Zimbabwe’s struggle to breathe – how it looks from where I am

Caged bird in Zimbabwe

Caged bird – Zimbabwe, Africa

Zimbabwe is in real trouble – in a frantic struggle for breath.

The police and military are on the streets trying to force the people back inside – to keep them away from the demonstration against corruption that has been called for tomorrow. Evidence of whippings and intimidation already circle social media.

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London Unmasked

London – during lockdown 2020

Four months of lockdown is a long time.

The door has opened slowly over the last few weeks but life still feels strangely slow motion, especially here in the City of London.

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Book Review: Live Show, Drink Included – Collected Stories – by Vicky Grut

Live Show, Drink Included – Collected Stories by Vicky Grut (published by Holland Park Press)

I was hooked instantly by this collection of stories. Each one, layered with dialogue, let me witness from the inside.

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Film Review: Cook Off (Zimbabwe) – on Netflix

Cook Off – a romantic comedy from Zimbabwe

I had no idea what to expect from this film other than what the title suggested, and its location.

What a treat! No politics, no bloodshed – just a happy reminder of Zimbabwe’s everyday decency.

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Podcast (1): Interview with Arthur Knaggs, author of Chasing Laces

Arthur Knaggs, author of Chasing Laces, photographed for this interview in February 2020

This, the first podcast on The Phraser, is an interview with Arthur Knaggs, author of Chasing Laces. The book, written in 2019, is in the words of the runners he interviewed last year, before COVID-19 reached the UK.

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Free writing: word doodles – writing for the fun of it (by others)

Bluebells in Bunhill Fields Burial Ground – London

Hi,

I thought I’d choose a calm image for this, as we settle in for another chunk of lockdown.

It feels strange to be so still while around us life bursts out in places we never noticed before – even in London. The photographs in this piece were taken yesterday in a peaceful spot called Bunhill Fields Burial Ground, which is the “final resting place for an estimated 120,000 bodies” amongst them William Blake, Daniel Defoe and John Bunyan.

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Free writing: here are the last of the word doodles from me

Sunlight on windows – St Dunstan in the East Church Garden, London

Hi,

Hope this finds you well.

I’m writing this in a sun-chequered room. It makes for a dozy warmth but I hope I can still get this done.

These are my responses to the free writing prompts that I published on the blog two days ago.

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