2021 – and reasons to be hopeful

2021 sounds better already. It has an optimistic ring to it. To prove to myself I wasn’t being over hopeful, I Googled ‘reasons to be hopeful in 2021’ and found the list long – several pages of hope. Try it, there’s much to look forward to.

‘2020 has been a difficult year, but there are some glints of light in the gloom. From nature-friendly farms to anti-ageing worms and even a way of conjuring vodka out of thin air, here are a few nuggets of good cheer to look forward to in 2021.’ The Guardian.

A vaccine for HIV has been trialled in sub-Saharan Africa with incredibly exciting results.

Bristol: green energy, cycle paths, green space, allotments, veg boxes and vegan restaurants are plentiful. Buses are powered by human waste and vehicles are excluded from streets so kids can play. 

Vodka made out of thin air: toasting the planet’s good health. The Air Company, based in New York, makes vodka from two ingredients: carbon dioxide taken from the air and water. 

Cleaning up the ocean: ‘Things that seem insoluble can be solved.’ Giant ‘Garbage Patches’ in the worlds’ oceans – each the size of 24 football pitches –  have been pioneered to collect much of the discarded cans and plastic that pollute our seas.

Saved from extinction: the rare species back from the brink.

  • Antarctic blue whales 
  • Kakapo: The kakapo is the world’s heaviest, longest-lived parrot – a flightless, nocturnal creature 
  • Beavers 
  • Great fox spider 
  • Hen harrier

Regenerative farming: a return to nature-friendly agriculture. 

How new ways of farming restore the environment and banish intensive livestock farming in favour of naturally fed animals in free-range environments.

Bringing sight to the blind: developing a new artificial eye. 

Eduardo Fernandez, a neuro-engineer has embedded a port into a blind person’s skull and restored her sight after sixteen years of blindness.

Celebrity philanthropy: when the great are also really good. 

How the actions and financial donations of Dolly Parton, Man Utd’s striker Marcus Rashford, Rihanna, Brad Pitt, and Taylor Swift have set a trend that more celebrities are bound to follow. 

 Anti-ageing: the worms that may help us live longer, healthier lives. 

A scientist’s gene-altering experiment on worms could lead to longer, healthier lives for humans.

More at The Guardian.

Bill Gates’s take on 2021, particularly his positive view on Covid vaccines, is also worth a read. ‘You can decide for yourself, but I think he does a good job of wrapping up positive developments and delivering them in a way that’s hopeful without being Pollyanna-ish.’ (Bill Murphy, Inc.com.)

‘For all the horrors of the year, hope is still present – as the historian Agathias wrote in the sixth century, times of disaster throw up prophets who talk about doom and gloom and predict how much worse things will get with great certainty. Much better, then, to be positive and optimistic.’ The Guardian.


My recent publications

Life in four stories 

Four shorts: two about life, love, and death; one a poignant and disturbing memory that dangles a question unanswered; and one a wild fantasy – plus the first chapter of my latest book, Otto and Frankie.

All proceeds go to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to help the most vulnerable communities fight COVID – 19.

By buying this book you are helping fund ICRC in its valuable work.

Thank you.


My latest novel, Otto and Frankie, is about a dying man’s fight against injustice, his wife’s unusual affair, and the love from his long-lost daughter. 

Otto and his daughter Frankie could not be more different. He’s rich, an acclaimed author, human rights activist, and lives in England. She lives in New York, just about survives from one pay cheque to the next and hasn’t seen or spoken to her father for twenty years. Dutifully reunited by his impending death, she’s amazed to find him a kind and noble man who, while grappling with his wife’s bizarre affair, champions for the world’s forgotten and dispossessed to his last. After Otto’s death, Frankie’s admiration for her father leads her into a dangerous and life changing pursuit. 

amazon.co.uk. amazon.com.

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