This time last year, we were in lockdown, the vaccination programme was just beginning but nobody truly knew where we were all going with this. Mask-wearing and social distancing were part of our lives, and many were facing a Christmas on their own. So how have we got through this last year? Endless box sets, with the most recent one being the latest from the Sex and the City gang, minus Samantha, which means it is not quite the same. But then, nothing is quite the same anymore.
I want to say we have come a long way since this time last year, but apart from being a year older, we are again facing a threat to our health, and there is a panic rush to get a booster jab as that is the best we can do to protect ourselves. The queues for the booster look like those for the first day of the post-Christma sales – do you remember those days when we queued outside our favourite store, elbows sharpened, racing for that much-longed-for item that was now heavily reduced – the joy when we nabbed it.
But once again, we are keeping our distance, back in our loungewear, working from home and tentatively asking our friends, ‘Have you had your booster? Hugs seem to be out, that ridiculous elbow bump is back, and everyone is cancelling parties and get-togethers. Parents are willing the government to keep the schools open until the end of the term to organise their Christmas. Meanwhile, a Super-Cold is going around that seems to have similar symptoms to the Omicron variant. So you have to do a lateral flow every day just in case it is Covid so that you can mutter apologies and assurances to anyone who will dare to meet you inside. If you sneeze in public, everyone steps away from you and if you cough, they do a runner.
As I write this, the NHS app has crashed, they have run out of lateral flow tests, and Boris looks like he will collapse. Bear in mind apart from Covid; he has a newborn baby, a 20-month-old toddler, a possibly hormonal wife, and colleagues who have their knives out for him. I would have grey bags under my eyes and hair sticking out everywhere.
A delivery slot with a supermarket is as rare as a hen’s teeth. And when you do get one, you then discover that the last tin of Quality Street has been sold, and there is no wrapping paper, so Bacofoil will have to do.
I have a regular ping from my phone with a message saying Amazon is eight stops away. Then the inevitable phone call as they can’t find us as they are a new, temporary driver. Parcels have been dropped in our garage for neighbours I have never heard of, and our own parcels have ended up on the wrong side of the river. (We live one side of the River Thames, and Sat Nav sometimes plots our house on the wrong side.)
So what is next…..
It has to be the friendships that will keep us going once again. Where would we be without our girlfriends, family, What’s App, Zoom and the vaccine? We have to keep on laughing though that first episode of And Just Like That (Sex & the City) had me balling my eyes out. The disappointment of my Tony’s Chocoloney Advent calendar on December 8th came a close second. When I opened the door marked 8, there was no chocolate (apparently it was missed in all calendars); however, on December 9th, there were two chocolates. Tony’s Chocoloney has also apologised to all their Advent Calendar holders. Life is full of peaks and lows, and how we deal with them is important. The moment my daughter finally got on the NHS website and booked her booster, having waited nearly 5 hours with endless web crashes, got us all dancing and whooping. But the biggest treasures in life are our friends. So if that present doesn’t get delivered in time, it does not matter as once again it is the thought that always counts more.
Grace and I have made many friends through A&G, and we hope that we have brought all of you some friendship and laughter. We will be thinking of you this Christmas and hope that you manage to see your loved ones and stay healthy and safe. See you in 2022 when it must get better for all of us.
Merry Christmas🎄🎅🎁, With much love A&G xx