panic buying

We snake through aisles in a furious surge,

Desperation claws at brains, like rats in tests,

Running round their man made maze for food

Or cheese, or coke or toilet paper, no?

Our trolleys rattle violently, as we race toward

The lonely loaf of bread, the sole coleslaw

Wilting in an empty fridge, but why?

Why are we so worried that we won’t have enough,

No potato salad or pastrami packs because

We live a life of luxury, of excess and

We deserve the last of everything just to feel secure.

But thirty rolls of toilet paper won’t quite ease that itch,

You need to learn to pace yourself, to see

That you have everything you need.

There is a bit of panic buying going on in the UK and I’m not entirely sure why. It’s not at the level that it was at the beginning of the pandemic, but it is definitely happening. But why?!

I couldn’t understand why everyone needed to do the whole panic buying thing and to double up on everything they bought. Most people have enough tinned food in their cupboards to get by for about two weeks anyway. Why not get a bit creative and use some of the stuff you already have in the house?

I think our panic buying is actually hard wired into us, especially now that we live these lives where we only want the very best for ourselves. Just slumming it for a week is just not good enough. What on earth would we put on Instagram if we don’t get our poached eggs and avocado?

I don’t know about you, but I quite enjoy eating baked beans straight from the tin, followed by a tin of sliced peaches and a choc ice for dessert. But, then again, I’m a bit of a slob.

Much Love

Rachel xx

on missing shopping

grayscale photography of mannequins
Photo by Sunyu Kim on

Those rooms with fronts of shiny glass,

Lit with spotlights on the slender mannequins,

They call us in with cash and cards

To fill our bags and little holes in gaping souls.

But when the virus crept inside

The doors were locked and lights turned down.

No more balm to soothe the loss

And now I see the need to have

Is stronger than the tidal flow.

When we went into the first lockdown I was really quite happy. I didn’t care that most of the shops were closed. Everything I needed could be bought in the supermarket, so what was the problem?

But this time around, I’m surprising myself. I seem to be missing the ability to go shopping, to buy stuff when I’m feeling low. I’m not a big spender so it’s only things like a new pair of jeans, some books and some wool for my crochet project; but it’s actually making feel quite anxious that I can’t get hold of these things.

I find myself going through town and looking through all of the windows at the mannequins wearing beautiful clothes and the desire to go in and try them on is so strong.

I think it’s a case of wanting what I can’t have. It seems to be a flaw in our human wiring that we need whatever is just out of reach. I suppose in some ways it’s what drives us forward to greater things, but when we can’t control the ‘problem’ it’s not the most pleasant of feelings.

I know that in a month or two the shops will slowly open. I just need to find other ways to entertain myself. Perhaps I’ll find a new passion for something? The little struggles in life are the things that make it awesome in the end, and not being able to buy wool in the colour that I want is pretty easy to get through.

Perspective is the key to getting through these grotty times like this. And when I get angry that I can’t get what I want immediately I need to let it out in healthy ways.

God, I sound like a spoiled brat, but I hope that there are other people out there who are missing shops and access to ‘stuff’ whenever we want it. We’ve grown accustomed to it and perhaps this will change the way a lot of us behave in the way that we buy stuff. That would be good.

Much Love

Rachel xx

it’s a sad, sad time

auditorium benches chairs class
Photo by Pixabay on

The room’s in gentle darkened peace,

Sitting by the sole computer, buzzing

Loudly in a corner, when it should be

Drowned by teenage breaking voices,

Hurling dirty words and phrases, laughing

And learning how to be a human life.

They’re not here though,

And so that eerie silent quilt

Is thrown across the room, floating

Gently to a world we do not want.

I went into work today and it was the first time I’ve been in since last Monday when we still thought that there would be a small amount of normalcy. Now that we know that’s not going to happen, it all feels very different.

I sat in a room that was quiet and dark. The chairs that would normally be filled with students and voices that I once would have wanted to be quiet, they were empty.

As I sat at my computer in the eerie silence, I felt really sad for all of those students. I know that some of them must be having a terrible time and the place that they should be, is school. They need that sense of community and the support and encouragement of teachers.

But I also felt sorry for those very teachers. They didn’t sign up for this and yet they are all soldiering on. I know it’s nothing compared to what the wonderful NHS staff are putting up with, but it’s still lonely and sad. The best bits of teaching are those crazy interactions that make you laugh or cry or feel immense pride.

I looked across that classroom and my heart broke a little bit. I hope that things do get back to normal soon. We all need and it, and I don’t think anybody realised it until our world came crashing down.

Much Love

Rachel xx

who’s feeling the most lost today?

two person riding boat on body of water
Photo by Jayant Kulkarni on

I took a little track, between the trees,

Away from where the road was rolled

And soon it petered out to nothing more

Than some trampled bramble brush.

