Beyond the Wings, August 2022

A third of Pakistan is under water. My only connection to the country is spending time with someone who lightened up my Lockdown 3 immeasurably in the early months of 2021. But she has moved on and hasn’t kept in touch.

More on the Pakistan situation and what it implies in the Wider World section.  


August 20th was the biggest night of my creative life so far. During the day, most things that could have gone wrong did, but my own set – aside from a few technical glitches early on – went well.

With this out of the way, my creative ambitions for the rest of the year involve finishing my last Chinese album, and finish writing (though probably not recording) the third The Kev album.

In recent weeks, business has picked up considerably, with multiple IELTS lessons and forthcoming guitar lessons. I also won the highest honour on Duolingo (Legend status), but like most computer games, it makes you feel more accomplished than you really are. My Spanish is still some way from being conversant.


This month’s Substack/video essay was called ‘Service with a Fixed Smile’. It involves the usual mix of history, social comment, literary criticism, and memoir.

The next two will be on the subject of creativity (‘Looking down on Creation’), and comedy (‘Laughter Is No Laughing Matter’).

The monthly cover was ‘Same Size Feet’ by The Stererophonics:

Wider World

As Al Gore predicted in the 2000s, the countries that are least responsible for global warming are set to suffer the most. The climate has never been a political issue, but a moral one.

In Pakistan, one third of the country is under water, and well over 1,000 people have been killed by the floods. At the same time, China is facing its worst drought on record, and the subsequent economic devastation is forcing the country to ration electricity.

Meanwhile in the United States, The Republicans, who in their attitude to global warming resemble a death cult more than a political party, are looking on course to make gains in November. President Joe Biden has indicated he will run for a second term, which at his age and with his record on immigration and cultural issues like the gender debate, will be a hard sell.

The notion of humans saving the planet – as opposed to hoping the planet has mercy on us – has never felt so distant.

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