a little bit of normal. A journal entry by Catherine Lennon

Today I spritzed my neck with my favourite perfume (Marc Jacobs Daisy – just in case curiosity is getting the better of you!)! Maybe not the catchiest opener to grab your attention but this is something I haven’t done since the 15th March … a whole 46 days since I last set foot outside my house! Today I wanted to feel just a little bit normal … so as well as the customary black eyeliner and red lippy that I’d on for ZOOM calls I thought that bringing aroma into the equation would be a nice touch of normal in a thoroughly abnormal world!

I feel a bit of a fake living through the biggest crisis that the world we know has ever known! I haven’t experienced the (anti) social distancing at supermarkets, I haven’t been for a walk outside my downtown Brussels home (though I am getting a spectacular ‘corona’ tan in my back garden!), I haven’t been sneaking illicit visits to friends. I have diabetes = weaker immune system = corona magnet, and so, for once, I am taking my doc’s advice and staying in, staying safe but certainly not staying sane! As a 110% extrovert I am finding lockdown more of a locodown with the potential of becoming a breakdown!

Trying (very hard) to see the positives in all this, but I am proud to have learned a new skill – one which I could never have imagined needing! A hardened nail biter since the tender age of 4 (I remember precisely when I started this dreadful habit; it was when my family moved house, and this put a colossal and stressful 20 mile distance between us and my favourite uncle), I am now learning, with a sense of pride and achievement, how to cut my newly acquired talons. The pandemic has put the fear of God into me and has stopped me putting my hands anywhere near my face, let alone my mouth! For those of you who learned how to do this as a child, let me tell you it’s not that easy to learn when you’re a nifty 50+! Something about old dogs springs to mind! Not only a 110% extrovert, I’m also 110% right handed! So although I can just about manage to snip my left hand nails, doing the same manoeuvre on the right is next to impossible! But I am getting there … by trial and error!! So much looking forward to post-lock down shopping for nail polish! Another first to add to my repertoire! Can’t wait for my first night out with Marc Jacobs, the black eyeliner, the red lips AND the nails to match!! Watch out town, I’m going to paint you red too!

It’s no longer original to say that what we are living through today is unprecedented, unplanned for and has brought to a standstill everything we in Europe hold sacred, and to a large extent, take for granted. Gone is our freedom of movement, being able to go to work, easy access to food, enjoying free time doing what makes us happy, whether having dinner with friends, travelling abroad, going to a concert or exhibition, having a cheeky after-work dry white at my local, and of course not having to worry about toilet roll! Crazy times! I promise I will NEVER take any of this as a given ever EVER again. Post-quarantine hugs & kisses, bring it on!

Brussels, 30 April 2020


  1. Love your post, Catherine

  2. So fun and honest. thanks for sharing, you 110% extroperson.
    I found that the “stay home” period made me introperson come out a bit more. and it felt alright, actually – after a while and numerous zoom and teamsmeeting. Then returning to office and “normal-ish” life a few weeks ago made me chockingly tired! I hadn’t realized just how much energy, I usually on a daily basis put into being into the office modus with physical meetings small talks, lunch breaks etc. I hope you will continue taking care of your health. I hear you can get hug dolls and I guess the cat makes a big difference. Till then, take care, Twicks of Denmark.

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