As more steps are taken to ease the lockdown, it's interesting to think about how things will look when we are eventually back to some semblance of what we once considered 'normal'.

There have been certain features of this difficult period which we have all agreed have been positive outcomes - the extraordinary and sudden reduction in pollution, the greater sense of community, a better appreciation for people who keep society in place.

But will this impact us in the long term or will we revert to our former consumerist, self-contained selves?

I've been very encouraged by a series of short essays presented on BBC Radio Four recently. They're called 'Rethink' and you can access them all on the Sounds app here.

Leading thinkers have shared their ideas on how the world should change after the coronavirus pandemic.

There is a broad spectrum of subjects covered and some interesting individuals sharing their expertise and personal perspective (and many of them have books further developing the topics they are presenting!). For me this week, I was interested in hearing Brian Eno talk about leadership, and also Katherine Grainger share her views on the Olympics (I'm a bit of a fan of hers - she visited us in Woodbridge a few years ago! Take a look here).

Looking ahead to the coming week, tomorrow we'll be having our Zoom book group discussion at 8pm to share thoughts on Michael Ondaatje's 'Warlight'. If you'd like to join in - and don't worry if you haven't finished the book - reply to this email and I'll send you all the details.

And on Saturday 4 July at 3pm, the Essex Book Festival is offering a Zoom conversation with the author Louise Hare talking about her debut novel 'This Lovely City'. Sign up to listen to the author here.

Set in London in the aftermath of the Second World War, the book tracks the life of a jazz musician who's arrived on the Empire Windrush. He's looking for a new life, but finds prejudice and hardship, as well as love and opportunity. I read the book this week, and found it compelling, moving and ultimately full of hope. See my review here.