December 2020 – When Darkness Prevails

A young woman in the darkness feeling poorly and lonely Covid Loneliness.

Dear lovely people – what a year it’s been!

I hope you’re all keeping well, safe… and as far as you can be – happy, under these unusual circumstances.

It’s been a while since I put ‘pen to paper’ – and I apologise for this. I had many plans in place, to wrap this year up – as efficiently as possible… a special interview lined up, for an article I was excited to write – and a project closely in tow. And… I of-course, also had plans to venture up north a bit, to spend some much-needed time with my family… all in which, had to be cancelled : ( .

December has always been, one of my favourite months of the year… butmy-oh-my – – not this time around. The exciting build up to Christmas… festive foreplay – if you will; for me – was replaced with a stint in hospital, a great deal of worry, time off work… and undergoing never-ending scans. It’s safe to say – that I sealed up my 2020… as productively and efficiently, ‘as a backwards fart’… as my witty grandmother would say! But it did get me thinking!

I landed in hospital, during a time of the pandemic. At a time when Covid-19 figures were steeply on the rise again; and a new variant of the virus was emerging. My heart had always sunk, thinking about the unfortunate people in hospital throughout Covid – contemplating the reality of them being all alone – and unable to touch or see their loved ones. It was a heart-wrenchingly difficult idea for me to comprehend; and I was now receiving – a very small taste, of the actuality – of this blurred vision… in my mind.

In all… I. Felt. Horrendous. And now… I was left alone, separated from my son and my family – with nothing but my own, torturous-thoughts for company. I was an in-patient within the Surgical Emergency Unit, where I was surrounded by other people – many of whom, were in a great deal of pain. I heard patients asking, if they could have just one visitor – for a short while; this usually being their mum, daughter or husband. The answer was always, a resoundingly clear… no’. I mean – in the politest possible manner; but still a definitive answer, that left a distressing echo in my ears.

As time went on, I could hear the consultants debating my situation one morning; and I then listened to their footsteps, as they walked over to advise me… that biopsies, further blood tests and scans were required. I became anxious; and hyper-aware, of all of the little sounds and procedures belonging to the ward. The morning would arrive; along with a fresh team of day staff; and I would then listen to the handover sessions that religiously took place. The day would gradually pass… and the dreaded darkness would approach again. It felt lonely… and quite honestlyscary.

As an inpatient during Covid-19 – the hospital becomes your axis… whereby earth seems to stop; and all that appears to be happening from your window – is the image of doctors and nurses coming and going. You observe the NHS team, pivoting around their central point – the hospital axis; and bringing with them – either night or day… darkness or light. Day-in-day-out. And. that’s. it…. you lie there in pain, smothered in your own anxieties, unable to feel the touch of a loved one for comfort.

In comparison to many other poor patients around the world – I wasn’t hospitalised for long; and for the most part – I got the all clear… in the end. But what I can tell you, with certainty – is that it was a disturbing experience. I can still honestly only imagine; and send out my biggest wishes for a speedy recovery – to anybody having to spend a significant amount of time in hospital. It’s a frightening thing to have to live through; and my heart is with you all.

As for the clinicians – this was my first experience, of witnessing doctors and nurses operate within a highly stressful environment. As previously mentioned, the staff within SEU, would rotate around this imaginary ‘emergency axis‘ – non-stop, ensuring that each patient was seen. I had a couple of wonderful nurses by my side – throughout, who did all that they could to make me feel more comfortable. I was in a lot of pain, but I was never made to feel, as though anything was too much for these wonderful people. The doctors and nurses of SEU, did our hospital proud – and although I could see that they were incredibly busy – I admired their sheer tenacity and strength… to carry on.

Clinicians work exceptionally hard within the NHS; and it is truly the most precious thing, we – here in the UK possess. I’ve now seen what goes on… under a slightly different light – and I would like to end this post by saying… that we must always respect and protect our NHS… and the good people in it.

Take care of yourselves and others – and here’s wishing you all… a happy and healthy New Year. It may take a while for things to get back to an acceptable level or ‘normal’… but we will get there – eventually ; ) .

Best wishes,

Olivia Xo


The Quick Messy Bun – A Mum’s Guide For When Time Is Limited

Blonde mummy girl wearing her hair up in a messy bun

Hello lovely people – I’m really delighted to see you here… at Beauty & The Mum =)

Today, I am going to talk about – the topic of TIME – a touchy subject for some of us… I’m almost sure of.

Instead of just talking about it though – my intention for this post… is to offer you some ways, to save precious time in your mornings. With this exciting thought in mind – I will be sharing with you, my favourite hair-hacks – that will no-doubt shave off some minuteswhen you need to get out that front door !

In a nut shell – as my life began to evolve in various ways, I certainly came to realise, that as a mum of a little tot, finding time for myselfwas indeed going to be tough. Everything-had-changed. While plenty of things have in fact changed for me, in such stunningly-beautiful waysat times it can also feel as though; there just aren’t enough hours in my day. As a mum – I can often feel like I fail – to tick off my growing ‘to do list’ – and even worse… fail to make myself look presentable at times. Not an ideal reality right… ?!

When you’re a parent – there’s this little human-being ‘creature’, just wanting to follow you around… all of the time. Yes – a real little personand in any ‘spare’ moment, that you might manage to grab for yourself… boom they appear! Of course, daddy may be watching your little tot… but when toddler sees mummy taking a moment to herself… they just have to be part of that moment too. In all – your free time belongs to your little beauty. What’s yours is theirs… and what’s theirs is erm… usually their own 😆.

I’ll say it – at times, it can be tiresome being a parent – and I feel that there should not be any shame in acknowledging this. It isn’t meant in a derogatory way – in any way shape or form. My son is my life – he is my world – and I adore him – – – as you will adore your tots too. B u t, as parents – this certainly doesn’t mean, that we shouldn’t find little ways – to help ourselves feel better from time-to-time ; )

Have a little watch of my video – it may just shine some light on some fantastic hair tricks, for when you are really lacking in… time:

I hope that you enjoyed this video, on how to take your ‘not-so-clean’ hair – and quickly turn it, into a completely acceptable messy-up-do. This versatile style, will work for a casual day look, a work look… and of course – it will be perfectly okay for an evening occasion too ; )

If, like me – you feel incredibly pushed for time sometimes, then feel free to give this convenient hair style a try; and do let me know your thoughts in the comments section below 🙂

Remember – it gets easier… with time!

With love and warm wishes,

Fly on the wall

AKA – Olivia xo