Reflections on the Plague Summer

So how was it for you? I doubt any of us knew quite what this plague summer would be like – would we still be caged and cut off from the ones we loved? Would the creeping advance of fascism speed up, slow down or be deflected? Would we live through it? Or was the whole strange business going to blow away like a bad dream, or even leave a better world behind it?

From about June, it began to seem as though things were improving, for some people at least. The terrible isolation eased for many, and the generally fair weather meant that meeting friends and family for cautious picnics was manageable and enjoyable. Shops started re-opening, then the pubs did, as well. The London Alternative Market gang, who had been broadcasting a virtual version of their events every Sunday afternoon, managed to source an appropriate venue to hold a safe and permissible Kinky Farmers’ Market in mid-July; the week before, a new-to-me venue in the Midlands area, Liberation-FS, threw open their doors for a small-scale Open Day.

The plague summer was less terrible than it might have been, for a lot of us, though let’s not forget how terrible it was for others: running out of money, terrified and confused as to who to believe about what might be safe. Or sick. Or bereaved.

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L-R: The Woodbridge Emporium, Last of the Summer Fetes (LAM), LAM on the Farm, the bookshelf I rule at Liberation FS.


I was relatively well placed to get by, still, so I looked for what positivity there was. I got to explore some new bookshops, and do some research for one of the potential new ventures: distribution of selected titles. Both LAM and Liberation had some more events. Wearing masks and being careful seemed reasonable enough as a price to pay for being able to see friends and go places.

It’s difficult to know what lies ahead as we move into autumn and winter (latest news suggests that Fucko the Clown and his vile gang of idiots and thugs might be planning to place the public under renewed house arrest with even more punitive and completely unhelpful conditions attached, but that might just be scaremongering to distract people from some other damaging ideas they are working on.)

But we’ve had something of a summer, even if it was a plague summer. And I have some fresh good memories to hold onto. Have you?

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