Postcards from my balcony – Series Three

by Alex Bulmer

Alex is standing in a cemetery.
Photo by Ben Roberts

Postcard 18

Image description: Three people pursue ……. a giant pretzel. One uses their legs, one uses their wheelchair, one uses their white cane

Written on the other side:

April 10 2020

Pretzel emergency. I set out, on my own, for the first time, to the nearby convenience store.

My friend S saw me from across Gerrard Street.

S called my name and wheeled across the road… then introduced me to her girlfriend E.

E’s voice sounded up above S.

E and S got behind me and called out directions.

A pandemic parade – Walkie, Wheelie and Blinkie.

Maybe E isn’t a walkie. Maybe E uses a high wheelchair or is a double amputee on stump stilts.

Ah, to imagine beyond the assumed.


P.S. The store was out of pretzels. Sad face.

Postcard 19

Image description: Map of the earth, with four ukuleles. One ukulele is in Toronto, one is in Kitchener, one is in Stratford, Ontario and one is in Berkhamsted, England.

Written on the other side: 

April 11 2020

Zoom-met with my pandemically inspired trans-Atlantic ukulele club.

We played DON’T FENCE ME IN.

Say no more.


Postcard 20

Image description: Three women. Two poke their head out of bins. One stands between holding a lid above each head

Written on the other side:

April 12 2020


LC, MH and KL Zoom-read another Beckett play.

I continued in my role as ‘audience’.

Beckett wrote “The tears of the world are a constant quality. For each one that begins to weep, somewhere else another stops. The same is true of the laugh”.


Postcard 21

Image description:

A woman stands with a Canada Goose on her head

Written on the other side:

April 14 2020

Stood on my balcony.

Geese honked.

It occurred to me – I am not a bird.


Postcard 22

Image description:

Twelve mouths with growing facial hair

Written on the other side:

April 17 2020

More trends in pandemic conversation:

“I could get it from a vegetable.”

“What! You found yeast?!”

“Sorry, Eleanor is celebrating her 5th birthday as a woolly mammoth.”

“How are you on the inside?”

“It wasn’t a sneeze! It wasn’t!! ! I snort when I laugh!!!”

“Excuse me… I’ll just move to your left and grab that yogurt.”

“Sitting on your sister’s head is not quiet time!!”

“You’re muted!!”

Pick one to keep post pandemic.


Postcard 23

Image description:

A twelve-year-old girl hugs an apple tree

Written on the other side:

April 20 2020

Just thinking…

I grew up in the country. I was literally a tree hugger.

Now I live in the city.

LC, DD, JW and NS. The last four people I hugged.

Will we stop hugging people and just hug trees?

How do I feel about that?


Postcard 24

Image description:The sound of breathing

Written on the other side:

April 27 2020

Sometimes solitude.

Sometimes lonely.

Sometimes in the past.

Often in the present.

Almost never in the future.


Postcard 25

Image description:A blind woman puts her ear to a window

Written on the other side:

April 22 2020

It’s snowing.



Postcard 26

Image description: Two women, one blind and one sighted, walk through a park, holding both ends of a dog lead. Above the sighted woman’s head is a speech bubble with the words: “blah blah I blah blah and then she blah blah blah…” The blind woman sinks into mud, with a speech bubble that says:  “hello?”

Written on the other side:

April 28 2020

KL and I went for a gentle, pleasant stroll through Riverdale Park.

Hmm… wait! Rewrite:

KL and I went through Riverdale Park.


P.S. In friendship, a little mud must fall.

Postcard 27

Image description: Two houses – attached. In front of one is a single empty wine bottle

In the window of the other, two faces peer through the curtains.

Written on the other side:

April 29 2020

Maybe just put half of them in the recycling…