‘Beware the Ides of March!’ This old Roman date used by Shakespeare to warn Julius Caesar of his impending death fits in rather well with our fear of what’s happening world wide this Spring. The last few weeks of the Covid -19 information overload has gripped the nation and has sent us scurrying to find various ways of getting away from the continuous newsmageddon of this dreadful pandemic ! We all have different ways of coping. I thought I would find writing easy, plenty of time to think and work on the pieces I always wanted to. But the mind plays strange games. Concentrating on work was hi-jacked by messages from various friends and the flow of thought was broken.
The diary for March was full. There was so much to look forward to. I was honoured and humbled to be invited to give a talk at the European Youth Parliament on March 4th at Douglas Academy. Back to school for a teacher was great. Good to see that young people are very involved in politics and feeling passionate about various topics, from the War in Yemen to Climate Change.
World Book Day on March 5th passed quietly.
March 8th was International Women’s day and it was good to read a few poems at Cafezique with fellow writers organised by Scottish Pen.
I had a short story in this magazine: https://thewritersandreadersmagazine.com/march-2020-the-magazine-is-now-online?fbclid=IwAR1l8T3BlO-hLkaYGwV0mwqaQenqztEcItQcwxP3vpDaHNk8P9XuiHhPBvk
So how do we keep busy and not feel anxious during these bleak ‘Age of the Corona’? Technology is wonderful. Yesterday I took part in a virtual workshop for an hour. It was good to write with friends and get feedback. This morning on ‘World Poetry Day’ 21st March I spent a couple of hours chatting with a friend, both of us speaker phones as we cleaned our kitchen tiles.
We go for long walks in the woods behind our house. We are lucky having a garden where we can sit in the sunshine. Okay, so Milngavie Week has been postponed. I was invited to take part in a Book Festival, that has also been postponed. As long as we all keep healthy we should just keep writing and be thankful.
For World Poetry Day, here’s a ‘light’ poem to lift the gloom of Covid -19 and hopefully be surprised like me to find that even the humble Worcester sauce binds us together.
An ode to Worcester Sauce
A history so unique, travelled
from distant shores of Bengal
in a barrel abandoned for years,
then rediscovered few years later
mellowed rich with molasses
exotic tamarind, laced with
vinegar, onions, garlic,
anchovies, bottled for use
in Worcester. Dolloped on plain Brit fare
and a cocktail or two, Bloody Mary
or Caesar to sip in a glass,
all the way from Bengal to Britain.