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My World 2021

My World: June 2021…

This is part of a series of articles where our contributors describe how they think things will look a year from now.

Bizarre hairstyles, global shortages of cosmetics and bananas and each of us knowing at least five still-traumatised addicts of live sports? But seriously, in the Covid fallout over the coming year I fear most for those countries whose economy, health service and infrastructure is fragile. Let’s hope the WHO and the international community are able to properly support them if the going gets tough. I also suspect that many environmental programmes will be put on the back burner at the very time when a ‘green’ approach to the world’s problems could have provided fast-working sustainable solutions. And I’m concerned for my former students as their Real Estate futures look increasingly uncertain. Many will have to radically adapt in order to fit into a much-changed sector but I believe we teachers have equipped them with sufficiently robust skill-sets to allow them to do this. As to what my personal world will look like a year on? Much like now probably but I’m just guessing. What I can say with certainty is that my attitude to life will be different. 

Mercifully shielded from heartbreak and hardship felt by so many and engaged in a new career as a would-be writer, my routine over the first few weeks of lockdown didn’t really change. As before, I would sit alone my workroom, manacled to a PC. Days would comprise writing, music practise, more writing then supper, a glass of wine and bed. I embraced the isolation, becoming even more of a misanthropic, grouchy recluse than my children (and long-suffering missus) already thought I was. The lockdown had become a welcome excuse to contract out of normal life and avoid the effort involved. 

Then, about a week ago, I made a list of my all-time favourite experiences, my ‘Best Stuff Ever’. This was brought on by late night contemplations of mortality (common these days I hear) and was to be a message in a bottle to my children; sharing, in a few carefully chosen bullet points, what things had meant the most. If the worst happened, at least they’d have something more personal than a Last Will and Testament. Was this just good parenting; making sure they knew I loved them or evidence of cabin fever; the deprivation of social and cultural oxygen inducing a morose melancholia? It was both. 

When I began to write that list, I had thought that a half-page would suffice. I was way out. I ended up with five sides of A4 packed full of wonderful music, art, literature, theatre, dance, countries, cities, special days spent with family and friends and achievements both humble and proud. Over six-hundred treasured memories all of which, yes all, came out of engagement with others. I was jolted out of my inwardness. Normal life isn’t always easy but welcoming our own isolation, escaping the challenges we face as social beings is to let the best things in life pass us by.

Roll-on the end of lockdown. I can’t wait to get back out there. 

My predictions for June 2021:

UK in recession: Yes

My World 2021

About David Shiers

David Shiers

David was formerly Reader in Sustainable Property and is now an Affiliate of the School of the Built Environment at Oxford Brookes University. He is co-author (with BRE) of the Green Guide to Specification - an environmental profiling system for construction materials and part of the BREEAM and the Code for Sustainable Homes programmes; helping designers and specifiers to reduce the environmental impacts of their buildings. Globally, there are more than 558,200 BREEAM certified developments and almost 2,260,300 buildings registered for assessment. Green Guide has been the recommended materials specification standard for the UK Government, many Local Authorities and private sector organisations such as the Westfield retail group and was used in the building of the London 2012 Olympics. David was a judge on the Construction News panel for the national UK Building Quality Awards between 2010-2013. David’s research paper, Socially Responsible Property Investment (SRPI) in the Journal of Property Investment & Finance (2007), written with Miles Keeping, Dan Rapson and Claire Roberts, was cited as a key text in United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Finance Initiative report Building Responsible Property Portfolios.

Articles by David Shiers

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