Today, Harry needed a break from the internet and information overload. He brought the dog for a walk and was caught in a spring shower. It helped him to unplug. “It grounded me,” he said:

My mind’s all over the place these days. I need a break from thinking.

On reflection, it’s the Covid-19 information I so greedily consumed over the last few weeks that’s screwing me up.

Too much data.

The internet doesn’t care. It greedily vacuums up my outputs along with everyone else’s. Under lockdown, we are just as connected as ever and, when we think something, we post it – like all-knowing deities, convinced of our righteousness.

Trigger – counter-trigger – insult – trigger. Somebody, somewhere, is gaining, but it certainly isn’t me. I need a break from it.

I woke with a headache and a slightly stuffy nose. It could be online overload, it could be 5g, it could be the virus though. Looking back through these pages, I have had a high chance of exposure. I tried to lockdown a fortnight ago, but the capitalists insisted on attracting the unwashed masses into my vicinity.

It’s most likely mild hay-fever exacerbating my usual dehydrated state. I once visited the hottest country in the world and drank nothing but coffee and whisky.

I packed in the fags yesterday, which most likely explains the loose phlegm in my lungs today. A packet of Mayfair menthol cigarettes and another coffee could see me right, or maybe not.

My habits aren’t helping me. I want to thrive and I’m not. I’m doing ok, but I want more. I want a bit of love, a little shelter with a garden for some hens and a dog and a vegetable patch. In this surreal time, I’m beginning to nurture that dream again.

Spring showers feel different to showers of every other time of year and I got caught in a beauty as I walked the dog. It grounded me and I sought words to describe it:

‘The air is suddenly crisp; the temperature falls. Crystal drops shimmering in the sun spit circles in the river. Rapidly, they increase in weight and number.

The humid air conducts the oily odours of earth disturbed by impacting rain. A crescendo is reached and, briefly, birds are silenced.

The torrent eases a little, yet lingers as birdsong returns.

A sharp coda* briefly threatens bedragglement, but bright sky betrays the temporary nature of the squall.’ 

The shower is a gift. This is where I want to be, where I need to be; present – in nature – right here. I’m suddenly unplugged from the alternative world that is livestreamed through a screen straight into my dopamine system.

And it’s where I’m going to stay for a bit, while dreams have a chance to root.