Writer Maddie Grigg is the pen name of magazine columnist and former local newspaper editor Margery Hookings. She lives in the idyllic Dorset village she calls Lush Places, which she writes about for the oldest weekly magazine for women in the world, The People’s Friend.

From 2007 to 2019 she wrote The World from My Window blog, charted the seasons in 2017 for A Dorset Year and contributed to The Lady Shed, posts from three female writers living in the same village.

Margery is a former editor of the Bridport and Lyme Regis News (1999-2004). Now working as a freelance writer, she is in her second year of studying for an MA in creative writing with the OU, with a historical novel to complete and a collection of short stories in 2021.

The blog on this website began in 2020 when the coronavirus pandemic gave a new focus to her writing.

She restarted her blog as And the people stayed home as a journal of life during the Coronavirus outbreak in England in 2020 and 2021. The title is inspired by a poem attributed to Kitty O’Meara, which circulated on social media as countries all over the world faced the unthinkable and unprecedented prospect of total lockdown:

And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently.

And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal.

And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.

-Kitty O’Meara