Is the new ‘fancy a pint?’ going to be, ‘fancy a pint and a three-course meal?’
I don’t think anyone can financially sustain that level of socialising, can they?
So, I, along with anyone else who has a scrap of garden in a tier 2 area with a desire to see someone outside their immediate family between now and 2034, have bought a fire pit.
I have images of lounging around outside, wearing Scottish isle knitwear, sipping something mulled I’ve made from scratch, chatting away with (up to 5) friends, their faces illuminated by the flames of my picture perfect fire in our beautifully tended autumnal garden.
The reality is, there’s nowhere in the garden we can really light it that won’t be so close to you that you’ll end up with third degree burns. And on top of that, when the children have finally decided to go to sleep, it’ll be so late that by the time it’s lit, it’ll be time to put it out again.
This has 999, there’s plumes of smoke coming from my neighbour’s house, written all over it.
On top of that, our youngest is still self-isolating, and has taken this time to fully embrace a heady mix of full on Christmas and the joys of being on summer holiday.
What this looks like in reality, is that every window is covered in festive drawings of Santa, fir trees and baubles. From the inside this has blocked out most of the light. From the outside, it looks like a collage of SOS notes hastily written and celeotaped up in the hope that someone will save whoever is being held here against their will.
As if that isn’t oppressive enough, Alexa is blasting out non-stop Noddy Holder, and it’s not even fucking December.
In contrast, he has insisted that we put up the gazebo and sun loungers in the garden, where he eats his lunch reclining in the drizzle and wind.
If I could have told my 2019 self that this would be our life a year on, I would have laughed into my second pint, which I’d just bought with ease at the bar from our local.
I know things will get easier, or more normal at some point. But I’ve kind of forgotten what that looks like.
I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to hug anyone in the future without asking, ‘are you OK with this?’ beforehand.
Or look at someone in the supermarket without a mask on and view them as more naked than if they were cruising the aisles with their nob out.
I don’t know whether our children will ever be able to erase the term ‘social distancing’ from their day-to-day conversations with their mates.
Or if we’ll be able to do a presentation at work without groaning when saying ‘next slide please.’
There is so much unpicking of the new social norms, that I don’t know where we start to be ‘normal’ again.
But for now, the new normal is going to be learning how to build a shit hot fire.
And trying not to set the gazebo alight in the process.
Deep breath peeps.
Let’s crack on with this week and all the adventures it holds.