The coronavirus has covered everything.

As we continue living in isolation, the words of Albert Camus in The Plague keep coming back to me. It was published in 1947, yet it captures the mood we are in today so well. I guess plagues and pandemics affect people in the same way, no matter what era we live in. Here are some excerpts and I replace the words ‘plague’ with ‘coronavirus’ and ‘pestilence’ with ‘pandemic’ to make it feel more current:

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Tips to mentally survive the COVID lockdown

I was recently asked by a friend what tips I had to stay mentally strong during these uncertain times. Here’s what I suggested:

1) I’ve been reading and watching plague-related content! So for example, I read Camus’ The Plague and I recently watched the Korean show Kingdom (historical drama with zombies!). They give me a visceral feeling of much worse situations which makes our current situation look better.

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Time to join a survivalist community?

With fears growing of a COVID-19 pandemic, many are now thinking like a doomer, prepper, primitivist, romantic, survivalist, millennialist or catastrophist*. These are all types of people that believe one way or another that civilisation as we know it is coming to an end.

That path has been well-trodden. Many have taken joined or set up communities that would survive such an outcome. Dylan Evans was one such person. In 2006, he quit his job as an academic and sold his house to fund the “Utopia Experiment” – a post-apocalyptic styled community in the Highlands of Scotland. Continue reading “Time to join a survivalist community?”

My 5 Rules Of Love

It’s Valentine’s Day – a time to buy gifts for our loved ones. But we can also think more deeply about our relationships. I’ve being doing that and also asking others who have been in loving relationships for 20,30 or even 50 years. From these conversations, I’ve discovered the 5 golden rules of love!: Continue reading “My 5 Rules Of Love”

The Sins Of Isaac Newton (3 min read)

In Western society, there is a common narrative around the history of science and religion. It argues that we were on the right track of rationality and science with the classical Greeks like Plato and Socrates. Then we had a long dark ages where superstition and religion dominated. But from around the 1500s we got back on track with the Renaissance  with figures like Da Vinci, Galileo and Isaac Newton. Continue reading “The Sins Of Isaac Newton (3 min read)”

How We Are Being Fooled By Words (2 min read)

Words have been a primal force of humanity for thousands of years. Take the famous line from the bible  “In the beginning, there was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God”  (Gospel of John, 1:1).This clearly emphasises the immense power of words.

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Recovering the Lost Art Of Chivalry (3 min read)

noun  /ˈʃɪv.əl.ri/  1) very polite, honest, and kind behaviour, especially by men towards women 2) the system of behaviour followed by knights in the medieval period of history, that put a high value on honour, kindness, and courage

Chivalry sounds so old-fashioned, but if any tradition needs to be revived perhaps it should be this one. What sparked my interest is a 10th-century book I stumbled across called “The Way Of Chivalry”.

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Shakespeare Gives Great Advice

Gandalf from Lord of the Rings, Magneto from X-Men and a zillion characters from Shakespeare’s plays – that has been the remarkable range of Sir Ian McKellen. To celebrate his 80th birthday he’s been touring the UK with his one man show ‘Ian McKellen On Stage’. I recently got to see him and I must say he was amazing. But it reminded me how good Shakespeare is – and McKellen lives and breathes his works. Here’s a selection of the more practical quotes from Shakespeare’s plays:

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