Purgatory

The fear is back.

You can see it on people’s faces. You can hear it in their voices. Gaps between shoppers are widening, masks remain firmly in place even after leaving buses, shops, and tube stations. Schedules lack the air of certainty they once had and plans are written in pencil.

We have passed that precious moment of peace. The calm before the storm. It is too late for that. The wind is noticeably stronger now and the first few drops of rain puncture our hope as we sit idly in our homes. Our homes that have become our worlds. Our world which is closing in around us.

As we wait, our feelings of hopelessness are matched only by the feelings of certainty.

It is coming.

My mind plays a sick guessing game with itself, prompting images of a macabre sport where bets are taken on casualty figures. A casino of death. “Who had 75,000? Congratulations, you win.” And your prize is the knowledge that you have survived and the world you once knew is over.

And what of the lost 8-months? What of the lost year that we are inevitably sliding towards? What if 2021 does not bring the end?

The questions mount like the bodies at the morgues. Our leaders flail helplessly from one crisis to the next. Do not turn to them for reassurance, do not turn to them for truth, for there is none to be found.

We are alone.

Waiting.

From bed, to desk, to kitchen, to bed. An endless cycle repeats itself and we are trapped in its regimented insanity, attempting to be normal in times that are anything but. And it is time that is now our only companion. The day’s clock ticks on as the life clock ticks down. Hour by hour we watch our lives erode with futile attempts of distraction and self-comfort.

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Sleep Token Have Arrived

This felt different. In front of a sold-out Islington Assembly Hall, this seemed like an announcement. A declaration that a new band has arrived and is ready to take centre stage. Pioneers intent on moving the goalposts and pushing a genre deeper into creativity and experimentation.

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The Facebook Masquerade

In recent months there has been quite a buzz about Facebook and why users should delete their accounts. Most of the articles I have read, and the arguments I have seen, follow a similar path of “Facebook can’t be trusted with our data”, but there are other reasons as to why perhaps the time has come for us to log out permanently.

If it isn’t data breaches that cause you to leave, it may be the flood of fake news infecting the site, or the fact that now our kids and/or parents also have accounts and we want something more generationally unique. It may even be because employers are now routinely using Facebook (and other social media sites) to research job applicants forcing us to change our names and hide certain photos and posts, ironically becoming more and more self-censoring on a site that prides itself on sharing. Whatever it may be, and as valid as these issues are, I think they are missing the point somewhat.

The question that these issues relate to is one of use; what should or should not be done with the tool that is Facebook. But I feel that the real question is actually more basic; what tool is Facebook?

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I Wish They Told Me This Shit In School

Despite being a student of history, philosophy, and international relations, and with almost half a decade of experience in working in international development, I still find myself struggling to understand the world in which we live.

No doubt, this learning process will take an entire lifetime, and even then I will encounter things that seem to make no sense.

With that being said, at the ripe old age of 27, I think I have discovered 31 lessons that have helped to improve my understanding.

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An Expat’s Life in Kathmandu

And now, the end is near, and so I face my final curtain…

For the first five-months of 2017, I was living and working in Nepal. Patan to be exact. One of the three historical cities in Kathmandu valley that now make up what many people simply refer to as Kathmandu.

Life here is different. And for any of you fellow expats (Western-immigrants), I am sure you can relate to the loves and laughs, and the trials and tribulations of this wonderful place.

Let’s begin at the beginning.

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