CategoryWriting

Rain and a swim

Day 9 at Howard Springs. The Prime Minister talked about the place the day before, it seems returning Australians from overseas might be mass-quarantined here in the 2,000 rooms left of the 3,000. For the first time it rained overnight and our “street” momentarily lost its internment camp look. And in the afternoon, fifteen from our block were permitted to walk, single file, to the large swimming…

Quarantine sunset

Sunset in Darwin is nothing like sunset in Melbourne. Sunset here blooms bolder, higher, starker. Somehow more elemental. I’m still not rising as early as I’d like but today, after a sapping jog (88% humidity) and grandchildren interactions, I’ve sat at desk conscientiously enough. But for some reason the world is serving up slabs of existentially upsetting news and I’m compelled to read and…

11 days inside a 600-meter perimeter

Melbourne remains locked down and there’s little chance of us escaping our five-kilometer radius before the end of October, so we’ve decamped to Darwin. The Northern Territory must be a state/province unrivalled globally in terms of shuttering and escaping the pandemic, and it has a simple, smart system for welcoming (or not, depending on your viewpoint) visitors. From the airport, you’re bussed…

Spread my wings

The last five weeks, essentially lockdown August, averaged 53 hours of work per week, close to my 2020 target of 54 hours. That’s the positive news, and positive it is, because we all know that the ennui of a pandemic can grip the spirit. But the negative news is that mostly I focused on writing stuff that isn’t my albatross book. In 2020 I should be spending about three quarters of…

Wrestling

The last day of winter. Dreary. Will lockdown ease after a further fortnight? I’ve been busy and absorbed, but not always focused on the book, and today I resumed editing a chapter on Soviet reactors. I’d done a major rewrite back in 2017 and a quality edit in 2018. It’s late morning and I can’t summon back the mood of the old work. So I pluck out the 2017 rewrite, on…

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