What I did during lockdown and my reading list by black authors

In which I share my reflections on how Covid-19 lockdown did not live up to expectations and my reading list of books by black authors.

On 23 March 2020, New Zealand went into level 3 lockdown in preparation for going into level 4 lockdown two days later.

I went home.

Yesterday, on 8 June 2020, we finally made it down to zero active cases of Covid-19 in the country and the alert level dropped to level 1.

Between those times, I left the house twice–both times to drive to the shop around the block and not get out of the car. Today for the first time I went into the shop.

Other were people were there and I’m still not sure how I feel about that.

I guess lockdown is over (for now and hopefully permanently), so this seems like a good time to reflect on it.

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In which I celebrate small victories

Pandemic times are tough, and it’s important we celebrate our small victories. Here are some of mine.

Some days are more epic than others.

Some days you might summit Mount Everest (or at least Mount Rolleston) or complete your solo sail across the Pacific Ocean.

Other days your victories are smaller.

In these pandemic times, I’ve been having a lot of the small victory type days.

But even small victories are worth celebrating, so that’s what I’m doing in this post.

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Life is terrifying

No matter how old you are, life is terrifying for one reason or another. Here are some of mine.

When you’re young, you don’t know anything and that’s fine.

You get older and start to believe you know some things. But you look young so no one believes you know anything.

You get older some more and realise all those things you thought you knew–actually you have no idea about them. Or possibly they made the world more complicated while you were watching Red Dwarf.

At some point when you (again) don’t know anything you start to look old enough that people think you know things. They listen when you speak and assume you’re correct.

Then you’re in trouble.

I’m not putting numbers on the age when these things happen. When my sister looked old enough to know everything, she was six. For the average stranger, perhaps this happens around forty. Or twenty. Or sixty. Or a hundred.

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Sebastian and Rain lament lock-down and their inability to read

Like everyone else living through the pandemic, Sebastian and Rain are shaken by what’s going on. A banana might be involved.

If you’ve been around a while, you might remember Sebastian and Rain, my writer half and my reader half. Usually they rant or rave about books and occasionally throw grapes at each other, but it turns out they have opinions about other things as well.

I’ll hand over to let them explain.

Sebastian: I should start by saying this was not my idea. I wanted to have a nice literary discussion about a book.

Rain: Do we ever have “nice literary discussions” about books?

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Why self-isolation is different to my summer holidays

My friends tell me my life self-isolating to break the spread of Covid-19 is exactly the same as my summer holidays. Here’s why they’re so wrong.

On 26 March, the whole of New Zealand went into self-isolation at home. Well, everyone except those with important jobs required to keep us all alive, such as medical professionals, couriers, farmers, Covid-19 researchers, and supermarket checkout operators.

I am not an essential worker, though I have the uncertain delight of being able to work from home.

Delight because being able to earn income allows me to buy books, which makes me happy. Uncertain because having the Prime Minister to tell you not to go to work is the adult version of getting a note from your mum saying you’re excused from gym class. (Or PE, as we call it.)

But I have to go anyway.

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