Colonies Covid Chronicle 7 – ways to escape

Colonies Cats ~ Diana

For the Colonies Cats there’s an everyday drama. In our street the white cat with a black tail is obviously king of the street and prowls his territory fearlessly. There are two black cats, one who stays at home and watches the world go by and the other who is quite new and whose owner keeps a careful eye on him so he doesn’t go far. This one has a white ladylike cat companion who stays quietly on the stoop. There’s a sweet young and fluffy cat who looks very surprised by life (aren’t we all?). On the other side of our street there’s a cute black-but-white-paws cat who can nimbly leap from one garden to another. There’s a tabby who is a little nervous but who in recent weeks has become braver. One way and another, they are all innocent adventurers and a pleasure to watch.


Week 7: Rise like lions, shake your chains, we are many – they are few (Shelley). Monday 4  March ~ Hilery Williams

I rarely succumb to sadness. But this week I do.

First we had International Workers’ Day: a memorial for employees killed at work: mostly dying not of mystery ailments or tragic ‘accidents’.

Most die because employers didn’t prioritise safety.

Our choir is always there in solidarity: Where workers strike and organize … when workers still defend their rights, Joe Hill is at their side.

And then it was the May Day Rally, whose theme this year was Climate Justice: never more pertinent. One song, one dance, one world, one chance resounds.

This year one’s marked in silent vigil; the other through Zoom.

I read that choirs are dangerous (all that heavy breathing) and will be long in the reconvening.

Sadness overwhelms me.

This is not for the significant loss of singing in harmony. It is for the extreme inequalities within our society and the potential destruction of our world.


Some ways to escape ~ Pat Bryden

Weekdays: 3.20pm on Drama TV – Monarch of the Glen. Beautiful setting, each story a human dilemma, or two, and happy endings. No, it isn’t 21st century ‘cool’, but a happy hour!

Another recommendation: Grayson Perry’s Art Club, Mondays 8pm on Channel 4. Creative, challenging and an inspiration!


Lying and its first cousins obfuscation and moving the goal posts ~ Dave Powell

Managing the way through a crisis like Covid-19 is a thankless task for any government.

They start off with our goodwill and we have no reason not to trust them. But it’s a two way street and they have to be honest with us.

The Westminster government set a target of 100,000 virus tests a day. The metric throughout April was the number of test results reported on a daily basis and it was far short of this. Who is to say that 100,000 is sufficient, but at least it is a clear and unambiguous target. They achieved 80,000 results on 30 April. That’s progress. So why pretend that 120,000 were done by suddenly moving the goalposts and including in the numbers for the first time a batch of 40,000 tests kits that were sent out but from which no results were yet known?

When challenged on the availability of PPE, the stock response is ‘we have delivered millions of items of PPE’. But they never talk about demand. Millions is not impressive if tens of millions are required. NHS and care workers are still short of PPE and now they are told that guidance on the need for gowns has been ‘revised’ (i.e. relaxed) with no apparent justification. Their safety is at risk.

Why does any of this matter? Because if we can’t trust what they say on these issues, how do we know what to believe? Is the appalling number of daily deaths the truth?  


Archaeology of the Future ~ Alastair Hulbert

Since I first read Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea novels to my children, I have often found comfort in them in times of chaos and despair. I read them again at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

But now I’ve returned to Le Guin’s magnum opus of 1985, Always Coming Home, a collection of stories, bits and pieces about Kesh, a civilisation of the future in California following an apocalypse which we never learn the truth of. It is an anthropological report about a world that does not yet exist except in her mind. Not research and competition but imagination and fantasy is the key.

Kesh is a stone age society using a sophisticated computer system from the past which seems out of place until you realise that what is sophisticated about it is not so much the computer system as the carefully limited use made of it by the people. This ‘primitive’ culture is really more advanced than our own. It is wise enough to use technical competence to construct domestic appliances but not vast machines of war.



From the Grapevine we have received reports of Unidentified Flying Trousers over the Colonies. Can anyone confirm this?