Geeks Vs Loneliness: stepping stones through summer

In which we revisit our earlier geeky plans, and set some new ones

A rare occurrence is happening in my life right now – I am willingly wearing shorts. For the first time in eons my legs are voluntarily bare. They are so translucent they could light our way back to the moon.

Summer is here and bringing with it a heatwave. A very British heatwave, with an unloosening of the collar, a rolling up of the sleeves. Some may even enjoy a polite potter in the sea. It also comes with a vat of Factor 50 that I apply like emulsion every morning before exposing my tender skin to the sun’s mercy. Yep, I really do become light reflective on sunny days.

Summer is often portrayed as the golden season. A time for everyone to kick off their long trousers and scamper in meadows filled with sunshine and cider. But it isn’t all wine coolers and roses – some of us adopt reverse hibernation mechanisms to avoid pollen, wasps, sunburn and overheating.

Heat can become draining. Sap the marrow from your bones, causing restless nights filled with muggy dreams. Work can become torture – the brain is torpid and flashing up postcards of sunny beaches, the dim coolness of air-conditioned cinemas, tall long drinks while you are mainlining your fourth coffee trying to jog yourself into productivity.

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It can be tempting to focus on just the now. If you like summer, enjoy it in all its hazy glory but maybe plan some fun for when that summer sparkle fades. If – like me – you’re a hibernating glowworm waiting for the shadows to return, the same applies. Look ahead, plan some joy.

In January and April we invited everyone to think of three stepping-stones that they could plan to give bright spots upcoming in our collective calendars. There were a fair few of us excited about Avengers: Endgame. Post Avengers glow has now faded – but this week heralded the announcement of the MCU’s Phase 4. Which looks brilliant.

Is there anything in there that particularly catches your eye? For me it’s Thor: Love And Thunder. I adore Natalie Portman’s Dr. Jane Foster. Seeing that super brain master the power of Thor is an intriguing prospect. And Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie burns up the screen with brightness.

One of my previous stepping stone picks was anticipating the new Joe Abercrombie novel, A Little Hatred. This flies onto bookshelves in September – and he’s announced a promotional tour, which includes some speaking events. My tickets are booked. He’s always bright, funny, willing to answer questions and give writing advice. I suspect this will be the highlight of my geek year. If you enjoy Grimdark fiction try and catch him if you can.

Are any of you going to (or have been to) a Comic Con or geek themed events? I’ve booked a trip to Spooky Kid Central – Whitby. It is hosting the Tomorrow’s Ghosts festival in November, celebrating the darker side of life through music, art, horror films, books and some very quirky shopping that apparently involves bone craft. Goth-Con!

So that’s me sorted. I’m wondering how you are all doing with your bright spots on the horizon. Did those you set earlier in the year – like seeing Avengers: Endgame – meet your expectations? Have you set any new goals for the rest of the year? Feel free to discuss away in the comments.

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And thanks as always for reading.