How to feel a sense of relief and/or joy when you are stuck in a small flat and unable to go anywhere, see anyone or doing anything interesting

By George Parker


Let a house plant with little leaves dehydrate then water it very gently. Stand close and breathe out slowly through your mouth. Watch how it trembles.


Call someone you don’t want to talk to but should. At a time that you hope they won’t answer. Count seven rings and then hang up. Quickly.


Find a recording of wood pigeons on the internet. Curl up comfortably with a view of roof and sky and listen to them coo. Make the shape with your lips.


Take a pillow and blanket and place them on your kitchen floor. Lie down, wrap yourself in them and look up at how big and spacious the room seems.


Use a felt tip pen to draw a picture of people on the wall with your eyes closed. Place a little red sticker next to your artwork to show that it has been bought.


Pick up a tangle of something that seems impossible to untie. Do not put it down until every knot is undone. As you pull apart the last one, mutter, “That’s the way to do it”.


Strain to read a good book as the light fades. Wait until it is nearly dark, and the page is brown, letters blurred. Turn on a small lamp near your shoulder.




George (ina) Parker is based in London and studying for an MA in Creative Writing at Birkbeck. She is Head of Creative Content for an International Children’s Charity.

26 May 2021