It’s Week 43 and there’s no time for January blues as we’re back in the trenches with an all-out war on our hands. Just don’t burst that bubble!
• FEAR and fortitude. That’s what I’m mainly feeling this week. Fearful because the virus is playing this long game very well and is catching people out all over the place. Someone said they heard of someone who got it after meeting someone for a socially-distanced walk, and I know of plenty others who stuck to all rules and still went down. Someone else said they knew a GP who said that at this stage the virus is so contagious you could expect to get it from handling just about anything, anywhere. So yes, I’m feeling some fear. But I’m also sensing a lot of fortitude in the air: we’ve been at this point before (I know when numbers weren’t quite so high), and at least now we’re on the last lap, the troops have landed, the vaccine is in the country. So get into your bloody bunker and stay put until further notice. You know the drill.
• Seeing as this week’s letter is ‘F’, I should probably say that I’m also a bit fed up to be honest, childish and all as it sounds. I feel like lots of people clearly got out there and had a bit of a Christmas hooley, while I went out for single Sunday lunch (with lots of sanitiser on the side). And regardless, we’re now all back ‘in it together.’ It’s a bit like the Celtic Tiger all over again. I had none of the crazy highs but still felt lots of the pain. Cheers for that.
• I am also properly afraid that schools are going to stay shut for a spell. The memory of trying to WFH and entertain a smallie (who is, to be fair, quite reasonable and self-sufficient, at least a third of the time) is still very, very fresh in my memory. Like waking up in the night in a cold sweat, sort of fresh. Without sounding overly dramatic … I absolutely cannot, under any circumstances go through that torture again, and would contemplate resigning first. If I didn’t have a mortgage to pay.
• Anyway, hopefully it won’t come to that. In the meantime, I’m being every inch the cliché that you’d expect and doing a dry January. Well I’m starting with a dry seven days and I’ll see how that goes for starters. I’ll admit that I developed quite the taste for an early afternoon glass of Five Farms, an Irish cream liqueur made by Carbery milk suppliers, over Christmas. I mean it’s all about supporting local, and you could nearly convince yourself it was a protein drink. Just with a pretty serious kick. Of course my body is now very much objecting to the sparkling water and lemon substitute but I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before the headaches, sweats and general jumpiness pass. Right? Oh, I should mention that there’s a full opt-out clause if schools don’t open on the 11th as planned. That’s a given. Cue nervous laughing.
• I do think it’s really important for us all to keep busy right now, with the basics (please note that doesn’t include banana bread, or bread of any kind). This is not the time for too much thinking, list making or grand resolution making. This time last year, myself and a few others started a WhatsApp group called ‘2020: The Year is Now’ where we were going to track some particular goals over the 12 months and knock it out of the park. You can work out yourselves how that went for us. So let’s pause all those grandiose gestures for a while will we? Keep it simple. In fact don’t even buy the new diaries yet.
• I’m pretty basic so of course I’ve jumped on the ‘100 days of walking’ bandwagon since January 1st. It’s essentially 30 minutes a day, for 100 days. Half the country is doing it. What’s essential, though, is that you get those 30 minutes alone. I know we obviously can’t meet anyone, but I’m talking about taking time out from your bubble. Unless you want it to burst. Entirely. Fresh air really is the answer to nearly all ills. With the exception of Covid, unfortunately.
• One Lockdown positive is that we’ll all surely have our Christmas decorations down before the January 6th deadline (if not, you’re a complete lost cause). And who knows, a good number of us might even have taken the necessary time with the lights for once to prevent World War 3 when it comes to pulling them out next year. And don’t worry, it’s perfectly normal to find your house completely grim for a few days afterwards, and to be absolutely horrified by the layer of dust everything is coated in.
• Not to mind all the fuss about the bodice-ripping Bridgerton on Netflix. It’s no Pride and Prejudice and that’s for sure. And episodes a whole hour long? C’mon off it. I know I’ve nowhere to go but still. At least there’s ‘a bit of a stretch ... ‘