SoberMe

My Not So Secret Diary

Freedom At The Beach

Freedom At The Beach in Cornwall with my children, writing for my blog, My Not So Secret Diary, by Claire Hatwell
A week on from my first beach trip since the lockdown was eased slightly, yesterday I brought the kids to the beach again. We sat a little bit further on from last week, the beach was a little busier and the tide further out. There was more sand and space to play, despite the additional people. The carpark was busy but not full and despite the news reports, the sea was largely empty. There were about six surfers that I could see, all sticking together at the far end of the beach in their little tribe.

Katie and Stanley made it their mission to bury Barney in a hole, leaving only his head and shoulders visible. I was careful to make sure to keep an eye on the tide coming back in! I had helped to bury him, but Barn was being quite particular about how he wanted to be buried, so I walked away for a moment. Stanley wanted to add water from his bucket, but that didn’t go down well at all with Barn. It might have all ended in tears, but instead they enjoyed the moment and the freedom. After the weeks of confinement, the sun and the fresh air in such an open place is very welcome to all of us.

But of course this isn’t our normal. On any other year, it would have been the last day of half term. We would have been packed in like sardines on a day like that, if we had even bothered to come at all. Then we’d have been in for a busy drive home. We probably would have come down in the evening instead, and maybe had a barbecue. So it’s nice to have the space. Stanley pottered about, going up and down to the water, and I could see him well from my shady spot by the rocks. Normally, I wouldn’t dream of letting him go so far by himself, but it’s good for us all to have a little space and freedom to explore.

With social distancing in place for the foreseeable future I can’t imagine when the beach will look like it should do at this time of year. It’s going to affect a lot of businesses and holiday parks, but I know I’d be wary of coming here if there wasn’t enough space for us all. I certainly don’t feel inclined to go away on holiday this year, but with the sun and the beach on our doorstep, we are very lucky in that respect.

It still makes me nervous though, coming to the beach I mean. I worried that there wouldn’t be any space so I warned the kids that we might have to move to another beach, or worst case, come home. It’s worth trying, because you never know and I don’t want to disappoint them, but I’ll still avoid the beach over the weekend. Much as I’d like to go, I just don’t think it’s worth it if others are flocking to the beaches like the news showed them doing last weekend, and we have a garden to enjoy the sun in. But, while we can, we’ll make the most of the good weather and enjoy the freedom we are so lucky to have.

Take care.
Claire x

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Waves

Waves the A30 with no traffic in half term Cornwall lockdown, writing for my blog, My Not So Secret Diary, by Claire Hatwell
There is something soothing about the sound of the waves. It is both relaxing and calming. The beach is probably one of my most favourite places, well, that and the woods, but both have to be quiet. I’m not against other people being there, but I do like my space. I don’t like to feel invaded by other people, and even with social distancing, some people aren’t good at giving others space. There’s nothing worse than keeping our dog on the lead and away from other people, to have someone else let their dog jump all over us.

Cornwall is notoriously a tourist destination which is lovely, and I do like to see the change in seasons. It can be hard when you’re local, when things change in the summer and you can’t get about so easily. Often even the main roads are badly affected and it can double the time it gets for me to get home from work, especially on a Friday.

It probably sounds selfish, as a lot of businesses rely on tourism, but it’s quite nice to have the county to ourselves for a little bit. It’s strange to get onto the main dual carriageway, and not immediately have to start queuing.

We avoided the beach last weekend, just because it was the bank holiday and we presumed it would be busy, but we went in the week before that and it was so lovely to have the beach to ourselves on a nice day, not to be packed in like sardines between holiday makers. The advice is not to go in the sea, but I can see the temptation, on such a warm day it was nice to paddle, but I didn’t swim. There are many surfers in though, and I struggle to see what is different for them at the moment really. They are told not to go in as there are no Lifeguards, and yet, a lot of them surf in the evening when there is no one on duty anyway. Obviously there is a risk if someone needs saving that it will break the social distancing rules and put the emergency services at risk. On the other hand, if I was out running or cycling and had an accident, I would be expected to phone for an ambulance if I needed it, so I’m not sure whether things should really be different for different activities. Surfers and swimmers that use the sea regularly, I feel, should be able to continue to do so, as it it often their most common form of exercise. I totally understand the reason to keep others out of the sea though, and to stop any unnecessary risks. On Bank Holiday Monday there was the need for several rescues and sadly two deaths that I know of at beaches local to me. It’s so sad to think people are putting themselves in danger and getting into trouble when there aren’t the rescue services on duty that we are used to. One was only a teenager.

