Schools out for summer (guest)

“A stopped clock is right twice a day”
– Lewis Carroll

Does life under lockdown feel like a stopped clock to you? Who knows – feelings are capricious these days and mutate on the hour. Or maybe it feels more like a pause, like the old business cliché about change, a comma as opposed to a full stop. Coronavirus has certainly enforced a slowing down, a global grinding of gears towards hiatus, blank space, lacunae. However, our beloved, maligned natures, re-appearing as quickly as the startled deer in Asda car parks, abhors their new-found vacuums. Or so we’re told. A real stopped clock, officially sanctioned, would have been intolerable to our authorities.

Continue reading

Measuring Up (Guest)

You’ll never amount to anything.

My primary five teacher did not have high expectations of myself and my nine-year-old classmates. But it wasn’t our fault, he said. It was our primary two teacher to blame, he said. I don’t recall exactly what it was she had done to ruin the life chances of our entire class but I remember marvelling at her ability to play the guitar and the way her dangly earrings used to sway in time to the music. They were shaped like fish. That’s the extent of my memory of primary two.

Continue reading