The stretched optimist

Often, I write about being an optimist. These days, with gloom all around us, being a pessimist must be be an easy ride. From the moment you wake up and look at the news, you’ll get more than your daily fix of pessimism and will not bother to step out of bed.

I look at it from another angle. There are problems to solve and we’ll solve them. Human kind has a history of making the world a better place, and I don’t think that’s going to change. Look at Covid. Yes it’s still with us, but it hasn’t destroyed us. We have several effective vaccines against it, and next year will see a push to spread the jabs throughout the world. Also, we’ve developed drugs that cure the disease and stop it in its tracks once someone has been infected.

The scientific and medical world’s achievements in fighting Covid have been nothing short of magnificent. Never has a vaccine or treatment for a life-threatening disease been accomplished in such a short time span. But that’s not the only medical advance. A vaccine for malaria has been found, and anyone with HIV will shortly be able to have a monthly injection instead of taking a daily pill, which patients often forget.

Treatment for cancer and many other medical conditions improve, but medicine is not alone in advancement. Space research is reaching new horizons, clean methods of travel, not using fossil fuels, are coming on stream by the day, technology that improves our lives is all around us, dietary information to help us lead healthier lives is everywhere, and in most areas of life we look, they’ll be something that has improved.

On the climate crisis we’ve seen some progress at the COP26 in Glasgow – see my comments on my Climate Crisis page – but more action is needed. Only a super-optimist would believe all is going to be well after the COP, but at least it received a big media splash, and hopefully much more will be delivered.

I know in the UK we’re led by a bunch of donkeys, but it’ll change. Either their own party will change its leader, who’ll bring in a new, more enlightened bunch, or they’ll be an election and that will shake things up.

Stay hopeful, healthy, and optimistic. There’s much to be grateful for.


My recent publications

Otto and Frankie, my latest novel, 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.

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. Thank you to all who bought it.

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. Thank you. 

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