Big Pants and Idris

Big Pants and Idris Coral Horn discusses coping with the lockdown

Home alone with big pants and a tennis ball called Idris

After the absolute highs of celebrating International Women’s Day across the North West with literally hundreds of women, five amazing speakers and three masterclasses and a fantastic night at the Red Rose Awards, I certainly came back down to earth with a bang.

Once Boris announced “No More Gatherings” that was it for me. I hold an average 100 events across the year so as they say game over…..but not out yet!


You didn’t need to be Gypsy Petulengro on Blackpool promenade to see what lay ahead for us. We saw our neighbours in Italy and we had to accept it was coming our way. I had already researched how we could take the network meetings online and launched Zoom. It proved to be the way to go as many other networks took to their keyboards instead of the motorway.

Its been a fabulous way for everyone to see each other and it really does lift spirits. We have had joy, laughter and tears. Talk of business closures, not being able to meet the government criteria, job losses, marriage breakdowns, the lose of loved ones. Ultimately the common fear of the uncertain future. It has been uplifting to see business being passed between members and collaborations formed as businesses adapt to the crisis. 

We are still together as a community, still supporting and sharing all these emotions together. Last Friday, we had been due to take a large party to Ladies Day at Aintree, we decided to put those fascinators, frocks and fizz to good use, although a couple of bookies and a trainer managed to sneak in. We had our own #FabulousFriday which was featured on Channel 4’s programme A Day In The Life Of.

We may not have the answers but we have spirit and to borrow a line from Alice Walker – you can’t keep a good woman down!


You would have to be made of stone not to have broken down during this. For the first few days I was glad of my eyelash extensions. They eradicated the need for mascara, which was a blessing after I burst into tears in the car before going into Tesco’s.

Now, after 3 weeks of lockdown, the last few are hanging on and I wish they would just let go as I have done with the need to put on my face. It wasn’t the only time I cried. I’ve had a few moments since then and I’m sure there will be more ahead. But I knew it was time to get those big girl pants on and just crack on with what I can control and not worry about the stuff I couldn’t.


We reached out to our network to see if they would help us to put Free Masterclasses on, to offer support emotionally, physically and professionally. We’re covering a wide range of subjects, from How To Use Zoom, to Financial and Legal Advice, from Counselling to Digital Marketing! We have had women from across the UK join in, benefiting from the information, tips, tools and advice. We wholeheartedly thank all the women who have joined us to help provide them, giving their time and skill freely.

Please feel free to join us and book your free place here.

I’m always saying that I don’t have the time to do this or that. Well now I have – time for self care, to think, to innovate, to sow the seeds for our future and to plan our exit strategy. Use your time wisely. All too soon the time will have sped by and we need to be ready to run when we come out the other side.


At 4.30pm, each weekday I take to our ‘Members Only’ Facebook group for what has been named Corona Time mainly due to the fact I appear live with a bottle of corona. It’s become the preamble for the government update and generally the aim is to communicate with the ladies, pass on information and try to lift spirits with a few stories. By the end of the first week I introduced them to Idris! Just like Wilson in the film Castaway, he has become my go to buddy as I am in lockdown alone. He is my tribute to Idris Elba who I have great admiration for!!


Florence Nightingale was a pioneer in public health, changing the way care and hygiene was implemented. She paved the way for the profession we have now. We all need a little light now to lead our way through this pandemic and as I pay tribute to Florence, I am thinking of every man and woman serving our country in the NHS right now and wish them love and light.

Stay safe and strong.

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