Reflecting It’s fair to say I’ve had quite bit of time to think over the last year. Perhaps a little too much. For someone whose idea of bliss is the solitude of a little cabin in the middle of the woods, the concept of lockdown didn’t really phase me. Rarely is lack of human company the source of my loneliness, but rather people’s lack of compassion, understanding and thoughtfulness towards others. The ‘me, me, me’ society is one I cannot connect with. The full gamut of the human condition has been exposed for all to see over the last 12 months: from the selflessly brave medical & care workers on the front line, fighting tooth & nail for good, right down to the gutter-dwelling, self-serving acts of our repellent government. We seem to be both blessed & fucked in equal measure. But this period has given me a chance to reflect and take stock of who & what is important to me. It’s been enlightening, uplifting and sometimes depressing. Love & support has come from some unexpected places at times. Small, caring gestures have taken on greater significance and shown me not just who & what in my world really matters, but also who I really matter to. My little pocket of wildlife has been a lifesaver and an ever-reliable source of optimism. Daily visits from the pigeons, gulls, sparrows, blackbirds & jackdaws never fail to lift my spirits on a Black Dog day (and there’s been plenty of those.) The simple act of planting seeds and watching nature do its thing has bought me much-needed periods of serenity and provided a welcome escape from all the negativity of the human domain. As our planet gradually crawls back to the ‘new normal’, only time will tell what learnings, if any, we have taken from the last 12 months. I hope we come back better, kinder, more considerate and caring, but I won't hold my breath. I look back with mixed feelings, buoyed by some events, but saddened & hurt by others. I can’t change the world, or the people in it, to be how I’d like them to be, but I can choose to focus my energies on those people and things that make it a better place.