Crikey, it's two thirds through May already. I'm going to have to put this out in a hurry!
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I hope this epistle finds you well.

Though Covid peaked here in our region back in March, it feels like it is peaking amongst our friends in Lyttelton. We wish all of them well.

The last month has passed in a blur and since I last wrote King Features renewed my contract for Arctic Circle syndication for 10 years! This year will mark 15 years of creating a daily comic strip and watching environmental issues move from the fringes into the mainstream. I wonder what will happen in the next 10 years. Perhaps we’ll have made real progress with clean energy solutions and drawing down carbon. And the world won’t mirror what we are seeing play out in Years and Years  (as well as watching this drama, I am reading the excellent Ministry for the Future by Kim Stanley Robinson. It's a wonder I can sleep at night).
The above is an Arctic Circle comic from 12 years ago!

Our solar panels have been brilliant at reducing our reliance on the New Zealand electricity grid (a lot of our power is hydroelectric, but too much of it is derived from coal that we import from Indonesia at great environmental cost). But the days are shortening as we head into winter; the sun is late to come up above the harbour hills in the morning and early to dip behind the crater rim in the afternoon.

With less sun, the plants (brassicas, onions, silver beet, rainbow chard, beetroot, peas) are growing slowly. But it is a good time to build soil and lock up carbon that way. I have been collecting seaweed from the beach and weeding or pulling up spent plants before sheet mulching the beds. When I check them a week or so later I find lots of worms underneath.
I wonder how the worms get the word out.
Time to go – it's pub o'clock and the rain and hail have stopped for a moment.

PS. Molly and I have started collecting fallen leaves to add to our composting piles. The best of the leaves can be found under the oak trees near the tennis courts. We have to go when no one is playing tennis as she is obsessed with chasing balls and can interrupt play very easily. The only thing of more interest to her right now is mice — she caught her first one this week. Now I'm encouraging her to look for the rats that climb up the walls (yes that is as horrible as it sounds).

Copyright © 2022 Alex Hallatt's Cartoons and Writing, All rights reserved.

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