‘I am worried,’ tweeted someone the other day, ‘that England is going to die of news.’
I see his point. Since Brexit and the rapid turnover the events that followed, it has been a mad time – and a rich one for current affairs. I don’t think I can remember a time when so many live news blogs were running simultaneously. As well as news there was sport: Wimbledon & football in Europe – the Tour de France has just started. We had an election in Australia last weekend and the result is so close they are still counting the ballots.
Just when we thought it was safe to go back in the water, Chilcot published the enormous report into the Iraq war and that has flooded the airwaves and Ethernet. It must be nice to be working in the news space right now – a veritable cornucopia of content to play with. Days and weeks of an endless supply of content, rather than a desperate scramble to fill the gaping void of the 24 hour news cycle.
Finally, I collapsed under the weight of it all and surrendered. Last night, with a newly sore knee, I climbed into bed with my dogs and fired up Candy Crush, which has barely had more than a cursory look in over the last fortnight. It was soothing to swap coloured candies mindlessly around a board for an hour. Nobody’s job relied upon it, no hate crimes would result from it, there were no looming economic disasters or weapons of mass destruction (I realised how nice it had been not hearing that for a decade).
It was such a pleasant distraction that I continued in this vein this evening and met a mate for a drink after work. She has been on long service leave and with masterful timing has managed to avoid a massive and unsettling restructuring in her workplace. So there was news, but it was local news and it was nice to catch up with someone who is good fun, and swap tales of dog ownership and domestic life in general.
Tomorrow evening, my brother flies in from Sydney and the focus will be yet again on family and gossip. sometimes it feels exciting to be part of world events and news, but actually after a while it just gets too much. TMI guys.
I was reminded of a friend of mine who was going through a very unpleasant time at work recently. He decided to redouble his efforts and focus on family. Last week, I saw a video his wife had posted online of him in the back garden on the verandah. Six magpies were lined up singing towards him as he hand fed them. It was a few minutes of joy that for the time that it played, reminded me that while it is good to be aware of what is going on in the world, sometimes it is better to stake stock and enjoy something right in front of you. It does the soul good.