Birthday rollercoaster

It's Laura's birthday the day we speak, the 7th May, and she's planning a chilled day with the family. Not that she can really do much else, she tells me, being in the middle of the UK lockdown. The way Laura pronounces the words 'music' and 'avenue' remind me of my Mum, and I have... Continue Reading →

Losing it all

"It's very early in the morning here," James tells me. I look at the clock and work out the time difference. It's eight a.m, not early, I retort, while munching on an apple and he laughs, telling me, "actually having something important to do at eight a.m is a BIG shock to the system at... Continue Reading →

Lockdown baby

"I'll be honest with you Tara, I only remembered about this about five minutes ago and I haven't put any makeup on," Jaz laughs. I laugh, telling her she looks fab, and that the video won't go anywhere, "that's fine then, all good." Jaz, the baby of our group from our time spent living in... Continue Reading →

Love and liver failure

“I’d probably say my lockdown experience is really boring,” Natalie laughs. We’ve not spoken in nearly five years, bonded by an unforgettable induction experience when we both started a new job on the same day. Her voice and accent is exactly the same as someone I know here in Christchurch, and which is strange. I’m... Continue Reading →

Bacon fries and Nicky Campbell

“I started lockdown a week or so before everybody else, because I knew what was coming. I kind of risk assessed myself, as you do.” Lily anticipated she would be in the shielded category. “In the UK, they categorise people who are at risk. There’s ‘vulnerable’, who’s anyone over 70 or anyone with an underlying... Continue Reading →

Dr Sam, patron saint of bikes

The screen comes into life as Sam joins the call and I immediately start laughing. His hair is all stuck up in different directions and looks crazy wild. “What the hell is going on with your hair?” I laugh. “I’ve just got out the shower, this is what it looks like,” he replies, in his... Continue Reading →

A walking juxtaposition

“My glasses are dirty, hang on,” Lis says as she takes them off, “I was going to clean them while I was upstairs having a nervous wee but I forgot.”  She cleans them with her t-shirt, making small talk about how the glasses she’s wearing are at least 3 prescriptions old, before putting them back... Continue Reading →

Time is priceless

Pie comes into view on the screen, a baby strapped to his front. “Long time no speak Pie, look, you’ve had another child since I saw you last! In my head your first one is only about 9-days old.” As I say that a little face pops into view, all curly hair and loud voice... Continue Reading →

Grief, unemployment and remarkable hedges

“I’ll probably get emotional, just a forewarning,” Katie preempted before we started our chat. “My lockdown landmark has been the shift into the final quarter of my visa, and...I’m already going to cry,” she laughed, her eyes welling up. Katie is in New Zealand on a two-year Working Holiday visa from Canada which is due... Continue Reading →

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