Sunday, 28 June 2020

Out of Lock-down

There are some experiences that, perhaps, one would hope to never have to go through. As an island community, the Isle of Man has come through the COVID-19 pandemic better than many other places. Any island nation has the option - as we did here - to close the border and then tackle the pathogen on our own terms. This is a process that has worked for our island and several other places around the world.

It can be easy to criticise the political and governmental structure with the power of hindsight, but I have to say, not without a little reluctance from force of habit, that our government did as well as one could expect when difficult circumstances were changing and developing rapidly. They didn't get everything right and that's actually okay. No-one can, or should, expect a perfect response during such a crisis and there will always be mistakes made as the information available changes.

So, things are returning to some level of normality. My sister and her family are back on the island after their necessary exile to the UK. Shops are open and businesses are starting to resume normal operations.

I'm back at work and doing more-or-less the same thing as before. I tried - despite the debilitating attack of sciatica that plagued me for almost two months at the start of lock-down - to keep myself busy and productive. I managed some programming, did a few remote assistance calls and tried to not resort to endless TV or YouTube.

I also finally got the time to write the detailed travelogue that I always promised myself would be done one day. In 85,000 words, I've written the story of my eight trips to Africa over the last dozen years. I'm now in the final process of reviewing the proof copies before self-publishing the volume through The plan, at the moment, is to release a paperback version - with over 100 b/w photos - in 320 pages. because of the photos, this will end up being priced at around £25. Because this is a lot for a book, I'm also looking at doing a text-only version that should be able to be much more sensibly priced. This will also make it easier to produce an e-reader compatible version for kindle and ipad in the near future.

If you want to keep up with progress on the publishing of this book, and also about my travels and other book projects, then you can find out more at my publishing site.