4 April 2021

Sitting in the garden enjoying the sunshine a short while ago we heard the chatter of a swallow and there it was, one of ours, on its favourite spot on the telephone wires.

3 April 2021

Setting the clocks forward an hour last weekend should dictate that I have trouble waking up early enough. So as the exception to prove the rule, I have woken at about 4:30am most mornings since, which a week ago would have been 3:30am. Go figure.

I’ve been keeping my eyes peeled for more swallows but none so far beyond the lone arrival on Tuesday.

Thursday was exceptionally hazy with Saharan dust. The briefest of showers deposited a disproportionate and comical quantity of dust on the car.

Had my Covid jab this morning. Looked to be a very efficient setup at our local community hospital. A sterling effort being made by the NHS and volunteers. Just starting to feel under the weather. Fingers crossed that it won’t get any worse than this.

30 March 2021

Beautiful weather today. Blue skies, warm sun and a warm breeze. And on that presumably Mediterranean airflow, surprise surprise, my first swallow of the year.

30 March 2021

Watched two films over the weekend.

The White Tiger. I found it really compelling. Reminded me of F. Scott Fitzgerald in its portrayal of the wealthy, their careless use of privilege and the subsequent damage to those around them. Balram’s charisma made me want to root for him, but in his efforts to break away from poverty, his means-to-an-end methods render him no better.

Annihilation. Oozes atmosphere. The ideas explored are thought provoking as any good sci-fi should be. I often find that the ‘reveal’ in sci-fi or horror can be a let down after a good build up. Annihilation is more successful in this regard, with enough ambiguity there to maintain the sense of mystery. Although the final scene still manages to slightly disappoint with its genre trope…but I can forgive it that.

27 March 2021

Had the invitation to get my Covid jab. All booked in for next Saturday. Went for an early appointment to hopefully give me time to get past any side effects over the weekend.

26 March 2021

Found myself in circumstances earlier this week that set off major anxiety. I should have known it would happen as the anticipation had been rumbling around my head for days. It was the full on racing-thoughts-angry-sweating-tight-chested-backed-into-a-corner-fight-or-flight variety. Carried on for much of the day so I was exhausted by the end.

What did help though was discussing it with my wife. She could see it going on so very sensibly suggested we take a moment to talk it over. And that helped in a big way.

We both knew the other knew what was going on, but getting it out in the open helped diffuse my anxiety. I couldn’t stop it altogether but an acknowledgment of the situation allowed me to take a step back, giving me the perspective of an observer more than a participant.

And of course, the cascade of terrible scenarios that I had built up in my mind never happened…..

Stephen James

Minding the gaps

© Stephen James 2021

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