Weeknotes 2021 #3: together in electric snow

  • White stuff falling from the sky. A frisson of excitement.
  • A long week: lengthy, relentless work days.
  • Recently have been doing end-of-week reflections chats with an old FutureLearn colleague Matt. It’s been useful: just the act of succinctly reflecting on the work week with someone who knows me well is helping me immediately spot things to change / improve / be proud of. We’ve extended it out to a few others so we’ll see. It means more time in the Zoom mine, which I feel loathe to do, but there’s clearly benefit. On a more personal level it’s comforting to see familiar trusted faces and talk about our various strategies for keeping life interesting indoors.
  • BIDEN! Sentences! Sensible ideas! Bernie’s mittens!!! The internet becoming a 3% less stressful place!!!!
  • Frances took me on a magical mystery cycle to visit some Welsh landmarks across London, taking in the Iolo Morgannwg memorial on Primrose Hill, Welsh Harp reservoir by Brent Cross, the Capel Bedyddwyr Cymreig, Old Deer Park Welsh Rugby club in Kew, the London Welsh Centre, the house where Nye Bevan lived in Kensington, and more. It was such a delight to go on a local adventure. And at 65km a bit knackering for my little legs.
  • This apocalyptic shot of the skyline from 9am Primrose Hill though.
  • Started watching It’s a Sin, which is going to utterly ruin me. Can’t watch more than one in a sitting. I am Colin/Gladys from Wales.
  • It’s so much more than that. I grew up gay in the long shadow of the AIDS crisis without really fully understanding it. No facts, no information, no reflection, no empathy, just shame and section-28-ensured silence. Millions of deaths swept under the carpet.
  • And so timely because AIDS has killed so many more than Coronavirus (albeit this graph is from September last year).
  • Obviously this is the latest in a long list of books, films, documentaries on this subject but Russell T Davies has, in the first episodes of It’s a Sin, nailed the harrowing juxtaposition of the pure joy of discovering who you are, only to have it all snatched away from you, while the world frowns on, or worse, looks away.
  • A whole generation devastated.
  • Debating with a family member on the evidence behind Coronavirus / their hesitancy to get a vaccine really played on my mind this week and I realised the emotions of that are bundled up in all this.
  • Messy, heavy thoughts.
  • A year ago, I was looking forward to all manner of travel adventures. Hmm.
  • It’s a good job we also started watching Bridgerton (utterly necessary mind-clearing fluff) as a sort of ridiculous antidote to the theme of disease and slow-shifting societal attitudes.
  • In lighter news. The Pink Singers made another lockdown virtual choir video and it is utterly delightful and fun and well produced. On a serious note it’s showing how the choir arguably has increased its reach and charitable impact during lockdown despite not being able to rehearse together – so far the video has been viewed at least 28,000 times.
  • I’m comfort eating a fair bit this week and in light of the above I’m allowing it.

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