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Distanced Futures

During the virus years we would trade sourdough starters and kimchi, jam and bread and stranger concoctions, sneaking over garden walls to leave them on doorstops and windowsills. A quick wave, a prohibited flash of friendship, before we were off again on our deliveries. They were small gifts, it’s true – but they spread through the cities silently, like threads.


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Gratitude and inspiration to fiction what the future holds, mined from Kelvin Mason's story 'Future Imperatives (Take 2)'. Kelvin is a far braver writer than I am - and he (and comrades) have a recent book out!


COVID Diary: Unexpected Holistics

No one invites tragedy, I’m thinking as I stand in the new-new garden, looking at the sun rising over the quiet city. Or not so quiet. It’s becoming a bird-city. Less contrails in the air and less traffic noise gives me pause to watch a flight of thirty-odd swans arrowing the sky.

And I’m wondering about these crisis points as times when the World (meaning; life, time, history, everything bigger than us), becomes strangely unavoidable. Even when we are so removed from each other, we cannot ignore the larger, and more fundamental realities beyond our job; our habits; our personal aspirations now.

What it means to have a friend, or someone there for you when you may be feeling hungry, sick, or alone.

What it means to have fresh air on our faces.

What this experience must be like for all the rest of life beyond my isolation.

Dolphins returning to Venician canals.


COVID Diary: Convenience is King

It’s oddly unsettling amidst a world that is doing what it is doing right now, to find that one of the things unaffected by the New Normal is spam.

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It’s weird, also, reading the feeds and the posts over the last 12 hours or so, and literally being able to see the realization of what that New Normal actually is spread across the blogosphere. Curfews imposed in western countries. Soldiers patrolling streets. Frenzied, and then emptied supermarkets – and those of us fortunate enough to live in the affluent countries of the world have got it lucky.

None of what is happening feels normal, right? Or what most of us expected life to be like. These are strange times, throwing all sorts of curve-balls and readjustments.

But some of those readjustments, have revealed certain joys. Reading about the UK covid mutual-aid network being thrown up, to help communities co-ordinate from the ground up and support the most vulnerable in their area, or the authors doing read-alongs online.

A personal joy to me, has been discovering a cornucopia of convenience stores a few streets across from my new-new home. (ed. I have once again moved into a new-new address, just in time for the lockdown. Which is crazy, living out of boxes while half the world goes mad. How many house moves in the last 6months, ian? Srsly.) The food is healthier, more reliable, and much more interesting than what is on offer by the big chains, from every part of the globe; Islamabad or Dehli, Warsaw or Vilnius, Ankara, Hong Kong or Damascus…

These places know how to do community, I’m thinking as I half-listen to the friendly banter of the store owners. Not just know, they have community. It’s encouraging, and welcoming.


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In an effort to look beyond the fear and worry, I guess I’m thinking about what different sorts of hope can thrive in a socially- distanced society?

I’m wondering how many creative projects are going to be born in this time of enforced inwardness.

I’m hoping this experience makes us trust each other more…

I’m hoping that a lot more of us take up gardening…





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