Now we are [nearly] six[ty]

I am sixty at the end of this month.  I know lots of people are sixty and some are even older, but it's still ... a bit of a thing. I can’t have a party, which serves me right because I’ve always made a huge fuss about having to have one.  I was going to have a few people round the weekend before; I intended to spend the actual day with my family and I’d planned a holiday with a friend just after.  A perfect triad of low-key celebration, all [...]

Sixteen things I didn’t know a month ago:

Even when everything’s closed, there is still slightly too much to do; Starting any new project – making curtains, writing a novel, learning the guitar requires will, determination, routine – not just time; I knew I was an introvert, but I hadn’t realised how much of my happiness depended on not having to go out; What furlough means. My guess is like tsunami after 2004, we'll find it popping up in every other sentence from now on; That face masks protect other people more than the wearer - using one [...]

Who Loves a Lockdown?

  When I was a kid I wanted to be a long distance lorry driver. I hadn’t thought about motorways or transport cafés, fatigue, the health impact of sitting down for ages, deadlines, queues at borders etc.  My  fantasy was about being all by myself, in a snug little cabin, all day.  I’m reminded of it now. I have been noticing how friends and clients have been responding to this voluntary lockdown.  Some seem to be glowing with it, secretly (or openly) relishing the prohibition on crowds, travel, social contact.  [...]

Clearing the Pebbles

It's wet and windy all over the country and no less so than down here in Brighton. The sea chucks pebbles onto the promenade and the council (presumably) sends a guy down with a digger to push them back onto the beach. The sea chucks them back again in the next storm and out the digger comes again.  In some ways it seems like a bit of a waste of resources, especially bearing in mind the forecast. There is a lot of work that is like this: cleaning the house, [...]

The joy of stating the obvious

One of the things I love about this time of year (aside from having got Christmas and my birthday out the way) is how the evenings get noticeably lighter as do the mornings. What a boring thing to say, I hear you mutter.  Obvious, dull, doh.  It is, and that’s the thing. I must have found myself in at least five conversations already this year about lighter mornings and longer evenings (none, I hasten to add, started by me).  Which leads me to observe that even though we know it’s [...]

How hard it is to run when you’re in a bad mood

I run.  Not fast and not very far, but frequently enough to notice how sometimes it feels effortless (dare I say enjoyable) and sometimes it feels as if the oxygen’s been sucked out of the air and it’s up hill there and back. There will be no difference in the set up; my diet remains pretty much constant, I’m hydrated, I’ve had the same amount of sleep, I’m not injured, the route is the identical, and the weather doesn’t really affect me (so long as it’s not boiling hot). Spoiler [...]

The wrong film

Last night I went to the wrong film.  A lapse of concentration at the ticket office meant that I saw a film call Won’t You Be My Neighbour instead of Three Identical Strangers.  Kind of linked in broad idea, I guess, (if I am being kind to myself).  Both documentaries, so at least the same genre.  It's not as if I set of to see PS I love you and ended up in Mad Max Fury Road. I realised the mistake about ten minutes in.  I felt disappointment and a [...]

On not making meaning

Since I lost all my previous blog posts, I’ve been having difficulty building the stock up.  I’m stuck.  They call this writers’ block, that’s the generic name anyway.  The specific problem goes something like this: I have a small idea, something that’s occurred to me during the day.  I start to write about it and then I get to the part where I have to bring it all together and wrap it up with some kind of pithy observation.  Then I dry up, banality getting the better of me.  I [...]

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