There is always hope. It may be a cliché but hope does lift us up - maybe Shakespeare is one of the first writers to use such an analogy. For Shakespeare, hope is something that flies with swallow's wings and makes kings into gods.
In 2020 I found it hard to keep believing in hope; it wasn't easy to focus on the every day whilst also worrying about the future. But once again, I found that keeping in contact with friends and family was a key factor in surviving a pandemic.
I did not give up on my walking, and I found many new "virtual" friends through walking. I was even inspired to walk my first long-distance walk - 29 kilometres - had I realised I would have pushed through to 30! Walking and access to nature, in general, seems to be having a renaissance, and magazines and websites seem to be interested in nature writing perhaps more than they have been for some years.
I was given a lift this week when my lovely PR representative, Elly Donovan, contacted me to tell me that she had once again found me some lovely coverage for my book Walking into Alchemy with the Table Read. Elly has been so faithful and kind and has continued to help me and give me hope throughout the weirdest year that I, and I think perhaps all of us, have experienced in our entire lives.
You can read my interview with The Table Read here:
The German edition of my book - Alchemie des Gehens: Selbtfindung in der Nature - will be coming out in a few weeks. This book has hope written all the way through it - despite the pandemic - or perhaps because of it - I received so much help from my partner, the new friends I have here in Austria, support from local people from local authorities and from businesses.
The German version of the book will only be available directly from my website or from bookshops. It will not be on sale online in the EU or the UK because I want to reach readers directly and in person at book signings and encourage people to support local businesses.
I have started attending book clubs again too to give readings, so please do get in touch with me via my contact page firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like me to come and talk to your book club. Also, if you would like a copy of Walking into Alchemy - please remember that you can only get the colour version from me - you can use this offer - and I will wing the book to you asap!
Here's to hope! I'll raise a glass to that and imagine that I am flying on swallow's wings.