Monthnotes – November 2020

November brought with it a small rekindling of hope. As the Verge’s headline put it, President Trump is defeated: the timeline is restored. Of course, 2020 has taught me to be cautious about promises, but we are apparently a couple of weeks from the first vaccine rollouts. Even allowing for government incompetence, we have a pathway towards normality. Although we still have to get through the post-Christmas spike and the disruption of Covexit; and even the most optimistic timelines suggest pandemic disruption will continue until Easter 2021. But an end is in sight.

November has been spent under lockdown, so I’ve done very little. The days feel quite repetitious and I am thoroughly bored of spending time in my own flat. My walking total was a slack 385,978 steps, with a maximum of 23,852. Doing the steps continues to be a chore, but the motivation for daily exercise seems essential.

I finished just one book, Sasha Swire’s Diary of an MP’s Wife which is a spectacularly candid book about the Cameron government. I also finished listening to my first audiobook, The Beastie Boys Book. I’ve never paid particular attention to the band, but I love music biographies, and this audiobook was designed as a spectacular. Rather than an actor or the band reading, they brought in friends and colleagues. The sections set in England, for example, are read by Jarvis Cocker and Elvis Costello.

I’ve also been impressed by the Louder than a Riot podcast, a series about the history of hip-hop and mass incarceration. Obviously, much of the content is depressing, but there are a few lighter moments – not least rapper Too Short discussing his (abandoned) plans for a conscious hip-hop album.

The only film I watched was prison drama The Animal Factory. Directed by Steve Buscemi (who also appeared on the Beastie Boys audiobook), this movie had a great cast and story. Much of my leisure time was spent finishing PS4 game Death Stranding, which proved a strange and moving experience. I’ve been half-watching Star Trek: Discovery and Walking Dead: The World Beyond, but I’m finding it hard to get excited about TV shows.

Life continues to feel frozen by the pandemic. I’m becoming more engaged with my writing a blogging, and making plans for the future. I’m looking forward more to January than December, and the new year ahead.

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