Hard Times, Soft Fascinations

After a year ruined by Covid, nature can restore my faith in better times

THIS WEEK, THE UK marked a year of living with Covid-19, and I marked it by having a wobble.

I mean, it’s hardly an anniversary to celebrate, is it? One hundred and twenty-six thousand dead. Fear and uncertainty still rife, and the prospect of spending still more months in limbo, home alone.

Back in the day, the four of us went out to Clap For Carers every Thursday, but on Tuesday no-one felt much like standing on our doorstep, ‘reflecting’ on a terrible year and shining a frigging light.

To be frank, we don’t want any more gestures: we just want it all to be over.

Continue reading “Hard Times, Soft Fascinations”

Where I Find My Heaven

When I was a teenager, Nature ruined my life. In middle age, it helps make it worth living. 

A green park in summer

TODAY IS a bloody excuse for a summer’s day: grey skies, pissing rain, flood warnings and uppity winds. More like early March than mid-June. 

About a month’s rain fell in a single day on Monday, but there seems to be no water shortage up in the Heavens as a result.

The 2019 Cricket World Cup is already the most rain-affected ever and, right now, Jupiter Pluvius is still messing with almost 80 per cent of the domestic games that are supposed to be taking place. 

It doesn’t look like we are in for a re-run of last year’s fabled summer. But it’s all right. Ain’t nothin’ gonna break my stride. Or, indeed, slow me down. Because I have started the day happy, and I trust myself to manage my mood from now on. 

Over the years, I have got quite adept at noticing the things that leave me feeling chipper, and finding sly little ways of ensuring that I do them. 

Continue reading “Where I Find My Heaven”