Ralph came to live with us a fortnight ago. Our dog Aiko loves other dogs whenever we meet them when we’re out, and I hadn’t quite appreciated how it might be for her to have a new sibling. Someone who takes her toys from her mouth. Someone who runs to meet and greet us first.
I see our vegetable patch, through my office window. There are our month-old seedlings – courgettes, kale, cauliflower, cucumber, squash. Ruffled green sprigs of potato leaves have poked their way up through the earth. There is flimsy lettuce, just-germinated chard, and a self-seeded marigold which has been socking us in the eye with luminous orange
Oh Earth, we are suffering. We are seeing how it is to run out of food and to be afraid of going out. We shiver as death blows in at our perimeters. We are tasting our powerlessness. When this is over, what will we do? Will we dive back into consumption, compulsion, control? Will we
Before getting our first dog, I asked everyone I met about dog-cat relationships. How would our cats cope with a new puppy? What could we do to make it easier for them? I bought a huge cat tree, I read up on all the training techniques, and our ball of puppy-fluff finally arrived. Aiko loved
All year I have been avoiding plastic in the supermarkets. Last week I chose the mushrooms sweating in their clingfilmed plastic coffin, because I was afraid. I was afraid of catching the coughing virus. Meanwhile, on a Pacific island, albatross chicks are being fed lighters, bottle tops, and biros by their mothers. This cargo fills
This rectangle of land in front of our flat, generously dressed in dark compost. Mushroom compost, which arrived on a lorry and the man asked me to get my own pen to sign for it as he wasn’t allowed to lend me his or I might infect him. Bunny compost, made of our three bunnies’
Other people are fitting ventilators to those suffering in the overflowing hospitals, dear Earth. Other people are fetching medicine for their neighbours. I sit sulking in my office and wait for my daily exercise. I order myself expensive chocolates and a green hourglass. I estimate the days until I am free from this extravagant jail.
We are in the fists of a pandemic, and this fretting has preoccupied me. I have been resisting the fact of my almost total lack of control. I have been reassuring myself with lies about my invulnerability. I have been checking for fresh news every ten minutes and prodding at the fear like a bad
I look at the blank page for a long time. What can I say? What can I possibly say? That will even begin to make sense of it all? That will provide some comfort? The boiler in the room next to me is thrumming. It is heating this whole house – keeping us warm like
I prefer to share photos of me looking decent, or at least like I’ve vaguely got it together. Here’s one my friend Joe kindly took at 3am at our all-night meditation vigil. I was either asleep or trying not to freeze. Today I felt like the equivalent of this photo. I ate far too much