Jul 312014
Four years

On 31st July 2010, I’d just arrived in Ethiopia. Everything I’d imagined happening during the rest of my life had vanished. I was unemployed, homeless, and didn’t really know who I was any more. But I was also alone, footloose, and free of responsibilities. There were many pieces falling through the air, but also a clear space for them to fall into. What a difference four years make. At times, it can feel that the settled demands of a steady life are closing me in, that I’m becoming stuck – or unstuck. But it pays to think back. It makes me remember there are always unseen options; that fear and Read full post >>

Apr 272014

It’s been a while, Internet. I haven’t talked to you for some time. I’m not sure I had all that much to say. Things have been interesting, but they’ve been draining, too. The sheer number of people and tasks I deal with at work leaves me pretty out of whack by the end of the day; if I have the evening at home, I kind of want to retreat. And if I go out and see a film or a friend or go to my Quaker meeting, there isn’t time or energy left to write by the end of the day. Lately, at home on my own, I’ve been playing Read full post >>

Mar 052013
Offline (Decluttering, part 4)

I’ve stopped using Facebook and Twitter for Lent. I thought this might prove difficult, given how easy it is to log in and spend time on them without really meaning to. But it’s not. Change the passwords to something random you can’t remember, don’t tell your browser, and remove anything from your phone that might push a notification into your pocket and make your ears burn. Social media works by making you think that you need to be connected, need to be fighting off messages with a repost here, a witty comment there, a rebuttal there. But you don’t need this; you didn’t need it before you signed up for Read full post >>

Apr 042012
Decluttering, part 2

When I first sat down to write this post, I immediately left the window open, got up, and started tidying. I tend to tidy when I have other things I want to do, even if they are important. One way to think about this is as procrastination. Another way is to think of it as clearing the space necessary to focus on one thing, other distractions having been removed. It’s a way of focusing, or simplifying. Sometimes I feel guilty for not getting on with the main task, but at other times I just go with it, knowing that once I have mentally readied myself, I will get to the Read full post >>

Mar 252012

What a long time since my last post. And how often I seem to start the ones I am writing with those words. I have had several half-finished posts sitting around for a long time now, waiting for my attention. Those of you I see in life offline will know that I have been very busy, both with work and other stuff. Travelling the country for my job, talking to volunteers who work around the criminal justice system, finding time for voluntary work myself, really throwing myself into the life of my Quaker meeting, having an active social life, and so on, and so on, and so on. I’ve not Read full post >>