Checking in.

So how is everything going?

It feels as though Corona is never going to dissipate. But hopefully that hasn’t quelled our creativity. We know that life has changed and lots of people are missing the crazy casual lifestyles that we used to enjoy. However, some things may have made a positive impact.

The original lockdowns made us stop and take check of our lives. More people have started to engage with their neighbours. Often these are people we hardly had any dealing with in the past. Some might say we have reinstalled a sense of community. This is one aspect of post-lockdown life which I for one consider hugely beneficial. So many previously lonely or ignored people are now feeling valued and safer, knowing the people that live near them will check on them and show appreciation for them.

One of my passions is making people more aware of environmental issues and it would seem that less people flying around may be having a positive impact by reducing pollution. People have realised that you don’t have to travel to Europe for a meeting any longer as everyone can log in over Zoom instead. This prevents the need for flights and hotels and additional business costs. At the same time it cuts back air miles and the related devastation caused by the carbon emissions high in the atmosphere.

On another note, the ‘new normal’ seems to have brought about even more creativity and many have had to think of different and interesting ways to tell stories, show shows and generally continue to entertain. From drive-through theatre and live comedy to socially distanced filming, the industry has tried hard to combat hazards thrown in its path.

For writers though, it has seen a large audience of home workers with a few extra minutes in the day that once were spent driving to and from work. Apparently this has led to more book sales and a re-emerging obsession with fiction. I hope that this has given some support and reassurance to my friends and colleagues in the literary industry.

So yes….. times are tough. But still, players gotta play and writers gotta write.

Theatre is the one thing I miss most.

Merry Jollity

Jingle bells, roast chestnuts,

Warm your hands on the fire,

Unwrap presents, Eat huge meals,

All of these things will transpire.

Be together, share a hug,

Forget work and hassle and news,

Watch the Queen speak, drink mulled wine,

Argue with family who have different views.

Play silly games, act out fave films,

Eat Christmas pudding and cover it with booze,

Sing karaoke and dance round the room,

Then lie on the sofa and have a long snooze.

Perhaps for five minutes, reflect and consider,

Those who are not lucky enough to enjoy Christmas day,

Whether religious or just conscious of society,

For a little while think about them who can’t play.

Consider the burning of forests and heatwaves,

Dwell on the cutting of millions of trees,

Imagine the pollution of smelting and jet planes,

Make a choice to save the planet, acknowledge climate change, please.

Sorting the climate -step by step.

Where do we start? We want to help with climate change? We have all been made aware of the real threat that it poses. Now it is time to consider ways that each of us can contribute to change.

Pushing for political movement is a start. It is vital, indeed. But we need to look at other ways that everyday members of the public may do our bit to help slow climate change a bit. Lots of raising awareness has happened with protests and the wonderful influence of activists such as Emma Thompson and David Attenborough. We are all very much aware! Let’s act now by making changes to our routines, our choices and especially the way in which we travel.

Small change 1: Getting around

One small thing we can do is think very carefully with regard to our daily travel. On a small scale, something that might help is changing our routine with regard to visits to the local shops and dropping off kids at school. Sometime we get ourselves into such a rush that we feel we must use the car to make these tiny journeys.

Traffic would be so much lighter in urban areas were we all to be a bit more pragmatic. Most journeys to school are less than a mile and a half and so we could be encouraging our kids to walk or cycle to school, preventing a lot of standing vehicles churning out copious amounts of pollutants. Few cars on the local roads would make them safer. Plus, having more people walking gives a greater sense of security. Empty paths feel awkward. Busy paths feel safe.

A few schools have begun preventing cars coming near to their sites before and after school. This is refreshing to see. The gases produced on ignition and whilst vehicles are in slow traffic, is damaging to airways as well as contributing massively to environmental damage. We can do something about this, simple by adapting our timings and making the effort to walk, cycle or scoot.

Studies have suggested that some kids get into the car, switch on mobile devices and arrive at school, unaware of the journey they have taken. It is as if they go from island to island with no interaction with their surroundings. Walking to school wakes up their bodies and minds. The journey can be a social one if they walk with friends. It develops independent thinking skills and promotes geographical alertness. Children become aware of their communities, how to cross roads safely and have time to think about their lives, consider their day ahead and take in the world around them. I have fond memories of walking and cycling to school and loved picking up my friends en route as well as the exercise. It made me feel wide awake and ready to learn when I arrived for registration.

Let me know your thoughts.