February 2021

So, here we are.

The onset of spring.

We could now be on the final stretch for beating the virus, or at least controlling it. I have zero faith in the government but it’s all we have at the moment. The timetable looks fairly sensible apart from the insistence of filling all schools by 8th March. I get that it’s important to get kids back (for the economy at least. Those with responsible, or rather, normal, parents have enjoyed a period of positive adaptation that no other generation will experience) but is it really worth the risk? The science isn’t that supportive and the teachers are worried sick. The thing is, we have all invested a year of our lives and sacrificed those of loved ones in order to get to here. Is it all going to be gambled on an ideal? Because that’s exactly what cramming schools is: an ideal. What worries me most is that if, if things start to become worse again, then the public simply won’t do what is necessary. Most are at the end of their tether and prolonging the misery any further than is absolutely necessary will lead to disaster. There will be masses of people actively ignoring the rules. It will be unpoliceable because there will simply be too many.

Anyway, we’ll have to wait and see. The entire population are now sold on a number of dates (despite being told that it wouldn’t be based on dates but on data!) not least 21st June. That is firmly in everyone’s sights and if it’s not delivered then chaos will ensue. To be honest, I think chaos will ensue even if it is met. 21st June is likely to be carnage as regards celebrations and drinking.

On a positive note, I now have my two vaccination dates booked. I hate needles, with a passion, but have never looked forward to any medical procedure more than I am doing for this. I know that it might not be the complete answer and that many things can still go wrong but this seems almost like getting a hand onto solid ground when you’ve previously been drowning. Melodramatic? Maybe? But it’s been bad for even level-headed, well-adjusted people. I have mild anxiety but even that has become noticeable worse. God knows how vulnerable people have been coping. I guess, sadly, some haven’t. So much for positivity again. It’s all about balance.

But the sun is out, and there is a degree of warmth in it. The snowdrops and Crocuses are out and even a few early daffodils. It’s my favourite time of the year as it holds so much hope and joy and light. It’s time to sow seeds, clear the vegetable plot and maybe even drag out the lawnmower. Washing is appearing on lines and people are wandering about in tee-shirts and shorts. In fact today, the last day of February, it is positively spring-like outside. Warm, fresh, full of promise. We all knew that being locked down over winter would be hard but it’s only as the light and heat finally begin to reappear that it seems so obvious just how dark it has been over the last few months. Not only dark as in the absence of light (although, that’s been there as well, obviously) but dark in atmosphere; dark in mood; dark in outlook. Even knowing that things were looking pretty good as regards getting back to normal, it was still hard to imagine living how we used to. Laughter and smiles and, above all, a relaxation. I don’t think anyone has properly relaxed in over a year. Got drunk maybe, and there’s been plenty of that, but that is an illusion of relaxation. Relaxation is closing your eyes and still seeing the sun through your lids or feeling the warmth on your skin. Being able to breathe out slowly and not to worry about what the future might hold. Maybe I’m a little touched. Touched by the sun. But that’s okay. If all this is an illusion then let it hold for now. Enjoy it while we can.

And I need to hug someone.

But who knows? It might not be long before we can see family and friends through the medium of reality rather than a finger-print encrusted screen in a Zoom meeting. Without wanting to be too harsh, I’ve had enough of Zoom. Okay, in it’s defence, it’s probably kept a lot of people sane. The ability to meet through Zoom and work from home has certainly hammered a few nails in the coffin of sitting in an office from nine to five with sixty other people being what is considered normal working conditions. We all know now that none of that was ever necessary. A lot of us knew anyway. And who knows, it might even see the end of that ridiculous HS2 nonsense. Who the hell needs to get from Edinburgh to London in twenty minutes less? Bonkers. So maybe there’s hope for a brighter future and a happier, more sensible existence. I just hope we don’t forget too soon just what was on the line here. I know that many people under thirty have wondered what all the fuss was about as they never felt particularly threatened by the virus, but, for over half the population, there was a real and frightening prospect of not surviving this. That was real enough.

This is a shorter blog than usual. Mainly because it’s a shorter month (kidding) or maybe because I feel as though we are all in a state of limbo. Holding our breath. We think we’re going to be alright, all the signs are that we will be and the seasons have changed in a way that enables us to think that everything will get better soon.

Let’s hope that it all pans out like that.

In the meantime, here’s a picture of my Mary’s birthday moon. It was bright and beautiful for a special, bright and beautiful birthday. One  that we couldn’t celebrate in the way we had planned but, hopefully, we’ll be able to remedy that in the very near future.


So, a farewell from me for this month. I hope the content has been uplifting enough and not bogged down in doubt. I am a hopelessly pessimistic optimist. There’s nothing I can do about that.

In the meantime, why not take a look at my Website where you can read all sorts of nonsense and even order a book or two. Leave comments on what you find there (good or bad, they’re all useful and you can’t think or say anything I haven’t heard before).

See you all in March!