We’re not there yet

2016 is over at last, and I know that a lot of people are very pleased to see the back of it. We have seen a chain of celebrity deaths which, while statistically no more numerous than in recent years, has felt particularly cruel in terms of the individuals involved and the values they represent. Millions of people have died as a result of war or natural disaster, and terrorist attacks have spread across Europe. Meanwhile, the ‘jungle’ camp in Calais was disbanded, leaving thousands of refugees even more vulnerable than before; Britain voted to leave the European Community; and Donald Trump was elected president of the USA.

It feels as if things are falling apart, and a lot of people feel justifiably scared of the consquences for themselves, as well as horrified by the atrocities which have already occurred. In many ways, this is an appropriate response. We should be frightened, angry, outraged. But… perhaps we shouldn’t be quite so surprised. Continue reading “We’re not there yet”

The solitude of the recreational cyclist

My son has suddenly got the hang of riding his bike. Today we went to the park to practice, and I walked along behind him as he sailed away, looping and swooping and circling the paths. After a while, we went back to the playground to meet the rest of the family, and I saw him flinch as we walked into the crowd. I saw his eyes cloud momentarily, and I knew that expression.

Continue reading “The solitude of the recreational cyclist”