Category: CoronaDiaries

Awareness zone

Childhood holidays were a five-hour hot slog up the motorway – with a stop for tuna sandwiches on the way – to camp in a field in Yorkshire…

More of less

In February, which seems three decades ago not three months, I was in Lisbon. The Portuguese capital, famous for salted cod and custard tarts, is also known for…

Haircceptance

I was a teenager in the 1980s. The era of big hair. I was no exception. I let my locks storm upwards and outwards, a hormone-powered thicket of…

Together but separate

The night train from Madrid to Murcia had the type of carriages where passengers sit in compartments: a row of 3 facing a row of 3, for eight…

Spring insists

The autumn term (as they called the first semester of the school year back in England) started bronzed and enthusiastic in September, and ended tinseled and over-excited at…

Awe

One day I thought I saw a falling satellite but it was probably just a seagull. When I was very little, legend has it I looked up at…

Divine pause

About 45 minutes from where I grew up, in sniffing distance of the River Alde, is the Snape Maltings concert hall. Inside the varnished room are taught strings…

Collapsing sandcastles

When I was about three, I was terrified of collapsing sandcastles. It was the kind of terror that infiltrates every cell. It was visceral and it was total….

Distant together

A friend once told me that the way to walk busy city streets was to fix your gaze ahead, focused on exactly where you wanted to go. With…

Zoom, where real life is seen

At the age of 11, I started high school, two bus rides away into another world. I was a fish scooped from his cozy bowl, poured into the…

It’s the noticing that counts

When I was eight years old, I went on a school trip to the British county of Derbyshire. Our youth hostel was in spitting distance of the village…

Broken ladders

At the age of 16, I was sent to see a career counselor. She made me fill in a form and then the computer spat out a list…

In praise of a small life

My last silent meditation retreat lasted seven days. There were clouds of mosquitoes and deer flies that bite your head. The food was good. Life gets small on…

Exponential anxiety

When I was 18 or thereabouts, I sat my A-Levels – the UK exams to pass for university. I wrote them in May and the results were in…