To branch

To reach, to grow, to break. To be alone. But also to belong, to hold, to partake. To be strong.

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Summer solstice

It’s the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, and I’ve just finished what I know will be the best book of 2022: Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson. “You stroke each of the dogs’ heads and watch them cower at your gall. You’re descending at a hellish pace but there’s no fire... Continue Reading →

Friday 17.06.2022. Evening

Hottest day of the year in England and Wales. And Spain and France. Unnatural. It’s still warm in the house when I go to bed, and I hear mozzies and flies and bees that mistook indoors for outdoors when they saw the light of my lamp. Yesterday’s mozzies and flies and bees lie dead on... Continue Reading →

Wednesday 15.06.2022. Afternoon

After watching Life After Life, the TV adaptation of Kate Atkinson’s novel, I’ve been thinking about death and the circularity of time. I live in both the past and the future, as well as savouring the now. I’m back in Wendover for a couple of weeks. This means no swimming, but instead there’s the cat... Continue Reading →

Saturday 28 May 2022. Midday

Having avoided writing and exercise – things that make me feel good – all morning, I eventually sit down in the garden to feel a bit shit about myself. Sometimes my fear of failing is so deep and complex that I think it's actually success that I fear more: starting something, working hard and then... Continue Reading →

Sunday 22 May 2022. Evening

The swimming spot in the river Cam, Cambridge, May 2022. Photo by Jessica Zarins Went for a long swim this morning. So long I struggled to warm up on the cycle home. It felt incredible, to not be in a rush and to just follow the river. The rest of the day I spent in... Continue Reading →

Went to Riga. Came home

I've been going to Riga almost every year since 2016 (pandemic excluded). The first time I hoped for a sense of inherited belonging, that I'd feel at home in my ancestral city. It wasn't without disappointment that I realised that I'm not Latvian, but Swedish-Latvian, and don't belong in Riga, but belong where I create... Continue Reading →

Sunday 8 May 2022. Afternoon

Using my old mechanical pencil for the first time in years. I bought it at the very high price of 87 SEK in 2002. My old school friend Sofia Eriksson was shocked that I spent so much money on a pencil, but I was thinking that I'd keep it forever. And I used it for... Continue Reading →

Down to the river

On the day we learn that the most powerful nation on the planet – that was once hailed as the leader of the free world – are planning to withdraw 50 year old women's rights, I head to the water. My wild swimming has been irregular since the autumn, but this changes with today. I've... Continue Reading →

Monday 2 May. Morning

I saw a kingfisher on my walk in Coldham’s Common, and knew it would be a special day. The darting electric blue and brown belly you only see when it lands was unmistakable, and I thought this is the fourth kingfisher I’ve seen in the five years I’ve lived in Cambridge. And it was a... Continue Reading →

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