The Snug is a place to read, write and remember. It’s a time capsule, a repository of precious memories and a cosy place to work. Sitting in The Snug with a big mug of tea feels like a long-awaited hug from my grandmother.
I’ve been a freelance writer and editor since 2010 specialising in pet journalism. At the beginning of 2020 my biggest client went bust and I found myself suddenly without work. When the pandemic reached the UK, my husband needed to work from home and he took the space where I previously wrote. I no longer had a need for my corner desk so moved to the kitchen table where I spent the days helping our 6- and 11-year-old daughters with their school work. It was a struggle and I lost all confidence in my ability to write.
My 91-year- old Nanny Jean moved into a nursing home in February 2020 and when the doors closed to visitors the following month, I knew I would never see her again. She was unwell and had dementia so keeping in touch was difficult. It was heart breaking not being able to visit her.
My Nanny Jean and I had a very special relationship. Despite the 50-year age gap we shared many interests and enjoyed holidays together before my children were born.
Sadly, Nanny Jean’s health deteriorated rapidly and on 18th April we had the devastating call to say she had passed away. Grieving for my nan and my career, as well as enduring the separation from my mum due to lockdown and the stress of home schooling, had a detrimental effect on my mental health.
I’d always dreamed of a place of my own to write, and with Nanny Jean’s inheritance I was able to make this dream come true. I bought a Georgian-style 6’x8’ summer house and filled it with special things and heating so that I could use it all year round. Then, as if by magic, some lovely new clients came my way and I was soon writing again.
In between articles on pets, I’ve been writing about Nanny Jean to keep her memory alive and preserve her well-told stories. When I’m sitting in The Snug, I can feel that she is with me – retelling a tale from her time as an evacuee or singing one of her favourite old songs with mis-remembered words. I miss her every day but The Snug has helped me to remember the good times and start looking to the future.
Features of The Snug include:
French doors and 2 opening windows
Insulated walls and ceiling
Multiple power points
Radiator with thermostat to keep The Snug toasty all year round
A pine writing desk
Patchwork desk chair
Chesterfield arm chair
Tea making facilities
Fairy lights and desk lamp
Wi-fi and smart speaker
Bookshelf of inspiring reads
Handwritten song lyrics by Scott Matthews
Green Man portrait by Red K Elders
Dog bed for Popsie the Lurcher
Lots of notebooks
Noticeboards full of special photos and cards
I share photos of The Snug, my work and writing inspiration on Instagram at @In_The_Snug.
I bought a 6'8' Georgian-style summer house for £1,800 but it was never going to be just for summer.
My husband, Simon, fitted electrics, insulated and plasterboarded the walls and ceiling, and laid laminate flooring.
I painted the interior and fitted solar-powered fairy lights to the exterior.