What animals think about their names!

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Swallow talking to Goldfish (yes — it’s a swallow, not a robin or magpie!) All images by author

“Hey! Don’t swallow me!” the goldfish said to a swallow that was eating bugs by the surface of the pond in a beautiful coastal area.

“Don't be stupid. I’m just called Swallow — I’m not going to swallow everything!” said the swallow. “I don’t even eat fish! Just like you’re called Goldfish, but you’re a muddy brown, not gold.”

“You’re a bit like me,” Mrs Blackbird said to the goldfish “I’m called Blackbird, but I’m brown?!”

“Isn’t Mr Blackbird black?” Swallow asked, “Sounds rather sexist to me.”

A muntjack deer had overheard the discussion and wandered over to join in. “I think I’m named appropriately. Deer. Expensive. …

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Words from me, the snow being in question

“Aww, look at the snowman! He’s so cute — like a Christmas card!” calls the old couple, as they shuffle home.

“The snowman’s smiling, look. He loves having the kids playing around him!” say the mums, enjoying a few minutes peace from their squawking little humans.

“Hey, Sammy Snowman! How’s it hanging?” shouts the postman as he passes. Every. Single. Day.

…I need this house!

Wow, look at that!

That’s a 23-bed ‘house’! It’s in the sea, between Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight. It’s the perfect writer's retreat! It has its own helicopter pad which would be great for getting to places in a hurry. It has hot tubs, brilliant to ease the aching muscles after a day at the laptop. It even has a fire pit for…err…when I want fire!

A lot of my writing is done in public places (coffee shops, pubs, libraries) and that might be a bit tricky on this island home. But it’s okay — I have a plan! It is very big. I could open up an area as a coffee shop and people could come by boat to use it. It’s only half an hour or so by boat — I’m sure people would like that. Lunch on an island fort sounds like the highlight to a holiday! …

We know that you don’t mean it.

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Photo by Etienne Girardet on Unsplash

Rita Ora (a singer, she did Your Song — that one with the catchy bibbly bobbly backing) has recently apologised for having a thirtieth birthday party. It was apparently a ‘small’ affair, with thirty guests (one for each year, presumably). It was in a restaurant in London during lockdown. Restaurants aren’t allowed to open (except as food takeaways) and we are only allowed to meet one person who isn’t from our household — and that has to be outside. Even if she has a thirty person household, they shouldn’t have been in a restaurant.

Rita’s party was broken up by the police. …

I’ve had it. We have the option for change and we’re too damn lazy to use it

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Photo by iMattSmart on Unsplash

2020 is shaping up to be a big year. England is about to end its second lockdown and go back to a tiered system of restrictions. It’s been disastrous, deadly and sometimes amazing. There’s been an unprecedented amount of unprecedented things.

Like the quiet life?

It seems to me that there is a general feeling amonst people. A feeling that has been exressed regularly on social media, Medium and the news. People liked the world being quiet. They liked hearing the birds and seeing more wildlife.

During the first lockdown, I did a survey to see how people felt. 92% of the responses used their car less during lockdown than they did before. 61% were willing to use their car less after lockdown. That’s a lot more than I expected. When I asked people why they were not willing to use their car less after lockdown the answers were interesting. Some people had jobs that required driving (commuting or travelling to customers), a couple of respondents lived in remote locations and couldn’t get anywhere without their car.
Most people gave me ideas for using their cars less. Quite a few wanted to continue walking or cycling and were enjoying the reduced traffic.
I asked people what they would be willing to do to reduce their car use. Only 18% didn’t want to change their car use. The other 82% wanted to either walk, cycle or use public transport to things like shops, gyms and family visits.
The results were very interesting. …

Read on to find out why you are too!

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Me, not succeeding. All images by author

Why can’t I do all those things I want to do! Other people can, so why can’t I? Why can’t you do the things you want to do? It’s not fair, is it?

I want to be able to crochet, remember the rules to chess and be able to play it, to knit and to make gazillions with my writing. What do you want to be able to do? …

Is it our fault if we’re rich or poor and should there be a stigma?

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Photo by Steve Knutson on Unsplash

I’ve just read a post on Facebook. A mum had two tickets to a kids event that they could no longer go to. She wanted to gift them to someone else who was struggling financially. That’s nice, I thought. Helping someone out in difficult times. The first comment was a lady who said that she was struggling financially and went on to explain exactly why she was struggling with money.
I thought that was awful, that to receive these free (unwanted) tickets she had to tell everyone in that group how poor she was and why. What had led to her being in this difficult situation. Why can't we just be compassionate to people without attaching strings? It is very un-British. We have a saying, ‘don’t air your dirty washing in public’ which is a complicated way of saying ‘don’t show people the bad things that are happening to you’. …

Isn’t it hard suddenly working from home? Aww diddums, you don’t have to live with you!

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All images by author

It’s great to work from home! No commute. No need to wear trousers (or pants if you’re American — or pants if you’re British!). More quality time with your family. Eutopia and perfection.

Or is it?

Have you tried living with yourself? Let me give you a few examples.

(If you want some serious tips about surviving life with a home worker, check out this article! How to Live With a Home Worker. But first, grab some chocolate and read on!)


Don’t get me wrong. I love you in your underwear — at the right moment. In a hotel room with low lighting and Feel Like Makin’ Love by Bad Company playing in the background after drinking prosecco and eating strawberries. Oh, yeah. Your pants are just the thing, baybee.
In the middle of the sofa in the lounge at 11:30 on a Tuesday, with cereal dribbling down your chest and into your fluffy navel. No! …

10 tips on living with someone who works from home

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Photo by Joseph Pearson on Unsplash

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have been working from home. Even radio shows are recorded from home, complete with the common family interruptions, kids fighting, cats bringing in birds, doorbells ringing. I quite like it. It reminds me that we’re all human.

Not only are a lot of people working from home, but a lot of people are complaining about working from home. The politicians struggled with the technology to allow them to vote from home, a lady did a whole video call with the potato filter on! People are working from sofas, getting sore arms and stiff backs. People are struggling with their pets ‘helping’ them with their work. Babies cry at exactly the moment that the worker needs silence. …

The dark is not unsafe — stop telling us otherwise!

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Photo by Rosie Fraser on Unsplash

Don’t go out after dark

I’m fed up of the assumption that I can't go out after dark because I’m a woman. I live in the UK and it is starting to get dark between 4 and 5 pm. I’m never going to be organised enough to do everything I need to do out of the house before 4 pm!

Let’s break that assumption down a bit. We don’t think it’s safe for women to be out after dark. Why is that? We are scared that women might get attacked. By whom? Well, men. …


Rachel Dodman

Rachel is a freelance writer from the UK. Check out her latest novella Downhill From Wednesday on Amazon! www.racheldodman.com

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