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Double-Barrelled Sunshine

Finally a warm evening! Tonight marks the first double-digit positive temperature of 2021.

Life during the pandemic has, for me, been spent almost entirely outdoors. Winter has been especially difficult.

Much of the work that needs doing for this blog and the fundraiser it exists to support cannot be done in cold temperatures.

It’s easy to take circumstances for granted. Access to the internet during the interstitial moments of life — waiting for the train, in the car, in bed — has normalized an illusion. Internet access on-demand, in-pocket, and at a whim has created the impression that everyone has equal access. We don’t.

Those moments in-between are a luxury. You’ll send a text, scroll Instagram, set a reminder, order from Amazon, all while the rest of your life is in process.

Those activities represent a rather high standard of living. The deep foundations making that quality of life possible are obscured by familiarity, normality. People who are housed live a standard of life inaccessible to the marginalized, and the homeless.

My efforts at fundraising were derailed by the closures, last Autumn, of libraries and other indoor spaces.

The hours I would spend working are not determined by my industriousness. My own efforts and output are determined by factors outside of my control.

Level of restedness, routine life-maintenance tasks, season, budget, weather, all these variables make decisions for me, daily. Operating hours for businesses and public spaces determines everything about what is possible in my waking hours. Think on that. Imagine your day was set by what time a local shop opened and closed.

Think of it another way: you can’t tidy up your living room because they’ve shut down the coffee shops. You can’t have a shower, use the toilet, or wash your face with hot water before noon because it’s a Thursday.

Where I am at time of writing is the only place that I can use to access the internet, currently, and I can only really be here between the hours of 4 pm and 4 am. In that time I prepare two meals, wash my dishes and utensils, pack and unpack my belongings. In cold weather, that is a set of tasks which results in frostnip. Wet hands in minus zero degree weather, exposed to the wind, every day.

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