The whole country has had enough of the National Lockdown. Desperate to be able to socialise with any group of family or friends, desperate to eat out, drink out and chill out without the hassle of having to pre-book a table and then doing the awkward elbow-bump or virtual hug we have got to know so well.
Each relaxing of the rules has been joyfully accepted by people as they doggedly huddled under umbrellas in a pub’s back courtyard, trying to shield their drink from the pouring rain, shivering in the unseasonably cold weather.
Weddings have been on, then off, then on again with the number of guests rising and falling. BBQ guest lists have been agonised over as to who would make the “list of six” including the hosts of course.
Self-catering accommodation prices have sky-rocketed as the nation has taken to the roads, so glad to just be looking at a different view that they are prepared to sit in a traffic-jam for hours.
The “non-essential” shops are bustling, especially with the run of beautiful weather we have longed for, so gardening furniture and plants have been experiencing great sales.
I find it encouraging that the nation is so keen on human interaction and has missed it so much but more than a little depressing that everyone is still determined to claim their corner of the local beach, to create traffic jams in order to get to the shops for just “stuff”, is prepared to sit outside on a pavement in dreadful weather just to have a drink.
Everyone wants back to “normal”. I would rather we went forward to a new normal- less shopping, less consumerism, less traffic. More reflection, more walks and exercise, more appreciation of the small things- the birds we can hear more of, the fresh early morning skies and the glorious sunsets.
I want the new normal to be wildlife not seen in this country for many years beginning to make a re-appearance. I want the nation to be more vocal regarding the environment but to also be pro-active in their shopping habits and to pick up litter they see on the streets.
I want fish swimming in the canals of Venice and a clear sky above the streets of Delhi. I want all those remarkable images the world shared in a time of great sadness to be seen as everyday.
I believe we can all learn more from doing less destruction and more creation. I want that to be “normal”.