Having small things to look forward to seems more important than ever, and even though nothing will stand up to the horrifying reality of 100,000 UK Covid-19 deaths, there are some positives to help get us through. Pancake Day is coming up on the 12th of February (even though Lent doesn’t seem necessary with the punishment of this year), and of course Valentine’s Day on the 14th which, even if you don’t celebrate it, inspired the invention of cute heart-shaped crumpets. The Year of the Ox begins in the Chinese calendar, and the last time this came round was in 2009 which brought us the start of Taylor Swift and Kanye West’s feud, the game Farmville and season 1 of ‘Glee’, so I have high (ish) hopes for 2021.
If none of these things have succeeded in cheering you up, have a look at our Editor’s Picks for this week which include Millicent Stott’s reflection on her home in Teesside and Olivia Freeman-Barrett’s exploration of the Western trope in literature.
The American Cowboy by Olivia Freeman-Barrett
Maintaining mental health in Lockdown 3.0 by Caitlin Conmy
‘Wallace and Gromit’ producer funds Durham theatre scholarship by Josh Goodwin
A love letter to my home town by Millicent Stott
A gendered pandemic: Why women in the workforce have been hit by Covid-19 by Isabella Craddock