The timing of Helly Acton’s first pregnancy isn’t, she admits, completely ideal.


Due in late 2020, she spent her first trimester locked down, the second attending her appointments without her husband and now, in the weeks when any expectant woman would be justified in wallowing under a duvet with a tub of ice cream all day, she’s frantically putting the finishing touches to her second novel.


Acton has every right to be frazzled, but is actually happier and more content than ever. In the last few months, she's quit full-time work in favour of freelance life, moved to the country and, aside from a gruesome interlude this morning when her dog brought a disemboweled mouse into the kitchen, is thoroughly enjoying the nesting period.


It all sounds like the perfect narrative for a romcom. But if Acton seems an unlikely cheerleader for the joys of singledom, don’t be fooled. Just a few short years ago, she found herself divorced, living alone in Australia and, shockingly, loving every minute of life on her own schedule.


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