Everything is quieter at the moment, and it will be strange to get used to the busy roads and carparks again. It’ll be odd to hear the extra noise when schools and shops reopen. Looking out now, there is no one passing by, and I wonder really what sort of normal we will return to. I don’t think it will be the same as it was before lockdown, but whatever it is, I am sure there will be more people and more noise. So for now at least, although I’m not going to go out all the time, I will try to make the most the space and the quiet.

Have a lovely weekend!
Claire x

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Late Night Hair Cuts

Late Night Hair Cuts writing for my blog My Not So Secret Diary by Claire Hatwell lockdown hairdcuts for me and my family
I think having your hair cut is quite a personal thing. There aren’t many people who touch our hair really are there? We do it ourselves, except for visiting the hairdresser occasionally. I don’t even do that. I find it hard to let go, and am often disappointed with the way it looks. I think the last time I had my hair cut was about 18 months ago. The length is probably a giveaway!

My little man is a nightmare at the hairdresser. Well, once upon a time he was really good. We had a lady who had her own salon and was really relaxed with him. It was great but then she had a baby and closed. I tried lots of other places but he’d scream and fidget, no matter what we did to distract him, even watching Peppa Pig on YouTube! We still got his hair done, but it isn’t a nice feeling to feel that you’ve stressed your baby and yourself out and had to pay for the pleasure of it.

I wasn’t too worried at the start of lockdown, because Lee, Joe and Barn all got their hair cut literally a couple of days before, so I thought it would last. Stanley had an appointment for the first day of lockdown which of course was cancelled and we watched as he steadily turned into a mop. Katie and I decided not to worry. She hasn’t even been able to have her hair dyed recently, which is currently purple, but is fading to a pretty pink colour.

Of course though, lockdown goes on and hair doesn’t stop growing. Over the last few weeks we’ve started to do the kids ourselves. I say we, but I was too nervous so I just watched and Lee did a great job. He started with Stanley and only used scissors but got it looking a lot tidier. The next week we got some clippers and he did Joe’s and Barn’s. I’m not kidding, they look as good as if they’d been to the barber. Then Stanley got another go, and sat brilliantly, not only for the scissors but for the clippers too! He looks so smart and so much better for it.

Of course with Lee doing everyone else’s hair there is no one to do his. I didn’t want to offer, because I didn’t want to mess it up or for him to say yes to save my feelings. The other night though, he asked me. I was so nervous. I’ve never cut someone’s hair before and I’ve never used clippers and yet I was so touched that he asked me. Haircutting is quite intimate, and despite being married for over 19 years, it’s not something I’ve ever done, or ever thought I’d do. It was strange, and yet lovely.

Bearing in mind it was 11pm, the lighting where we were doing it was more subtle than functional and we need proper scissors, I don’t think I did a bad job. With the boys, we were on proper lockdown, so if it went horribly wrong, no one would see them the next day, besides us. With Lee, I knew he had to work the next day and I didn’t want to mess it up!

Thinking about it, it’s just another thing I can do now I don’t drink. There is no way I would have been able to do what I think is a good job had I had a few drinks. I might have tried though!

I have a couple of sore fingers because my coordination is clearly a little lacking, but I reckon with practice I could actually quite enjoy it. I don’t think it’s a career change for me, I’m not sure I could cope with the stress of cutting other people’s hair, but think of the money we could save if we don’t pay anyone else to cut hair for us in the future!

