Glorious glorious weather for the first days of this week, though apparently on Friday it’s all change. We are now allowed to meet outside in groups of two households or up to eight people. When I was out and about today I’d say no one needed to be told twice.
However, thanks the marvel of Zoom, this evening I was chatting with people in Berlin, Vancouver and Berkeley, California, and was reminded that some people are heading into a stronger lockdown as we start thinking we’re free. It could all start up again. So I am not counting on being able to do anything yet.
A year on we know the ropes. What was strange last year is now familiar. It’s also different. In those heady days of the first lockdown we did not understand it would last so long. Like now, spring sprung and held us in a blossomed embrace. People rediscovered the joys of cycling as the streets emptied of cars. It was in some ways an adventure. If we were going to live a curtailed existence for a limited period of time we were going to find ways to enjoy it.
My personal therapies were walking, cycling and doing jigsaws. I became fascinated by the open spaces, the city streets usually full of people, now silent, shops shuttered. My stress showed itself in an inability to read, something I usually do voraciously. We talked a great deal about how this would change us fundamentally as we realised we could live quieter, happier, simpler lives. Then the shops reopened and people queued around the block for cheap clothes.
Time will tell what changes the pandemic has wrought to our societies. Individually I am guessing the changes will be subtle and observers may well not notice any differences. But I do think something has shifted for me in these twelve months. I am not quite sure what it is, but I am hoping it is positive.
And I still like jigsaws.
Stay safe. Keep well. Put the pieces together to make a picture.