Blessed

Today marks a milestone. It isn’t a big one but it means a lot to me. It is the 50th blog post. These words that I’m typing now represent one of my summer goals being ticked off.

This isn’t going to be one of those introspective blog posts that detail ‘my journey’. Instead, I’m going to use a different cliché, an A-Z celebration of the things I’m thankful for.

  • Anderson .Paak and the Free Nationals
  • Bud Sugar – There is nothing better than discovering new music. In Bud Sugar and Anderson .Paak, I have found two artists that make music that talks to my soul. They are both recommended listening.
  • Coach
  • Donald Glover – Atlanta and Childish Gambino are two of the great creations of this decade. The television show Atlanta works in part because it focuses on the lives of normal working class people. It also works because it is comfortable with quiet moments. Childish Gambino has made 2 of the songs of the decade. Redbone and This is America are cultural touchstones. Redbone’s iconic chorus, used to such great effect in Get Out and the message of This is America show that Glover is living on the edge of the zeitgeist
  • Ethiopia and Eritrea – Two countries that have been at war joining together in peace? That definitely qualifies as something to be thankful. I hope that it will help in changing the perception of a continent that has staggering beauty but is too often reduced to an image of starving, begging and violent people.
  • Friends, family, former pupils – As I type this, I’m sitting on an aeroplane headed to Spain for a stag do. I have just come back from a holiday in Mexico. On Wednesday, I was sweating through a boxing session. I watched the first England game of the World Cup with my nephews. The first thing I did this morning was respond to an email from a former pupil who has secured a distinction at the end of their first year at the world’s top university. There is little distinction between friends, families and former pupils, who often become friends
  • Gym – Quite simply, the gym is one of my happy places. Some people like to meditate. I like to punch a bag really hard. Or row until I see stars. Or flip large tyres. My gym sessions are not Instagram friendly, but they do me the world of good
  • Health – I didn’t realise how important and fragile health was until it was temporarily taken from me. That I am able to walk, cycle, swim and move in general feels like a blessing
  • Independent media – Because this.

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  • Jordan Peele – Key and Peele is one of the best comedy shows of all time. Get Out is one of the great films of all time and was robbed, ROBBED, of an Oscar. Don’t @ me.
  • K – K is for my little brother. He’s a knucklehead, but he is also kind.
  • Libraries – I have always loved libraries. When I was younger, I loved my local library so much that I tried to turn my bedroom into one. I had a box room and half of it was taken up with books. When you grow up poor, books are holidays. I went to Narnia; I had a secret garden; my friends included a black panther and a bear and I would climb trees to see which magical creatures lived in them. Now that I’m older, I go there to write, read and relax. It is vitally important that we save our libraries.
  • Mums

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  • NHS – I’ve written about this here and here
  • Ocasio-Cortez – I’ve written about Mrs Ocasio-Cortez here and here
  • Prince – I’m still not over it
  • Reni Eddo-Lodge – Lodge’s book, Why I’m no Longer Talking to White People About Race is a seminal book on race relations in the UK. I respect her for providing a vocabulary that allows me to talk about the biggest elephant that there is in the room in the UK. It is absolutely required reading.
  • Sheffield University – Thank you Sheffield University

acceptance letter

  • Twitter – Twitter is like Africa: beautiful, dangerous, wonderful, terrible, uplifting, ugly and amazing
  • Unicorns – Obviously. Funny story. I wanted to call this theunicorn.com. Then I wanted to call it theunicorn.blog. I tried at least 30 different combinations before I found theblackunicorn.blog. It was the only variation that was free. Sorry. That wasn’t a funny story. I should have instituted the rule that I have for my friends – tell me the end of the story first, so I can see whether or not I want to invest in it.
  • Vegetables – Because if you don’t love this picture, I don’t know what to tell you

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  • Writing – This blog, poetry, screenplays and a novel. Writing is being very good to me right now.
  • The XX – Enjoy. I will never not love this song.
  • YouTube – Anybody that works online loves YouTube. It is that simple
  • Zaheer Khan – This sounds weird, but I love to go on YouTube deep dives. Last night,  I was reminded of the majesty of Zaheer Khan, the Indian left-armed fast bowler. For those of you that don’t know cricket, check this out. I love you all, and I look forward to the next 50 blog posts

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