Well here we are.
Week seven. Or is it six? Or – wait – is it week ninety-eight?
Who knows any more.
Time is becoming elastic.

For about six weeks now I’ve been getting up, showering, grabbing coffee and some fruit, and heading straight to my desk. By Wednesday of this week I’d decided enough was enough, and that I was going to start walking every day from the next day.

So on Thursday morning I woke, showered, then went for a walk. It’s not exactly The Long March, but the journey from my house to the local railway station is almost a mile, and so the walk there and back gives me a two mile walk that I can then bulk up over time.

The first day was a cool morning, but the sky was azure blue, the air fresh, and the sound of Birdsong – a dawn chorus that had turned into a full Opera by the time I set off – was absolutely the thing I needed for my mental health as well as my physical.

There were birds – I imagined bluebirds, but more likely magpies – swooping overhead, and blackbird trilling it’s full-throated song whilst sitting on a fence and staring at me as though I were an interloper in it’s kingdom. Which I suppose I was.

And then – to complete the Snow white fantasy – a talkative squirrel , seemignly glued upside-down to a tree trunk. The squirrel made some really odd noises at me.

He chattered chakchakchakchakchak. I chattered back “Chakchakchakchakchak.”

He chakchakchakchakchaked – seemingly more urgently now – and I echoed his call in an equally speedy fashion, til I noticed his back had gone up and the tone of the chakchakchakchakchak was becoming- or was I imagining it? – more aggressive. I began to fear he was actually an angry squirrel and wondered if I was inadvertently doing the squirrel equivalent of ‘Come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough.”

I didn’t fancy being set on in some squirrel aggro, so I made my excuses, backed slowly out and hot footed it home before he could get his mates the badgers and the voles on the case.

And that wasn’t the last of my excitement for the week.

On Friday, FahreNoirAtTheBar published four more videos – four more readings from Fahrenheit authors. This time round we had CJ Dunford (@verdandiweaves) reading the awesome opener to Burke’s Last Witness youtu.be/nsEuwox5SBA, the awesome @nikkidolson reading from the brilliant All Things Violent ( a book I’ve raved about before and suspect I’ll rave about again) youtu.be/qUKxumiQ9qs.

Seth Lynch read the chilling opener to Veronique, youtu.be/M9Ob9vXgvSU ,and Ian Ayris read an exclusive short story called Sundays youtu.be/lJu3eVeBe-M

Alongside the already amazing readings on the site I’m really excited at how well this is taking off and how many people are joining the fun.

And on Wed this week at 1930 I’ll be reading at a Virtual Noir At The Bar alongside amazing talents like Zoe Sharp, Robert Scragg, Ashley Erwin, Kirsten McKenzie, Roz Watkins, Alan Jones, Leslie Kelley, Karen Murdarasi and Lucy Atkins. You can come along for free. Gratis.Nowt. Just click here and I’ll see you on the night:

I’m enjoying sunshine, finally starting to get to all the chores I’ve been threatening to do for years, and staying in, staying well and staying safe.

This week I’ve been reading “Eight Detectives,” which is currently scheduled to come out in August this year. It’s an intriguing blend of classic detective story, literary theory and – I suspect, from the creeping sense that all is not what it seems – something long-buried slowly resurfacing. I’ll let you know what I think when I’m finished.

Meantime, stay well all.

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