Isolation diary: Writing it down

City Hall, London

I am really enjoying writing this diary. It takes me back to the time when I was blogging every day as a councillor. I have been worried that it might be seen as self-indulgent, but friends have urged me to continue, so I will.

There are many benefits of writing about my life, especially during this time. It helps me to process what has been happening to me and to the world around me. I am determined to remain cheerful, and the very act of looking for good things to write about each day lifts my mood.

Keeping a diary would be just as beneficial even if it wasn’t being published and shared so widely. And although I naturally turn to writing as a way of expressing myself, I could just as well have kept a video diary or created a podcast.

So why not try it yourself? You can post on Facebook to share with friends, or you can email out your thoughts to friends and family on a regular basis, or you can set up a YouTube channel or share on Instagram. If you prefer, you can simply keep a private diary and not share it with anyone else. Some people recommend handwriting a diary as it slows things down and gives you time to think.

Just take time to reflect on and process each day.

It might be a good idea to print out your blog/diary/thoughts (if it is not handwritten) and store it safely. It will be fascinating to read in years to come, when technology will have moved on and the digital files may be lost.

Another unexpected joy has been searching for suitable images. I have now set myself a challenge to find a photo each day from the hundreds I have taken that will match the topic or raise a smile. As a result I am happily going back through my files and reliving holidays and events from the time I started using a digital camera.

The photo above was taken in the amazing City Hall building in London, which is really worth a visit. I just love the sculptural nature of the architecture and the eye that watches you as you come down the stairs.


Please note

We have been in full self-isolation since 16th March to protect my husband whose immune system is compromised.

If you are in self-isolation then join the Lib Dems in self-isolation Facebook group.

You can find my previous Isolation diaries here.


* Mary Reid is a contributing editor on Lib Dem Voice. She was a councillor in Kingston upon Thames, where she is still very active with the local party, and is the Hon President of Kingston Lib Dems.

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • Lorenzo Cherin 25th Mar '20 - 6:16pm

    A diary that’s self indulgent, requires it to be written by a writer who is .

    The author of these entries is in absolutely nothing, self indulgent.

    This is poignant, subtle, helpful, welcome, for us all. Like it’s author.

  • Oh thank you, Lorenzo!

  • “When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?”
    “What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh. “What do you say, Piglet?”
    “I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” said Piglet.
    Pooh nodded thoughtfully.
    “ It’s the same thing,” he said

  • Helen Dudden 26th Mar '20 - 8:30am

    Having the need for a special diet, the wow factor is not for me!
    If I was gluten intolerant I would also have issue’s. Allergic to food, another issue.
    I have to have a low sugar diet, rich in fruit and vegetables. Very little around. I had a pancreatic infection, you bleed internally, then bleed to death.
    How about children, pregnant women, those under going cancer treatment. All needing more than empty shelves.
    No, I wish to forget the lax attitude to the Chinese Virus and herd immunity. The Bath Half Marathon and Cheltenham. The freedom to enter through airports, not a diary proposition for me.

  • This self isolation does finally seem to be working through the system, deaths in England way down yesterday from 80 to 20-ish but this good news was delayed to the evening and barely commented upon. I don’t understand that, you would have thought Boris and his cabinet would have been doing the conga but perhaps it is just a fluke and will go up again.

  • John Marriott 26th Mar '20 - 9:03am

    Mary, in the words of Trump; “You’re doing a great jarb”. Now I know what Bill Murray must have experienced in ‘Groundhog Day’. Stephen Fry had some good advice at the weekend. Spread out your tasks, take a little longer at each activity. After all, this could go on for months. Please stop trying to blame someone else and, above all, stop saying “I told you so”. After the news of the Prince of Wales’ positive test, we really can say for once that we are all in it together! It really is the little things in life that are important, family, friends, acts of kindness, understanding, empathy – I could go on. As John Donne wrote all those years ago; “No man is an island”.

    By the way, if you want cheering up, I recommend Jamie Oliver’s latest series on Channel Four – “Come on!” 👍👍😃

  • @ John Marriott All the very best, John. What you say is correct. You don’t need me to say keep your pecker up, but I do..

  • Steve Trevethan 26th Mar '20 - 10:51am

    A friend, whose family is partly American, is using an American idea to use valuable time enjoyably and usefully. There, needle literate people are making masks for their local hospitals because they do not have enough.
    These masks are not pretended to be virus proof but are reckoned to reduce the spread of saliva, mucus etc transmitted by the wearer so that reduced droplet distribution reduces droplet infection reception.

  • Richard Underhill 26th Mar '20 - 10:58am

    One consequence of the invasion in 1066 was a great plaque caused by black witchcraft as depicted in a historical TV series. Economists have noticed a transfer of power from the descendants of King William and the ending of serfdom (slavery) in England.
    Advice to the Tsar of all the Russias should include reference to Chernobyl airborne waste being detected over Sweden. Open government (glasnost) should include a commitment to the truth and nothing but the truth.

  • Richard Underhill 26th Mar '20 - 11:02am

    Frank West 26th Mar ’20 – 9:02am
    It did in China.
    Taiwan commented.

  • William Wallace 26th Mar '20 - 11:24am

    Mary: Tell us how you are keeping in touch with family and friends while in isolation, and which sources of news you find most useful – any new-found ones? Helen and I are ‘teaching’ our grandchildren history over Skype once a day for 30 minutes – WW2 this week, the civil war next week (we do what our daughter tells us!). We are both writing circular Emails to others in our family, too: easier for me (with sisters abroad, one of whom has fled New York for rural Virginia) than for Helen, since some of her close relations have gone down with the virus in different parts of the country.

  • William – We are using Skype, Facetime, Messenger, WhatsApp, Facebook and text to communicate with various branches of the family! My grandsons (12 and 10) took us on a virtual walk in the woods near their home today, with their Dad, using Facetime to show us what they were exploring and to chat on the way. It was a lovely idea. Haven’t been asked to teach them anything yet, but will suggest that – thanks for the idea.

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