Colonies Covid Chronicle 5 – No return to normal

Touch ~ Diana Hendry

How shall we thrive without

the handshake of a first meeting,

the impulsive hug that begins

a new friendship, the involuntary

wide-open-arms welcome on

catching sight, among the crowd

coming off the train, of that one among many?

How thrive without the snug of a new baby

handed over for a cuddle, the lifting-up

of a toddler the better to see the world,

the touch on the arm, the hand round

the shoulder, the unexpected kiss,

the wordless way of acknowledging another’s

mortality that only touch can give.


Sight and Sound ~ Pat Bryden

1.  A bonus from the garden behind my kitchen: sightings almost every day of lesser spotted woodpeckers – small, very pretty, not known in Scotland, though I’m told they have been spotted [!] near Edinburgh.

2.  Poems online and on the radio – and in books – to reflect on.

3.  It is still spring and colour has returned, with blossom and birdsong



We can cope

no demands on us

but what of the ones

who care enough

to risk for us

to live and die for us?


Why are the heroes of the past

those who kill to give their country

power, land or kudos?


Today another two have gone.

Were there no masks

to protect them?

Were there no gowns

to take the flak?


I remember Sandy Logie

with AIDS, contracted

for love of Zambia.


An Introvert’s Wonderland? Monday 20 [Really, is it 20th? Is it Monday? Who knows?] April ~ Hilery Williams

You know what I thought when I was first grounded by arthritis? I thought: a few dozen novels, several extra skeins of wool, maybe more chocolate, and I was going to sit down and knock out that book before I was fit again. I was born for this moment: a distraction-free wonderland with no obligations but the blank screen, a vast expanse of time available, enough toilet paper and bread to keep me going. After all, Shakespeare knocked off King Lear during a plague!

Aye, right! I was doing away until told to Stay at Home.

I find myself checking the News and reading everything about this virus as if I’m scratching midgy bites. Maybe one more article will be the one that gives me enough understanding and sense of control to feel that I can focus on something else for a moment. It is Brexit all over again!


Thanks and Hope ~ Anne Liddle

Feeling thankful:

that I am well

that I have an income

that I have friends

that I have a garden

that I can hear birdsong and see spring emerging

that on my daily walk there are green spaces, wildlife and beautiful views

for the internet and social media (I never thought I would say that!)


Hoping that in the future:

the roads don’t just fill up with unnecessary traffic

I don’t have to sit in a restaurant rubbing elbows with the person at the

                                                                                                     next table

we remember how much better the environment was in our absence

people continue to be thoughtful and kind

it will once again be safe to travel

next year I can go to Wimbledon!


Emergency mode ~ Alastair Hulbert

The coronavirus pandemic is shaking the foundations of the prevailing world order. The political status quo is broken, and as one graffito put it: ‘There can be no return to normal because normal was the problem in the first place.’

Democracies are not thought capable of making big moves quickly. Yet the drastic measures governments have taken in recent weeks illustrate just what the state can do when lots of people get into emergency mode. The challenge in the long run is to keep the emergency mode activated not just about coronavirus but also about climate change.

‘Although Covid-19 is likely the biggest global crisis since the second world war,’ writes Naomi Klein, ‘it is still dwarfed in the long term by climate change. . . The two problems have suggestive similarities. Both will require unusual levels of global cooperation. Both demand changes in behaviour today in the name of reducing suffering tomorrow. Both problems were long predicted with great certainty by scientists, and have been neglected by governments unable to see beyond the next fiscal quarter’s growth statistics.

‘Accordingly, both will require governments to take drastic action and banish the logic of the marketplace from certain realms of human activity, while simultaneously embracing public investment. In other words, to think of this new level of state intervention as a temporary requirement is to ensure that we continue down the path to climate disaster.’