When I moved to Manchester from Dublin last year I lived on a small amount of savings for the first few months. I did this in order to have the time to find my feet with university, and living in my own flat for the first time. It also guaranteed that I would be able to go back to Ireland for Christmas without a retail employer listing the reasons I had to work Christmas eve no matter what. I managed to make my savings last six months, which I am very proud of as it wasn’t very much money, and this included my first ever trip to Ikea. How strong am I?

These few months were really lovely. I had enough time to really throw myself face first into my Masters assignments, which made me love the course I was doing, after years of hating University. I was also in the honeymoon stage of a relationship, so it was nice being able to do my regular walks of shame back to the privacy of my apartment instead of into a judging workplace.

But it was lonely too. There would sometimes be three or four days in a row where I wouldn’t talk to another person face to face. I found myself wandering around charity shops and galleries in order to feel part of society. It was amazing to be a full time writer, but since I wasn’t getting paid I was constantly worried about money. And because I have worked since I was sixteen, a part of me felt ashamed when people asked had I got a job yet, and I answered no.

“I’m not lazy,” I wanted to shout, “I just want to spend Christmas with my family!”

Near the end of my six months ‘sabbatical’ I had embraced the recluse life a bit too strongly, and I realised it was time to interact with humans other than my housemate and my boyfriend on a regular basis. The tipping point was when I found myself picking up a sweet potato in my kitchen and whispering to it:

“Don’t worry, I’ll eat you tomorrow.”

It’s orange, crinkled skin crushed in on itself and a face formed on the vegetable. It frowned at me, as only a potato would and spat:

“You’re talking to a potato, go get a job.”

So I did.

As they always say, if the potato talks back listen to its wisdom, and go talk to a human.


Have a dishy day, you big dish.

Leave a comment…

  • Keeping Beautiful

    I just moved to London from Sydney (through am Irish!) and spent 4 months writing. Back to work soon but am so happy I took the time off to enjoy the simple things. Love your blog xx

    • Thanks!!! Nice to know someone else understands 🙂 xxx

  • Meg Nuttall

    You’re hilarious, keep on talkin’ to those potatoes girl. p.s. Totally watched Sabrina the Teenage Witch in the bath the other night, and while I found this enjoyable, I felt sad, for my younger self for thinking Salem was real. ffs. Sooo easily fooled by that superb cgi.