Top Snuggles List 2020

There’s a lot going on right now in these early stages of COVID-19 and some of us are in need of a bit of comfort, distraction and escapism. I’ve asked around for your favourite books and snacks that can be delivered to your door to ease the, well unease, and possible quarantine. Personally I’m loving the idea of self-isolation. Had a lot of practice!

First up:


The first book I read by Matt Beaumont had me hooked. He’s the one author that I google for any new releases. His book ‘e: A Novel‘ consists entirely of staff emails and its such a funny, clever read from start to finish. Highly recommended.

For those who like a sequel then E Squared is the follow up.

My ex sister in law used to work with Matt and his wife. First time we met told her I was a fan and despite my “No! NO NO!”s she rang him. Most awkward phone call of my life. “Ummm, hi, I love your books”. “Thanks” The cringe is still strong.

Snacks and beverage of choice: Golden Wonder Sausage & Tomato crisps (why can’t I ever find them anywhere?!) and either a cuppa tea (with coconut rings) or good old orange juice and lemonade. I know, boring. Different strokes for different folks.

An absolute classic I haven’t read was suggested by @StarBucksTricky: The Catcher in the Rye. Its going on my wishlist.

A Chinese with mixed Hors d’oeuvres as starters and a good Merlot will see him right.

Angela (@andytude) says these books are completely gripping. Can’t have snacks [my deepest sympathy] and coffee for beverage.

Now I did tell him (after he tweeted this) that it would be in my blog and @PaulCTayla would like gin, peanuts & Razzle. I’m not googling for an image…got an internet search history rep to protect!

Along with her tea, toast with marmite, peanut butter or marmalade, Sue’s (@parsnip45) book choice is…

“And crisps. All the crisps” will keep @CarolMaps happy. Her book choice is ‘Do The Birds Still Sing In Hell’. Interesting. My wishlist is going to be massive.

@DanzacRose would like cheap beer and a plate of chips to go with Lucky Jim. Guardian review says: ‘A brilliantly and preposterously funny book’.

Johnny (@24shaz) likes ‘Sunset Song’ by Lewis Grassic Gibbon because its written in her language, Doric. Sure she’ll translate the bits we don’t know. Unless its the whole book(!). Next on her wish list is The Outsider by Stephen King.

Another Stephen King from Julie (@collingwood323) is Salem’s Lot but I’ll give that one a miss as its fluffy and cute I’m after. My anxiety levels are already creeping up to the danger zone!

Nice varied collection of books and most have next day delivery which is handy. So you make a start on those & I’ll put the kettle on.

Come back tomorrow for favourite films. Oh ok, I’ll start: Grease, The Sound of Music (Christopher Plummer singing Edelweiss! swoons) and Calamity Jane.
No shame!

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  • Tracy Lynch

    Good morning, I have just read your article on the BBC news app. What an absolute inspiration you are. To have gone, and be going through so much and still be so grateful for the small, everyday joys in life. I will have a good read of your blog later. So many people can’t manage to eat well on a low income and eat badly. You are doing a brilliant job and eating more healthy than some people who are loaded. Have a good day.

  • MM

    I came here to say the same. I admire your generosity of spirit to log your week on BBC’s My Money. Having experienced a similar health incident ten years ago, I had an overwhelming feeling of ‘there but for the grace of God go I’. Consider me a new follower. All the best!

  • Mark

    HI! Just echoing Tracy’s comments 🙂

    You should really consider asking Pen to set up a GoFundMe page for you, and/or perhaps a public WishList as I am sure I am not the only one out who would love to be able to lend a hand where I could.

  • JG

    I’m another BBC website refugee…and glad to have found your story. As others have said it is extremely brave to put the many ups and downs of your life out for all to see. It has helped me to put my own issue and worries into perspective and for that I am grateful.
    +1 for the GoFundMe 🙂

    • JC

      Do you know what, its lovely hearing people’s kind words today. Warms the cockles! Thank you 🙂
      As for perspective,all fears/worries are valid and relative. Hope you sort them or have a smoother time soon x

  • Mike CR

    Echoing other comments, your blog and your optimistic approach to life despite what reads as an extremely unpleasant and selfish treatment of you by your previous employer, is frankly inspirational. However, words whilst they may be kind don’t necessarily make life easier. Pen please setup a go fund me or equivalent site for Joy – I would like to help make your life a little easier if I can.

    • JC

      It seems strange people calling me inspirational – you should see the downside of the brain injury – extremely quick (and loud) temper! I used to joke about meltdowns before I knew what they actually were. That’ll teach me! But thank you 🙂

  • Neil

    BBC article has made me realise how precious life and our health is.

    I know you’re neither looking for or expectign charity but is there some how I can send you gift for you to spend as you wish (special meal, treat for you and/or Sophie, other)

    Would prefer to send direct so as not to give 5-10% to a middle-man like Buymeacoffee

    I don’t know when I might need a helping hand and I’m in a position to make a little gesture to take the strain off of your financial situation

  • Maria Volant.

    Hi, I too discovered your blog after today’s BBC online article. You’re such a talented, natural writer…and a very strong person, to have come through so much! Love your recipes too. A go fund me page, or similar, would be great !

  • Zowee

    Also just read your BBC article. Loved it, and really loved how real you came across. Looking forward to following you here, and wishing you so much good luck 🙂

  • Laura

    Hi, guess what, I read the blog too! So here I am to say all the lovely glowing things which the others have before me. If you had a gofund me I have to admit I would contribute as that was my first feeling of wanting to help you out. I suspect that people’s charity may make you feel a little uncomfortable though. Keep up your positive outlook & ideas. I’ll get clicking on those ads now!!

    • JC

      Thank you so much Laura. You’re right about the uncomfortable although if car fails its MOT then I might have to sit on my …can’t even think of the word…morals?!

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