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Tuesday, 21 April 2020


Available for freelance writing commissions on a variety of subjects including family history, nostalgic Belfast and its famous people, shops, shoppers & shopping, the golden age of Hollywood (esp westerns) and humorous pieces on life's weird and wonderful. Op-eds, columns, non-fiction book reviews too. & @JoeCushnan

I have a portfolio of features, reviews, poetry and short fiction published in all sorts of places - Belfast Telegraph, Tribune, Ireland's Own, Dalhousie Review, Fairlight Books, Reader's Digest, Reality, Lapwing Poetry, Ink, Sweat & Tears, Spillwords, Dear Reader, Amethyst Review, to name a selection.  Oh, and the odd BBC radio contribution. 

This is a series of very, very short items that have nothing to do with the current news agenda.  Swift diversions for a moment or two.

Apropos of Nothing #4 - 21 April 1934

On this day in 1934, American explorer Richard Byrd wrote about his five months alone at an advance station in the Antarctic.  He was far less keen towards the end of his stint gathering meteorological data on the beauties around him than he had been at the beginning.  His work was rapidly turning into a personal trial of introspection and endurance.

"The morning is the hardest time.  It is hard enough anywhere for a man to begin the day's work in darkness; where I am it is doubly difficult.  One may be a long time realising it but cold and darkness deplete the body gradually; the mind turns sluggish and the nervous system slows up its responses.  This morning I had to admit to myself that I was lonely."

Richard Byrd

Sources: Alone;
The Traveller’s Handbook/Fergus Fleming/Atlantic Books/2012

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