Updated: May 22
This really is an extraordinary time. So heart-rending on the one hand, and so heart-expanding on the other. The generosity of spirit with which people are sharing their gifts, talents, products, time and hearts is a beautiful thing to witness, and something most of us have not experienced in our lifetime.
Here are some of those people that are helping to keep my spirits uplifted.
I'm very biased because I live in NZ at present, but wow! That's all I'll say. She is a Churchill, a JFK, an inspiration for our time. She's also a mum, a user of social media, an ordinary extraordinary person who leads the country like Joan of Arc with baby goop on her lapel. Love her. It's Mother's Day today - hope it's a happy one for our PM.
I'm also a little biased because I work in communications in the waste industry and played a part in organising and writing this message - but seriously, what other PM could you contact and say 'Hey, J, how about a shout-out to the unsung heroes who've collected our rubbish this whole time?' And for her to just, well, do it. I write a lot of about superheroes so I know one when I see one. Cape on over goopy lapel, undies over business trousers. She's the real deal.
Huge Taskmaster fan, but possibly adore even more the joy of giving people trapped within the boundaries of their homes and gardens something mad and fun to do. I love how the whole family is often involved, and the sheer ingenuity, creativity and skill of some of the entries is mind-blowing. Some seem to have made a profession of it - I'm pretty sure Back-Flip Ben will be sorry to go back to work. If you haven't had chance to check it out, watch it now. Watch and learn. Then give it a go. You have been tasked.
Neil Finn's Fangradio
I've been a Crowded House/Neil Finn fan so long that it hurts to remember how old I am. And that isn't just because I live in NZ. I was a fan way before that. In fact, I used to joke that I moved to NZ specifically to find Neil. The sound of Te Awamutu had a truly sacred ring.
I've been lucky enough to see Neil perform with Crowded House, with his sons, with Johnny Marr and KT Tunstall, with his brother, with animals in the background at the zoo, with just his guitar. I've seen Tim Finn stand on a crate at a school fair and blow the place away, just a wild-haired man and his guitar. I watched every second of Neil's Infinity Sessions and thought it was a completely genius idea to bring together art and technology (something I'm interested in myself ;-)) - and in fact I could wax lyrical about all things Finn for a very long time.
I won't do that, however. What I will say is that for six or seven weeks, Neil Finn has been tipping up in his own sparsely-furnished music room in Los Angeles to provide a live radio show for fans. Sometimes it's just him, sometimes with Liam and Elroy or Sharon, sometimes entertaining his grandson at the same time. He makes mistakes, laughs at himself, forgets the chords to his own songs, does covers that he only knows half-way through - and in all ways is so human and open and simultaneously brilliant that my serious fangirl issue may become a challenge. I might have to move to LA now. She went all the way to America; she had a blind date with destiny ... Check it out on his website.
Random Youtube moments
There is magic everywhere. Katy Perry even refers to it. I know it's been out for a while, but I just saw where Courtney Timmons went straight from waiting quietly on the pavement outside the American Idol filming to Holllllyyyyywooooood. Magic.
And here's some of my own everyday magic. Hope it helps to uplift you too.