Hi all I hope you all are keeping safe out there in these crazy times – for anyone playing this update in years to come I recorded this in April 2020, amid the COVID-19 pandemic. As some of you know I’m based in Auckland, New Zealand. I am safe, at the time of writing my family and friends are safe. New Zealand went into lock down early. At this point we were getting through this with minimal fatalities and many more people than ever here are starting to find talking points, I guess gaining a little popularity online? found in books like Rutger Bregman’s Utopia for Realists and Paul Mason’s Postcapitalism – both books I recommend, if anyone is looking for book endorsements.
I’ve been working through this in my day job. Some of you will know I work from home – my blogging and podcasting studio is also my office from 8.30 to 5pm. I have to admit the current crisis has thrown me off my game a little – both in the day job …. And in the preparations for the next season of Tales of History and Imagination. I apologise folks, some nights where I should be knocking out 1000 words I’m getting through 500 or 600, other nights I’m just pouring a bourbon and relaxing to whatever is on Netflix. Week one of lockdown for me – I have been home alone – had more than it’s normal share of anxiety (the last time I have had an anxiety attack was in 2016, preparing for Mastermind and realizing maybe I should’ve picked one Shakespeare play, not several, as a specialty subject). The following weeks have been much more manageable. All this means I’ll be on track to launch the 2nd season in four weeks – about a month behind schedule.
In the meantime I’ve scheduled four extra blog posts on historyandimagination.com. I am keeping those posts plague-free. It occurred to me right now I could be topical, and still avoid the more worn paths – skip did the Black Death clear the way for a more prosperous late middle ages and the Renaissance, for the tale of Pope Gregory IX and his Papal Bull ordering the death of all Europe’s cats – which possibly made the eventual Black Death worse than it could have been. Maybe a look into how several bouts of Yellow Fever in Memphis Tennessee in the 1870s killed white people disproportionately and led to the rise of Beale Street, and the Blues as we now know it. I’ll stash these, and a bunch of other similar tales away somewhere for some time after this pandemic. The blog, as per the podcast when it returns, will be as plague free as it can be.
Please go check out my blog page, historyandimagination.com, I’ve just published my 50th blog post up there so there is plenty of historical weirdness to work through. If productivity further nose dives I’ll release some of those shorter blog tales as podcast episodes. Follow Tales of History and Imagination on Facebook, under Tales of History and Imagination. I am on Twitter under @simonetwhitlow and am very slowly building up an Instagram. Please share the podcast with anyone you know who likes these kinds of tales – ideally episode 5 onwards – the first four could do with some editing and polishing up.
And stay safe, look after yourselves in your bubbles. We’ll all come through this soon enough. Talk soon – Simone.