First outing with a face mask

A few days ago, I put on a face mask for the first time. Although much of the rest of the world has been wearing them for weeks (and much longer than that in the case of some nations), here in the UK the habit has been slow to catch on. The official advice hasContinue reading “First outing with a face mask”

Living in the eye of the storm

In recent days, I have received a number of anxious messages from friends and professional contacts in other parts of the world. How are we managing in the UK? they ask. Am I coping all right? Are things as bad as they sound? Their concern is understandable. The official UK coronavirus death toll now standsContinue reading “Living in the eye of the storm”

Five things that have changed in a month

So here we are: exactly one calendar month since the UK woke up for its first full day under coronavirus lockdown. To mark this milestone, here is a list of five things that have become normal in that time: Being grateful to supermarkets Although the rush of the early days of the lockdown has subsidedContinue reading “Five things that have changed in a month”

The need to be seen to be doing things (or please click like)

Since social-distancing measures came into effect in the UK in March, my timelines have been full of impressive things. There have been countless pictures of homemade sourdough loaves, lovingly tended gardens and impressive craft projects, and films of exquisite musical performances. There have also been a whole host of pledges, promises and statements of intent.Continue reading “The need to be seen to be doing things (or please click like)”

Easter music

I grew up in a church choir and throughout my twenties and early thirties I sang in various professional ensembles in London. Apart from the Christmas period, this time of the year was always the busiest, with churches packed for the Holy Week and Easter services and some of the most sumptuous music of theContinue reading “Easter music”

Why we’re not living in a dystopia (yet)

One of the things that’s been most shocking about the early weeks of the Covid-19 pandemic is the speed with which life has changed. Within a matter of days, millions of us have lost many of our freedoms and found ourselves confined to our homes, under pain of arrest if we flout the government’s instructions.Continue reading “Why we’re not living in a dystopia (yet)”