Illustration by Julie Riley

I remember sitting in a busy coffee shop tucking into a slice of my favourite cheesecake. It was Saturday March 14th 2020, and I had just been to an already socially distanced writers’ group at my local library. As life seemed to be carrying on relatively as normal around me, it felt like a hangman’s supper: if I was going to eat one thing, do one thing, before everything changed, possibly forever, it was this. I felt strangely calm.

However, I don’t think I was prepared initially for the longevity of the pandemic. I remember thinking it was good I’d…


I live on a plant nursery in the beautiful Dorset countryside, and offer my thoughts and observations through my love of nature and books, a new Romantic.

Illustration of butterfly resting on pen by Julie Riley

I have started writing a novel. Funnily enough it did start out as a short story, but then a lot of the feedback I received was that it could be the start of something bigger. Obviously good because people liked my story and wanted to read more, but also bad because suddenly I was embarking on a much bigger enterprise that maybe I wasn’t quite ready for. It’s that old cliche: ‘Don’t run…

Julie Riley

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