Skip to main content


Life in a time of covid-19: part 18 - Hope. A rant, a little history and some small hope.

Hope : from Old English hopa:  definition - verb, to express a desire for something; noun, the feeling of desiring something that's not entirely beyond your reach. So ... I hope to see you tomorrow (verb) vs. It is my hope that none of us will be pinged before our holiday (noun). Hope is an essential part of our lives. Without hope, what are we? Who are we? And where are we going?If hope were completely withdrawn from our lives, most of us would be utterly lost. I know I would be. Hope, after all, is the thing ... the essence, if you like ... that drives us. It is the catalyst of ambition and the enabler of dreams. Pliny the Elder said, "Hope is the pillar that holds up the world."  I like that image ... a solid pillar holding up the world ... for us. It is somehow reassuring. But Pliny didn't say solid. The hopeful part of me added that, making it a hopefully solid pillar.  What if the pillar were to get a bit blurred? What if it bowed perhaps and buckled? Is the
Recent posts

Why am I so flipping frightened? Through procrastination and beyond.

I procrastinate ALL THE TIME. Well, not right now obviously ... but for much of the time my head is stuck somewhere between the latest pile of laundry, a dahlia that needs potting on, four legged friends that need to be fed/walked/loved and the many things that I really need to do, that I want to do and that I should put on a list. Most days I remember the non-existence of said list in the evening, when there is dinner to cook and no time left in the day to embark on finding a new me; a me that makes lists. I do, however ... sometimes ... write a hello-morning-this-is-going-to-be-a-super-organised-day list. And the outcome, on those list days is either head-on-the-desk despair at how little I managed to tick off, or the miracle of a vaguely successful day. Vaguely , as my gauge for 'successful' is achieving slightly more than fifty percent on the tick list. And therein lies the problem - I procrastinate and thus greater than fifty percent becomes impossible. Even fifty percent

Life in a time of covid-19 - part 17: palindromes or not? And seeing ourselves for who we might have been.

When I started this post, it was 12/1/21 and I'm such an accomplished time-waster that I've left it to 17/1/21 to continue. While I'm not entirely sure why I didn't finish on the 12th ... apart from being entangled in a to-do list as long as both of my arms ... I've found time to come back today, despite that to-do list now needing the addition of the lengths of both of my legs to match its ever-stretching expanse. Procrastinate when busy is my motto - put off everything if at all possible. Ignore lists and swim before you sink. In other words, just ... write! So, hopping back through time, what was going round inside my head on the 12th? It was the date: specifically, was it a palindromic date or not?  12/1/21 reads the same from left to right and from right to left but is not included in lists of palindromic dates on the internet. How unfair! I guess the conventional formats of MMDDYY or DDMMYY ie. 01/12/21 and 12/01/21 would not be palindromes but in my world - m

Life in a time of covid-19 - part 16: Fear, participation and a glass half empty rant.

A frosty morning. An ancient oak. A hint of blue sky. A bit of frozen cobweb. And days lengthening - "If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?" Percy Bysshe Shelley I can't quite believe that I'm here, writing another 'Life in a time of covid-19' blog - the sixteenth. Maybe I'm stuck in a covid loop of covid blogging. Maybe it's time to stop. I like the number seventeen, so maybe there will be a seventeenth, and then something different. For now though - getting back to the sixteenth - what a year we have had. What a time we live in. What ... I stare out of the window ... what ... I massage my shut eyes, smearing my glasses with my fingers ...  what about what comes next? Dare we think of that? Specifically, the what of what comes next. Time will tell. What a cliche! Well, yes, but it's a cliche that is true. Time will, indeed, tell. But the problem is, we want it to tell us now. We want to know. We want to be able to see past the doom-laden news

Life in a time of Covid-19 - part 15: tiers and tears. And waiting; for this, too, shall pass.

  As I walked with this pair earlier today - on our last walk of 2020 - I reflected. Because reflecting or dreaming or imagining things is what you do when you're walking. I reflected - I don't know why - on the homophones tier and tear in relation to the Christmas just passed - a Christmas that was suddenly smaller - tiers and tears; a Christmas that was devoid of the usual parties - tiers; a Christmas that had FaceTime unwrapping of presents - tiers. And later, a few private tears. A Christmas 'crown' that was more than adequate and cooked far quicker than the usual big bird - tiers; a Christmas with friends distant, some on the end of a phone, and one gone - tears; Christmas walks to clear our heads and meet first in a group of six, then one with one - tiers; and the last ten minutes, alone with a Christmas film, caught channel-hopping, by mistake - tears. And today, a chill wind, mist and fogged-up glasses, and, pouring down cold cheeks, tears, unchecked. To sugges

Life in a time of covid-19 - part 14: Venus on the horizon and Ovid. Or if not Ovid, could it be covid inside my head?

  "Venus favours the bold" Ovid ... Venus an hour before sunrise this morning (the dot above and to the right of the oak). Well, I assume I'm not alone in thinking it's hard to believe it's December. How did that happen? I know December follows November, follows October etc and despite it being a weird year, it's not yet bent time. But honestly, where has 2020 gone? No, actually ... shakes head. And shakes head again. And drops head momentarily onto desk ... don't bother to answer that question: we all know where 2020 has gone. It's been swallowed up by a tiny virus. Tiny. Miniscule. Deadly. Monsters are meant to be big; they're meant to stomp and roar; to huff and puff and blow our houses down; or smell our blood while shrieking 'fe-fi-fo-fum.' They're meant to lurk beneath our beds and hide in cupboards, waiting to pounce. They should have green skin, drool slime and be covered in warts. They live in dark forests or in swamps. And som

Life in a time of covid-19 - part 13: after a hiatus, what comes next?

What comes next?       What comes next is a question we impatiently ask ourselves throughout our lives. It assists planning. It is the bedrock of ambition. It builds futures. But, right now, what comes next is tinged with more uncertainty and fear than we are used to. In our cosseted, modern lives, those of us who live in stable, Westernised societies, have become lazy in our thinking - we've too often narrowed the focus of what comes next to our own small patch of the planet - ourselves, our families, and our friends and colleagues. Now the focus of what comes next has exploded to encompass the entire planet and all its peoples and ecosystems and political situations. And contemplating this near-incomprehensible what comes next is exhausting. I've been struggling with it for at least two months. Let's face it, I'm not alone - you have too; along with the rest of the population. Of the entire world. I say two months ... but in reality, we have probably been contempla