Exciting first and then it faded soon

And that was when the darkness fell

And ennui became a normal quicker than

I ever thought that it could be.

I’ll find a way back to that road

And then I’ll feel so light I’d fly

Forever and a day…

I’m quite surprised how suddenly I feel a bit lost as we go into another national lockdown. Back in March I was working in retail so the lockdown made no difference to my life, but this time I’m working from home.

It’s actually quite pleasant so I’m not complaining, but I feel like I’ve been knocked off course and it feels a little bit frightening. I was in my row boat, heading towards shore and now an obstacle that I didn’t see coming has knocked me in a different direction. I’m safe, but I’m not going the way that I should be going.

Does anyone else feel like this? It’s so strong I get a physical dizziness. My mind knows that I should be at school and after one day, I’m not. It just goes to show how much I need routine in my life.

I hope that this lockdown isn’t too terrible for anyone else. I think we just need to reach out to people so that we can find some stability while things are a bit shaky. What I have found is that these strange circumstances do bring out some of the nicest parts of human nature. And that has got to be something to rejoice.

Much Love

Rachel xx

waiting for a seismic shift

brown brick building with white concrete post
Photo by Octoptimist on

The ground below our feet will shake,

A rumble starting in the depths

And then the buildings move, they crumble

But they fail to hurt us, those of us

Born to be a different breed.

In fact, they build us up in ways we cannot

Have ever dreamed to be delivered

On a silver platter, by a butler bowing low.

Our lives will change, and for the better

As we run from worlds that wrecked

A million lives and need to change.

I always worried that I was too different to ever make it anywhere in life. I think that everyone feels that way every now and then. But the introverts that feel nervous of everything struggle in almost everything.

We are told that if we don’t like to go to parties, then we are rude. If we hate working long hours, we are lazy. If we don’t feel that money is our guiding star, we are deluding ourselves.

It hardly seems fair but it is a world that has been built by the strong and I always thought that it was a world that was going to stay. But a pandemic has changed it all slightly.

Parties are off the menu, we work from home more often, and we have nowhere to go and spend all of our money. It has been a horrible year, but things have changed and it has been for the benefit of us anxious introverts.

Hoorah! I am no longer considered rude because now, nobody is going out.

I feel like now is a turning point in our world and if we want to see change we have to grab onto this moment with both hands. I’m too timid to do it in a face to face situation but it might be my moment to shine from the comfort of my sofa.

To all of the introverts out there, those of you that have been told you are not normal because you hold different values, we might be the ones who come out of this the best. The world is begging for change (quite literally) and us losers might be the ones to ease us all in. Now that’s a nice thought….

Much Love

Rachel xx

margaret keenan: what a legend

She slid through life, near unnoticed to the world

And then one day, she stepped out into burning light

As vaccine poured through aging veins

And all the world had held its breath

Waiting for the answer we all hoped to answer

That the virus died that day

That Maggie stepped out for our race.

I don’t know a thing about the science, or whether this vaccine is going to do anything in our fight against COVID; but whatever the outcome, I felt like today was one of those really important days that will never be forgotten.

And I found it even more touching knowing that it was a lady who is 91 next week that was vaccinated first. Just to think that the world has been to hell and back this year and a little old lady was possibly the first step back to a healthy planet.

I might be getting a bit sentimental, and I know I have a tendency to do that, but I think that it’s beautiful that she was ‘the one’. A lady who has lived a life out of the spotlight, just thrust into that spotlight very suddenly.

I do wonder what the hell she must be feeling at the moment. She’s trending on Twitter and she probably doesn’t even know what that means!

However, it’s her reaction that makes me love her most. She just urged people to follow in her footsteps and have the vaccine.

Today was a momentous day and Margaret Keenan has been the hero of it… and I bet she expected it least of all….

Much Love

Rachel xx

on being in tier two

Finishing one of my Channel swims and proudly striding onto a French beach

Dark and grisly deaths,

I see them to my left.

Parties every night,

I see them on my right.

And here I am,

Stuck in the middle with you.

So London has been moved to the dreaded Tier 2 in an attempt to curb the spread of COVID. There are now three tiers in the UK with varying degrees of rules.

If you are in Tier 1 you are one of the lucky ones and have not got to lock down any more than we have in the past few weeks. In Tier 2 you have to rein it in a little bit and if you are in Tier 3 you are a little bit screwed.

But is it really worse to be in the most serious on categories? I heard somebody from London being interviewed and he made a good point. He said that if you are in full lock down you are looked after by the government to a certain extent. When you are in Tier 2 you are in limbo. You have to stop certain activities (and for some that includes work) while not really getting any help to offset the disruption.

It got me thinking about being decidedly average in life. What if we spend our entire existence in the proverbial Tier 2? Are we left out to dry while the high fliers get benefits and the less able get more support?

