All posts by kate

About kate

Kate Coe is an editor, book reviewer and writer of fiction & fantasy. She writes the sparkpunk GreenSky series and blogs at When she's not working, she fills her spare time in between writing with web design, gaming, geeky cross-stitch and DIY (which may or may not involve destroying things). She also reads far fewer books that she would like to, but possibly more than she really has time for.

Going Reusable

We started all of this before the current chaos, so I’m not sure how helpful any of it is now that we’re in lockdown and all the delivery companies are overwhelmed… but I guess it’s worth being aware of?

Happy milk bottle

Firstly, food; we get milk (and eggs, when there are eggs) delivered from Milk&More, who are local to Oxford. We also get a veg box every other week from Abel & Cole, but I know that Riverford Organics also deliver, and there’s an Oxford-based company called Ten Mile? I think? I keep meaning to ask my colleague about them…

We’re also signed up to the new Club Zero with Abel & Cole; they do reusable, refillable tubs of things! It got a bit derailed by the crisis but they were doing pasta and porridge, with other lines coming.

Bread is coming from Natural Bread;  meat from Eadles, who are now doing home delivery. Beyond that, we’re keeping an eye out for options! (I can’t drink at the moment otherwise I’d totally be getting things from the Tap Social, too… just sayin’ for anyone who is drinking! Follow their Facebook for updates.)

Who gives a crap - coloured packaging on toilet rolls

On the health side, Who Gives A Crap? do bulk loo roll and tissues, in recyclable packaging with amusing slogans (yes, it’s the small things that amuse me!) For toothbrushes, we’re trying Brush Hub, who use bamboo so the handles are compostable and recyclable bristles, and send you new brushes every month. And Tink is doing lovely handmade face wipes that are washable – based in Bristol, but she’ll post to the UK. She’s also doing face masks at the moment (not virus-proof, but useful for other things!)

Kitchen-wise, we do a vegetable waste recycling bin, and we’ve also got a compost bin. We’ve just started Smol washing liquid as well, and I’m on the lookout for a dish soap. For Bobble’s food, we’re looking into getting a terracycle bank set up locally – and my neighbour sneakily sends their packages to Enval!

Other suggestions welcome… although I appreciate that the current crisis isn’t the best time to be trying new things!

Five Happy Things: March 2020

We’re in lockdown now; I’m working from home (and that’s going about as well as can be expected, between my mental health and a cat who yells when he wants attention) but I’m trying to find positives. And there have been lots this month!


Well, obviously: cat time!

2.The Weather

Blossoms and blue sky

Sunshine! We got out in the garden last weekend, and I was really enjoying my quiet bike rides in. Currently, the view out of the front window is blossoms and blue sky, which is beautiful – and it’s lovely to see them developing over the past week of sunshine!

I’ve shifted a pot of Narcissus out to the front of the house too, and it’s lovely to get the splash of yellow every time I go to the front door.


Speaking of the garden, I got a whole bunch of pallets a month or so ago, and we’re finally putting them to use:

Kate leaning on a pallet fence in the sunshine

Most of the fence came down in the storms about six months ago (which, incidentally, meant they didn’t come down in the two or three storms since… there’s a bright side, eh…) and we’ve been plotting what to do. We eventually settled on pallets as a cheap and recycling-friendly option, and a couple of weeks ago, I got a van-load! It’s been nice to actually build something, and also to get a project started now that the weather’s a bit nicer. Our plan is to add another layer, and then fill the gaps with plants – ivy, honeysuckle, herbs, roses, and whatever else would do ok as a wall plant or climber. The nice thing about the pallets is that they can either be a wall garden or a trellis, so we’ve got lots of options!

4.Our Community

We had a tea-break yesterday that consisted of most of our small cul-de-sac standing on their doorsteps in the sunshine and yelling at each other! It was hilarious and heart-warming and lovely, and really nice both to get out in the sunshine and see people. We’ve got a couple of community chats going; a couple of us have been picking up multiple veg boxes from Roots in Osney Mead (if you’re in Oxford, they’re open 10-3 weekdays for huge boxes of fruit or veg, £10 cash each) and delivering them to anyone in isolation; and it’s been really lovely to wave at people from windows and be able to check in on the chat to see if anyone can pick up whatever someone needs. We’re also planning a party for when we’re allowed out again…

5.Little Things

Playing Azul with my partner. Drinking tea while watching the kite float over the Close, checking for its breakfast and annoying all the crows. Sending seeds to friends, and getting cat pictures back. Watching the local tabby do its best to get close to the jackdaws, who are having none of it. Enjoying the physical feel of a book in my hands as I read. The smell of fresh cherry tomatoes. Cuddles with a Bobble-cat.

I’m doing my best to just focus on the little things; let the anxiety go, let the grey go, and just focus on the end of the day.

A Kate Update: March 2020

Long time no post, I know….

It feels like lots has happened, but nothing has; I haven’t had anything I’ve felt like writing about, and yet there has been so much going on! I’ve got a couple of posts swirling about books I’ve bought and some random thoughts about submissions and what it takes to be an editor, I need to do a happy things post, you obviously need more pictures of Bobble

The immediate updates for the general Apocalypse that’s going on: Cymera has been cancelled (sad, but understandable!) and I’m waiting to hear about on Can*Con in October. We’re not travelling at all this year before Can*Con (and I sincerely hope most people aren’t) so trying to use the time to get bits done on the house, and catch up on my reading. We spent a lovely afternoon in the garden today, putting a new fence up! Oh, the thrilling life of an editor…

A sleeping catI’m currently still working at the office in Oxford; I did try working from home, but it completely messed my brain up (hi panic attack!) so I’m going into work for as long as I can. Considering that about 3/4 of the office are working from home we’re doing ok on social distancing, and I walk so don’t see anyone during my commute, I think it’s the best compromise I can do at the moment. Obviously if I get symptoms etc, or anything changes, I’ll be self-isolating… but for now it seems to be working. I’m feeling horribly guilty, but a lot of that is residual “it’s just mental health, of course you can fix it!” and my partner has been incredibly supportive, so we’re just doing day by day at the moment.

I’m generally not feeling a lot better in terms of mental health, too; still very scatty, a bit grey, struggling to focus. I keep forgetting things – as an aside, I estimate I’ve lost about a third of my early memories over the last five years or so – and I’m very much relying on routine and notes to keep me up-to-date with everything, because some days everything goes in one ear and out the other! However, I am feeling a bit more settled; commuting on my own seems to be helping, as does the better weather. Fingers crossed that it continues.

I’m trying to read more; play more games; relax more. Freelance work is sort of screwing most of those objectives, but hey ho! That’s what you get when everyone suddenly has time on their hands to finish that novel they always meant to write….

Stay safe, stay well, and have a cat asleep in the sunshine to brighten your day!

A black cat asleep in the sunshine on a knitted rug