Thanks for reading.
Claire x

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#lockdownhaircuts #addiction #recovery #honesty #alcoholfree #sobriety #sober #soberlife #blog #anxiety #mentalhealth #awareness #coronavirus #habits

Right Now

Right Now my son and daughter walking, time for myself and writing for my blog My Not So Secret Diary by Claire Hatwell in Cornwall
I came home from work this afternoon to find Katie walking down our road with Stanley. She was taking him to a nearby field to stretch his legs for a few minutes. I stopped to check they were okay, as she had been looking after him for me for the morning and she offered to see if I wanted to join them. Normally I would say yes. Even when I don’t want to, sometimes I feel like I should. I’ve been trying to stop doing things out of habit though and the lure of an empty house called. I told Katie that and she was fine, but of course she was, if she hadn’t seen me, she would have been on her own with him anyway. They carried on and I went home.

I left the jobs that always feel so important. I didn’t empty the dishwasher or load the washing machine. I didn’t even unpack my bag.

Instead, I put the kettle on, picked up my notebook and my Kindle and sat down in the sunshine.

Right now, the paving is warm under my feet. The only sound is the birds and someone cutting their grass in the distance. The sun is warm on my face, and the dog is asleep by my feet. The street is quiet and no-one is passing by. It’s very peaceful.

So… I’m going to enjoy it.

Just for a little while, until they come home.

Peace. Just for a moment right now, while I drink my tea.

The funny thing is, the minute I stopped writing, I realised I was listening out for them. I might like the peace, but I do miss them when they aren’t here.

Claire x

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#cantwin #family #addiction #recovery #honesty #alcoholfree #sobriety #sober #soberlife #blog #anxiety #mentalhealth #awareness #lockdown #coronavirus #habits

Habits

Habits I'm a creature of habit, spending time at the beach in Cornwall and writing for my sobriety blog, My Not So Secret Diary by Claire Hatwell
I have a little bit of an obsessive nature. It’s not always a bad thing, but it does mean I struggle to let silly things slide by. In many ways, I think my nature is partly to blame for my dependency on alcohol. If I’d been a little bit more balanced and addressed my mental health sooner, I wouldn’t have begun to self medicate in the first place.

Often, I know my habits are a bit daft, or at least would seem so to other people, but if I don’t do them, I can’t relax. It makes me feel physically uncomfortable. For example, the hoovering. I have to do it every day at least once without fail. It doesn’t matter if the house is tidy, or doesn’t need it, I just have to do it. Yesterday I think I counted five times. I know the first time can be justified, as I like to keep the house clean, but then if I see anything on the floor I have to do it again. I can’t even just do the bit that is ‘dirty’, I have to do the whole house again. It’s frustrating, and the only one that makes me do it is myself. I can justify it normally as I want to keep the house tidy in case anyone stops by, not that they often do, but at the moment no one at all comes besides the postman who runs away as quickly as he can. I don’t blame him though, I think I’d be exactly the same!

Another habit I have is washing my hair. Again, doesn’t it sound ridiculous? But, I can’t leave it more than a day, and that is at a push, in case it looks dirty and people think I don’t make an effort. I go to a lot of trouble to research different shampoos to try to limit the washing of my hair, but they never seem to work for me. So I wash and dry it every day. As it’s so long, it takes ages! I’m not having it cut though! Over the lockdown I’ve managed to stretch it to every other day, using my
Lush dry shampoo, but I just feel lazy and grubby if I leave it any longer. It’s like the fact that I have to put my eyeliner and mascara on every morning, despite the fact that I rarely see anyone other than family, and if I do, I’ve probably got my sunglasses on and they can’t even see it! It just makes me feel like I’ve made an effort.

I suppose, for me at least, it’s a coping strategy, a way to tick the boxes and make me feel like I’m doing the things I need to, even when I don’t see people, and I guess, that routine is all we have during lockdown, when all our normal routines are changed or missing, but, I’m also aware that sometimes I can’t rely on these little habits, and so I’m trying to push myself a little bit. I had full intention of not getting the hoover out today. I wasn’t going to do it. In the end, I did, but on the positive side, it wasn’t the first thing I did. Lee and Barn were cutting our hedges yesterday and a stray leaf found it’s way inside the backdoor. Once I’d see it I just felt uncomfortable, and had to do it.

I do find it funny how these silly little things can help us cope. Who would have thought such a small thing like hoovering, or putting on make up can settle my mind and stop me feeling uncomfortable!

Do any of you have little habits like this? Or am I the only crazy one? Happy


Take care and thanks for reading.
Claire x

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