I didn’t write a newsletter in June, for which I can only apologise, but I just lost the will to be perky about anything. I’m sure you understand. Lockdown just sometimes takes the wind right out of you and you are left like an oversized, deflated paddling pool in a small South London garden…

My Mum found a drawing I had done as a child. I find it depressing. It reminds me of Edvard Munch’s The Scream. She sent it to me, with a note: ‘Ever the philosopher!’ In it, I have written in crayon, ‘My life is not nice at all times, but I just have to face it.’ I suspect this was something my parents had said to me: they are both stoical in their own ways (I consider myself to be the opposite; a libertine! Give me Oscar Wilde any day!). I was simply repeating the sentiment, so I’m not sure I can take any credit. I suffer a lot of existential angst and feel it keenly, which is why I like performing. It’s a socially acceptable way of indulging one’s proclivities; of screaming into the wind. It’s not showing off, it’s just showing. There’s a difference.

Anyway, I’m feeling much better now. I’ve been to the hairdressers, a restaurant, a cafe, a pub, a barbecue and the swimming pool (probably just as well after all that eating out). The first three trips were a disaster, mainly because I went too soon. What I learned is this: I can cut my own hair just fine; waiters don’t know how to serve food anymore, and cafes are not much fun without people.

Conversely, I had great success with the pub – there is nothing like the sensation of cool cider slipping down your throat – and the barbecue – 6 households all playing nicely together – and the pool – I had it to myself! So it has been a ‘game of two halves’ for me, this easing of lockdown.

I’ve yet to go to the cinema, a clothes shop or the gym and have those lined up for this week onwards. I’ll report in at the end of August, if I still have the will. We are having our garden redesigned this week too, just in time for the end of summer (thanks to lockdown delay) so I’ll try to include some pictures of the before and after for those of you without gardens to enjoy.

A great joy of lockdown has been taking part in play readings with my local theatre. We did Macbeth on Saturday and there’s a Noel Coward coming up in August with free tickets (see Celia on Stage).

Don’t be surprised if I’m not writing as often after the August edition, because I will be very busy in a new direction from September. I’ll let you know more about that next month, once I’ve chatted with all my clients, as it’s only fair that they know first (and if you are one of them, please give me a call for a catch up in the next month!).

In the meantime, don’t keep calm and carry on. Have a good cry and a scream and a hug, even if that’s just a pillow. Let it all out. Once life is back to normal there won’t be time.

Read the full edition here

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