On purpose

I made a new friend while swimming in the English Channel in my underwear at 2:22 am. We know this not because we were sober and paying attention, but because the sea water broke his watch at the exact time he entered it. Like me, he is a seeker, but I still don't know if... 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 →

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 →

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 →

Birthday

I treated myself to the World of Stonehenge exhibition at the British Museum for my birthday. I'd read a review that described it as 'emotional' and 'full of love' for the people whose story it tells. But I tried not to be too influenced by this when I went to see it. I made my... Continue Reading →

Cambridge midwinter

Moomintroll normally hibernates through the winter. Being full, warm, surrounded by loved ones and asleep is perhaps the ideal way to spend winter. But it was when he woke up and faced the winter that there was a story. Pre-sunrise winter morning on Coldham's Common, Cambridge. January 2022, photo by Jessica Zarins Moon in the... Continue Reading →

Thursday 26 August 2021. Afternoon

Diesel, faeces, fish bone, fruit, leftovers, plastic polluted water. The bay is paradise but at a high cost. No rain since May, forest fires out of control in the east, and a rise in Covid cases. Greece is a very old country, where no water, island or mountain remains unchartered or untouched. And it's a... Continue Reading →

The houses in the hill

Villas in Sivota Bay at night. Photo by Jessica Zarins, August 2021 The villas in the mountains, so beautifully located. An L shape has been cut straight into the hill, and is filled by three homes in sleek shapes, whitewashed walls, locally sourced stones and greenery growing on the roofs. It keeps the heat out,... Continue Reading →

Sivota Bay, Monday morning

The swallows, the flowers, the morning light. Cigarette smoke, petrol fumes, coffee vapour and spray-on sun lotion. Dutch, Italian, French, Serbian, English, German, Swedish and of course Greek. Here as in every village, the widows still wear their habits of mourning, despite some of them not being much older than my suntan-wearing parents. Cat on... Continue Reading →

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