Lockdown Diary: Day Two Hundred and Ten.

Two researchers at a computer lab in Vermont have calculated that the saddest day of 2020 on social media was Sunday, May the 31st. They did this using something called a hedonometer, which measures the sad or happy connotations in the words that people type. It wasn’t only the saddest day on Twitter in 2020;Continue reading “Lockdown Diary: Day Two Hundred and Ten.”

Lockdown Diary: Day Two Hundred and Eight.

Today was the last big meeting of the flat racing season and many of the big stars came out to strut their stuff. Some of them, like the great stayer Stradivarius, or the beautiful, tough, dauntless mare Magical feel like old friends. I know their quirks and their brilliances; they make me gasp and theyContinue reading “Lockdown Diary: Day Two Hundred and Eight.”

Lockdown Diary: Day Two Hundred and Seven.

I am in the field, talking to the horses, when I suddenly see it is half-past twelve. I have lost track of time. I have a client at half-past twelve. I am supposed to be a professional. I am supposed to be at my desk, with my special lighting arrangements that make me look tremendouslyContinue reading “Lockdown Diary: Day Two Hundred and Seven.”

Lockdown Diary: Day Two Hundred and Six.

I’m giving my clients writing exercises this week. One of them says, ‘When do you do your daily writing?’ I stop. I stutter slightly, because it’s such an odd question to my ears. ‘In the morning,’ I say. ‘Often first thing. And then after a cup of coffee and something to eat I settle downContinue reading “Lockdown Diary: Day Two Hundred and Six.”

Lockdown Diary: Day One Hundred and Ninety-Two

I wake up writing. I often wake up whilst writing in my head. I literally come to consciousness half way through a sentence. I can’t remember what this morning’s was, but the other day I had a dilly about a ‘pervasive human wind’. It was so vivid and insistent that I thought it was aContinue reading “Lockdown Diary: Day One Hundred and Ninety-Two”

Lockdown Diary: Day One Hundred and Eighty-Six.

I woke up this morning and the Scottish sky was translucent outside my window and the sun was pale and delicate and my lurchers were gazing at me as if I were Dorothy Parker and Jane Austen and Maya Angelou all rolled into one. (Actually, now I come to think of it, perhaps they wereContinue reading “Lockdown Diary: Day One Hundred and Eighty-Six.”

Lockdown Diary: Day One Hundred and Eighty-Four.

The news grows dark again as talk is of the second wave and lockdown in Scotland is tightened and everyone goes about with their faces creased in concern, not sure what the future holds. I’ve been working hard to process my other griefs, the ones that don’t make headline news. I miss my stepfather keenly.Continue reading “Lockdown Diary: Day One Hundred and Eighty-Four.”

Lockdown Diary: Day One Hundred and One.

One of the most curious paradoxes in life is that the more you give, the more you get. I understand this intellectually. I write about it quite often, especially in my horse pages. (My red mare has her own Facebook page, because she is far to magnificent to be confined to her Scottish field. SheContinue reading “Lockdown Diary: Day One Hundred and One.”

Lockdown Diary: Day Ninety-Nine.

I haven’t written this diary for a hundred years and the critical voices in my head tell me that I should apologise to you for that, but I know perfectly well that you are grown-ups and you are doing life too and you understand how this works. I’m sitting in my room and Darwin theContinue reading “Lockdown Diary: Day Ninety-Nine.”

Lockdown Diary: Day Sixty-Seven.

A friend and I are talking on the telephone. We come to the end of the conversation. I say, ‘See you tomorrow.’ See you tomorrow. This is the first time I have said that in sixty-seven days. Actually, that is not quite true. I have written it in a message to the farrier and spokenContinue reading “Lockdown Diary: Day Sixty-Seven.”