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‘I think there must always be room for joy in this world. There has to be hope and celebration.’

Eileen Agar, artist (b.1899 – d.1991)

I noticed the above quote by Eileen Agar in a recent article in ‘The World of Interiors’ magazine. I’ve held her words in mind over these past few weeks and have been grateful for them, encouraging me to take moments to look outside of the horrors of world events, and specifically at this point in time, the impact of COVID. The pandemic has introduced unimaginable suffering for so many, both nationally and internationally. We have lived (and continue to live) through extremely difficult and distressing times and it would feel wrong not to acknowledge it here, in this post. Yesterday, the UK recorded its deadliest day from coronavirus so far with a staggering 1,610 deaths – each death a tragedy, each death the loss of a beloved, dear one; it hardly bears thinking about …

But … ‘there has to be hope …’ in Agar’s words, and we need to make room for letting joy into our worlds. I’m listening to live reports from CNN as I write this, on the day that Joe Biden is set to become the 46th president of the United States. I’m reluctant to even give his predecessor a name but phrases such as ‘toxic’, ‘leaving office in disgrace’ ‘two impeachments’ ‘shatters norms’, ‘snubs successor’ popping up on my TV screen say it all. What a legacy! And COVID aside, numerous other burning issues associated with the past four years are now to be addressed. As news comes in that the 45th president has just left the White House for the last time, one can only wonder, what will happen now? What will he say in his final address to the nation? And long term, will his accusers finally get their day in court? Hope is what we need.