This could apply to everything from school and how well we perform in exams through to how pretty we are or how good we are at managing people. And it makes me wonder whether it’s best to just advertise yourself as being a bit crap.

My greatest achievement is to do the Arch to Arc triathlon as a solo athlete and I was only the 12th person in the world to complete the challenge. However, I’m now thinking that I might start selling it in a different way because although only a handful of people have finished the event, I am officially the slowest.

I don’t think I’ll get any special treatment for that but I can officially say that I am the slowest in the whole world and that’s pretty cool.

Much Love

Rachel xx

do i really need to travel?

black and brown desk globe

Aeroplanes and vast blue oceans

Spread themselves before my eyes,

Tantalising, like glistening jewels

Of power and knowledge and culture,

All the things I want to have.

They whisper in my ear and say

That I’m not good enough, here

In my home land where beauty does exist.

If you stay here, you’ll die unhappy,

You’ll show that you don’t care

About our wilting planet.

But I don’t think that’s right.

I know there’s plenty here

To keep my life fulfilled.

I have heard so many people saying that ‘you must travel’. And to an extent, I agree. It is great to learn about other cultures and see what else the world has to offer them.

But this idea that without going to far flung countries, you’re a bit thick, a bit uncultured, that you don’t really care. I find that line of thinking makes me feel a bit sick.

Most of the people who say this kind of thing are quite well off and can afford to have a gap year or a career break. Which is great for them, but not everyone has that luxury.

My own view is that God blessed us all with our own section of the world. I live in the UK and we have such a beautiful and varied landscape that it would be impossible to explore it all in a lifetime.

Why would I need to go to another country, with all of this beauty right on my doorstep?

I’ve done a bit of travelling myself, so I must repeat that I don’t think it’s a bad thing. I just think that we shouldn’t make people feel like they’re uncultured and uneducated because they have no plans to travel.

Besides, the current situation might put an end to a lot of travelling anyway. And then we have the environment to think about. Maybe, the lowly staycation is going to become much more popular again.

Now excuse me while I pack my bags for a stay at Butlins.

Much Love

Rachel xx

car crash tv

My toes curled hopelessly inside my socks

Like little caterpillars hiding from the sun.

I want to look but then I also really don’t

So put my clammy hands up to my face,

Peeking through the slats my fingers make

To see the dreadful mess smeared across the screen.

I know I really shouldn’t feel for him

But I feel familiar pangs of sympathy

As words rain down and answers can’t be made,

At least not answers we can trust.

I don’t know why we do it when it hurts so much

But soon it feels like sweetness of a drug.

Soooooo, the TV has been interesting over here in the UK. The government (bless them) are digging themselves a serious hole and it came to a bit of a head yesterday when Dominic Cummings, the top government aide, had to come onto live TV and make a statement and answer questions from the press.

It’s been a bit embarrassing for our government but this was a bit of a new low and I had to say that I was cringing the whole way through. To start with I was questioning why I was watching it, but soon I realised that I was getting some kind of weird kick out of it.

I have experienced this feeling before and I’m sure that most other people have too. I don’t really understand it because I feel horrible about myself for enjoying it. However, I guess that it’s something that has been experienced forever because otherwise the Romans would never have enjoyed going to the Colosseum to watch the gladiators get the shit kicked out of themselves.

I think that I need to switch off a bit when this starts to happen. While I’m not a fan of Dominic Cummings I do feel like yesterday was uncomfortable watching and the scenes outside his house were crazy.

I just take a little comfort in knowing that other people have the same feelings and it’s really just a symptom of being human rather than me being a nasty piece of work.

Much Love

Rachel xx

so, wait….. you want us to do what?

Lost in dark and airy rooms

With little sense of up or down.

Sickness grips our heaving guts

As those without a set of sea legs

Struggle to stand up,

To walk without support

And carry on for long enough.

The madness will set in

And soon you will forget

Who you even were.

Without any clear instructions we can feel a little bit like we are wandering around in circles, and eventually it can feel a bit disorientating. So it’s no wonder that many of us are feeling a bit out of sorts given the information we are getting from the people who are supposed to be leading the country.

I would love to know if anyone has actually sat and read the 50 page document that was released today. It was supposed to clarify the ten minutes of waffle that we heard from Boris last night, but I’m pretty sure that it did nothing of the sort.

I have the horrible feeling that we are going to experience a second wave of the virus because of all of this, but there is also the worry about what it is doing for the mental health of the nation. We really need some clarity before we start to go absolutely bonkers.

I hope that you are all staying safe and staying calm in amongst all of the confusion. I think that questions will be asked at the end of this and hopefully lessons will be learned.

I feel utterly let down by our government and I pray that they start to make better choices for the sake of everyone working on the frontline.

Much Love

Rachel xx