In a time almost forgotten, before the first lockdown, galleries and exhibitions inspired and uplifted me, leaving me in awe of past and present artists and how many suffered for their art and were not recognised until after they’d died.
And so, when I read at the weekend the long list of 1st class exhibitions opening up next month, I felt elated, remembering the thrill a good exhibition gave me. But soon I wondered if I was being too optimistic, asking myself if galleries were safe to visit so soon after restrictions had eased.
My anxiety is not unique, I realise. After two lockdowns and sadly over 130,000 lives lost, many in the country will be feeling the same. But we have to go forward. Almost half the population, including myself, have been vaccinated with one dose and by the end of July the rest of the adult population, also. The vaccines have proved to be effective. Israel, who have inoculated almost the entire population, are seeing better days with life as near to normal as possible. In the UK, infection rates have fallen to around 2000 a day with hospitalisation down to 3500, a dramatic drop from nearly 40000 daily infections in mid-January.
We haven’t beaten Covid yet and I understand people’s fears and concerns, but we really do have a better future in front of us, and by the end of the year life will look a whole lot different from last year’s end. I’m not going to rush out and be carefree and foolhardy, but I will be going to one or two of the exhibitions and begin, bit by bit, start returning to normal.
Best wishes to you all.
My recent publications
Otto and Frankie, my latest novel, is a study in grief and determination and 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.
Life in four stories
Recently I donated a substantial sum to the INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS (ICRC) from the proceeds of this little book of shorts. ICRC help the most vulnerable communities fight COVID – 19.
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.
By buying this book you are helping fund ICRC in its valuable work.