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This morning it dawned on me that I might have had the emphasis on the wrong syllable (as my old German teacher used to say). Suppose it is not the listening to the Swedish language on the radio that is filling my head and distracting me, suppose it is the content of the broadcasts.


It must be twenty years or so ago that realised that waking to Radio 4’s Today programme and listening to it until I got to the studio made it very hard for me to create anything beautiful or wonderful (I mean literally full of wonder). It is possible that as I approach ten years of living here that I understand far more than I give myself credit for. And as a consequence the hourly news summaries, the political interviews, and the investigative features of Swedish Radio’s P1 morning programme are having the same effect on me now as the Today programme did all those years ago.


Three, or even ’just’ two, hours of hearing the worst of what is happening in the world seems to take me longer to digest than the twenty-four hour cycle between my mornings. I get caught in a never ending loop of anger, frustration, despair, and disappointment.


Suppose that it is this mind set that takes time. Even if it does not directly take time, it takes my mind to another place from which it takes more time to arrive at that fantastic creative place. The distance is not just between reality and fantasy, rather it is between a particularly dystopic, disfunctional, often violent and or cruel reality and the world that I strive to create in, and for, my practice.

It is time, I think, to stop listening to the radio news … again!


This is not unrelated to my current feeling about my paid employment – that it too takes me too often to places of frustration, annoyance, disappointment, and irritation from which it takes too long to get to places of creativity, fantasy, imagination, and wonder. I hope that this has been the direct and indirect result of the Covid-19 pandemic, and that it will swiftly lessen as things open up again over the coming autumn. That said I will be keeping my eyes open for residency opportunities and will definitely be applying for the ’working artist awards’ that are given here every year … that way I could put paid employment on pause for a while too!



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