Colonies Covid Chronicle 4 – New ways of life

Easter Day Morning ~ Pat Bryden

The walk round Inverleith Park this morning was quieter than usual.

There was space to look rather than to keep avoiding others.

I was struck by the beauty of that setting: looking east, the majestic

treeline in the Botanics stood out, resting, still, and without effort blooming into leaf, peppered with remaining cherry blossom.

The variegated jigsaw of greens would be a gift for the artist:

near black of pines, almost lemon new-leaf shades and the darker,

stronger greens of chestnut. Looking west, the measured bulk

of the Pentlands, reassuringly waiting to welcome again those

who love to walk there, and coming east from there again, the famous

Edinburgh skyline from Castle to Parliament, at last quiet, able

to breathe, to be itself and not just a money-making business.


Use this time well ~ Alastair Hulbert

Global warming is generally understood to be the cost we are paying for economic development. But the transmission of disease from wildlife to humans is increasingly being seen as another such cost.

Research suggests that it is human activity, such as road-building, mining, hunting and logging that triggered the Ebola epidemics in Africa in the 1990s and that is unleashing new terrors today. We disrupt ecosystems and shake viruses loose from their natural hosts. Whenthat happens they need a new host and, often, we are it.

According to a leading climate economist, speaking after last week’s postponement of the UN Climate Change conference, we have the chance after the Coronavirus crisis to create a new approach to economics that is in closer harmony with the natural world. If society can change as much as it has in the last few weeks, then how much more might it change in a year? ‘That will be the challenge and opportunity of Cop26 next year. We must use this time well.’


Week 4: Physical not Social Distancing, Monday 13th April ~ Hilery Williams

I see the News and try to quell the sense of danger. It won’t be the virus that gets me, but the fake or rolling news.

The crisis is real. And yet, not real. I have soap, toilet paper, chocolate.  I hear my granddaughter read, judge skippingtournaments between her and her aunt in the Philippines. We are learning chess together.

What joy to find a wealth of activities online: the Home Chorus, Spanish lessons, a writing course, and Zoom meetings: so good to see friends’ faces and have a laugh. We never get close and yet we’ve never been closer.

Friends responded to an ‘urgent’ call for custard powder. 3 tins miraculously appeared on the doorstep. Even better was the chat in the sunshine: me at the top of the stairs, my friend at the bottom: my first breath of fresh air for weeks. How lucky I am. 


Thoughts in isolation  ~ Dave Powell

All around us selfless people oil the wheels of our everyday lives. Stocks are replenished, supermarket shelves stacked, mail arrives, the sick and elderly are cared for.  I salute these brave people; not least the medics among them.

Three of my family work in the NHS. Last week my daughter did surgery with inadequate PPE; she had to buy a mask from Screwfix.

My anger crystallised.

The Westminster government is no passionate supporter of the NHS; they have systematically tried to dismantle it and starved it of the money and resource it needs yet they cynically rebrand it as the touchy feely ‘our NHS’.

The NHS ‘runs on love’ says Boris (no pay rise nurses) Johnson.   On PPE shortages, Priti ‘sorry if people feel there have been failings’ Patel has moved on from her contempt for ‘unskilled’ workers.  BAME medics are dying and we have a shortage of nurses. Remember Theresa ‘hostile environment for immigrants’ May?  ‘We’re following the science’ says Michael ‘we’ve had too much of experts’ Gove.

Let’s reserve our admiration for the lions, not the two-faced donkeys who claim to lead them.


A friend sent this and we thought we’d share it.

And people stayed home ~ Kitty O’Meara

And people stayed home

and read books and listened

and rested and exercised

and made art and played

and learned new ways of being

and stopped

and listened deeper

someone meditated

someone prayed

someone danced

someone met their shadow

and people began to think differently

and people healed

and in the absence of people who lived in ignorant ways,

dangerous, meaningless and heartless,

even the earth began to heal

and when the danger ended

and people found each other

grieved for the dead people

and they made new choices

and dreamed new visions

and created new ways of life

and healed the earth completely

just as they were healed themselves.


Thanks to Billie (aged 6) who has chalked a rainbow door mat at all the gates in Dunrobin/Balmoral.