindness and positivity you find.

For example there is this lovely Facebook group to share your children’s and your pictures of rainbows – Rainbow Trail: https://www.facebook.com/groups/681125849365623/

On A Personal Note

My hubby hasn’t been feeling too well this week and we’ve been wondering if he has the virus. It’s difficult to tell without a test. Our nerves are at breaking point, it’s been a very stressful time. Whilst keeping and eye on his illness my daughters and I have been extra careful, washing our hands, disinfecting like crazy because it is possible to have the Coronavirus mildly, or even to be asymptomatic. Hubby has been up and down but he seems on the mend, fingers crossed, so perhaps it was something else? We will still be vigilant.

I’ve recently started to work from home, as the UK like so many countries is in lock down. I’m shocked by the number of people who still continue to behave as if the virus is nothing to be feared, gathering together for barbeques, family gatherings and the like.

I know it’s nice to get together but seriously can’t you wait? We have to get to grips with this NOW before more people die, or get seriously ill.

Lecture over.

What have I been doing?

I have to say I haven’t felt like reading at all. I just don’t have the energy. But, my bookworm eldest daughter wasn’t having that! Bless her. She encouraged me to read some romance. She’s suggested My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick and Die For Me by Amy Plum. Hum… I went for the latter. Enjoying it… apart from the title!

On the plus side I’ve started writing a little – my current project/s are flash fiction about the virus plus a YA short story set in a post pandemic world. Very topical. It’s a romance which is a different genre for me. Perhaps, I needed a little romance to cheer me up! I’m really enjoying writing this, especially as I always struggle to write romance. A positive I may have cracked it!

Work wise I’ve been working Monday to Friday same hours as usual. So no change there, keeping busy until 6pm every evening.

My daughters and I have plans to exercise, so with that in mind we have ordered some gym stuff to work out at home, or in the garden. Yes, a yoga mat! I might not be perched on a cliff face but life does feel a bit like that at the moment.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

I hope you find these various mental health links, apps and learning possibilities useful:

https://theconversation.com/coronavirus-how-to-stop-the-anxiety-spiralling-out-of-control-133166/

https://woebot.io/how-it-works

https://www.nhs.uk/apps-library/cove/

https://www.headspace.com/

https://www.futurelearn.com/

https://www.elefriends.org.uk/

Before I go I’d like to introduce you to a new found friend of mine:

Mr. Sagittarius.

My poetry, prose and photography collection released on February 16th. Perhaps you may like to treat yourself to a copy. I’d be thrilled if you do.

Mr. Sagittarius is available in kindle, full colour paperback and free in Amazon Kindle Unlimited.

A magical story expressed via poetry and prose with photographic images.

Buying link: http://mybook.to/MrSagittarius

Keep safe. Let me know how you are coping during these scary and challenging times and do comment below if you’ve found some interesting resources too.

Much love and hugs, keep safe.

Coronavirus Tips And Thoughts #Coronavirus

Stay safe in your own personal wilderness

Isn’t it totally surreal? No one could predict such a catastrophic situation and in some ways,  it feels like we’re living in a terrifying novel, or a modern day war!  Our immediate enemy has become a devastating virus, not a person carrying a gun. But we have two enemies – the virus and our human selfishness.

The toilet roll fiasco is unbelievable. My husband David and I have encountered old couples in the local supermarket looking for a single roll of toilet paper who are disturbed to find there is none. David didn’t have any in his trolley, so instead he gave an old guy his kitchen towels as he was crying. So shocking. It demonstrates the level of selfishness that pervades our modern society. Is this what we have become?

Perhaps this virus is natures way of teaching us a lesson?

Be less selfish and save our beautiful planet.

What can we do? In my opinion we must listen to medical advice, support each other, create online communities and stay apart for now. How sad, but how necessary. It’s strange that social media has now become even more important. It has become our friend, our link to our ‘real life friends,’ our ‘family abroad and in other cities.’ BUT it is not always trustworthy there are scammers out there praying on the vulnerable and elderly and the added threat of false news and misinformation. So be careful, only trust in legitimate sources of information such as the WHO and the NHS.

So, keep safe, wash your hands meticulously, avoid going to crowded places such as pubs, restaurants, and clubs. And God forbid you go to the gym. It’s a sweaty germ factory. Instead, take a walk in nature, or a meander in your back garden. Perhaps consider buying gym equipment at home to use, or try an online yoga class, or mindfulness.

I know what I will be doing if I have to self isolate, as long as I am well, in my spare time (as I still have to work,) I will be reading, listen to audio books, watching TV, writing and running around the garden! 

Take care of yourself and your loved ones. Remember to tell them every day you love them. This is a war and we must fight. In all wars the depths of the human spirit will astound us. Let’s be kind, and unselfish in our actions. There is a lot of good in the human race, so let’s keep that coming. A huge thank you to all the nurses, doctors, care workers, educational key workers and medical staff, who put their lives at risk to save others. They are our heroes, let us praise them.

Useful and fun links:

Mental Health: https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/coronavirus-mental-health-self-isolate-how-to-manage-quarantine-a9404431.html

Humour from Donna: http://yadadarcyyada.com/2020/03/17/im-still-standing-yeah-yeah-yeah/

From author Danny Kemp: https://theauthordannykemp.com/2020/03/18/an-explanation-of-coronavirus/

Discover Wildlife:  https://www.discoverwildlife.com/news/charities-reserves-gardens-coronavirus/

A diary project for children stuck at home: https://kathrynevans.ink/covid-19-diary-project/

Some flowers for you. Cambridge Botanical Gardens Glasshouse

Buying Link: http://mybook.to/MrSagittarius