Will we make it to the all-time summer of love this year? It won’t be the same without Glastonbury, but the mood is definitely in the air. Boris and Carrie have managed to have theirs. Here’s one of my favourite jokes of the year (so far):-
My kids are all hoping they can get out and about and frolic in the sunshine with a ton of mates. I’m not sure though, because when I started coughing in the park the other day, everyone practically ran for cover, even though I’d merely inhaled a fly, so I can’t see a lot of snogging going on yet (in my age group anyway.) Although in other age groups – it might be a little different:-
Do you think “VARF” might become an actual word?
My daughter is deep into her final exams and really needs to get out soon, but even she was convinced she had Covid this morning because she couldn’t taste her coffee. I pointed out that she had a blocked nose, owing to a summer cold, so of course she couldn’t taste her coffee. Everyone seems to have forgotten that it doesn’t always have to be Covid and colds are still a thing, even in the summer.
It has of course been super exciting to be slowly coming out of lockdown, but, like last summer, it still feels as if it’s one step forward, two steps back. Especially for all those poor tourists who flew to Portugal last week for half term, only to find they had to spend most of their time and money working out how to get back before quarantine was introduced.
Our first meal inside a restaurant with friends was fabulous, but just a few days later, one of the staff tested positive and they had to shut down the restaurant owing to lack of staff:-
I’m quite surprised about how many people still seem to be testing positive. I’ve heard about a lot of 20-somethings who have it at the moment. Certainly the households that are most affected are the ones with school-aged children living at home. There seems to be a much better “policing” of the stay at home rule if you’ve been told to self isolate via Track and Trace. When I had to isolate for two weeks last summer, post France, I didn’t receive a single call or knock at the door to check I was at home. Now it seems you can get up to four calls a day and be asked random questions about your council tax bill or something to prove you’re indeed at home and not on the beach somewhere.
We’re all on tenterhooks as we wait to hear about whether we can fully open up in late June. This is so crucial for the hospitality and tourism industries and for so many people who are concerned for their livelihoods. Surely it has to happen, even if two weeks later? Even if other variants appear we are surely just going to have to learn to live with it and get on with our lives as best we can. Others, lucky enough to still have jobs are hoping to get away on holiday, see family abroad or head to a festival. I’m keeping everything crossed that my friend, who is getting married in July can still have ninety guests rather than thirty, it would be so sad for her to have to reduce the number of guests back down to a third of the size at the last minute.
It’s hardly surprising that I’m therefore struggling to get my son to go and find some work to pay for his hedonistic summer plans, should they all happen. He’s finished all his course work at uni and appears to now have five months off before heading back in October and is preparing to burst back out into the streets for the summer of love. This could be very expensive. I’ve made numerous suggestions as to where he should try and find some paid work – after all, the hospitality sector is struggling to find enough staff to fill all their requirements.
“Yup, that’s calm” he told me, “I can start next week, but probably not Monday because I’ll be hungover after the first Euro game on Sunday with Croatia.”
“OK, that sounds good. You need to send out your CV, or go and knock on some doors.”
“But actually I’ve got to go back to Manchester on Wednesday for a 21st birthday, so I probably should start the week after.”
“OK.” I say, rolling my eyes.
“But actually I’ve just realised that the next week isn’t really going to work either, because I’ll be staying in Manchester all week. I’ve got to sort out my room and move house.”
“Then the week after that I’ve got a WingJam Festival booked.”
“What’s a WingJam festival?”
“It’s basically where you eat Chicken wings all day long.”
“And then it’s my 21st the week after, so I definitely can’t work then and then I’ve got two festivals booked and a trip to the Lake District with dad. So basically I won’t be able to work until August, which is when I’m hoping to go on holiday, so I’m not sure I’ll be able to commit to a job, to be honest.”
“But how are you going to fund all this fun?” I asked him.
“What about doing odd jobs for you?”
Odd jobs for me has not gone well in the past, but I was prepared to give it a go. So I handed him a spade yesterday and asked him to start digging in the garden and and within minutes he had torn his trainer right through to his foot (thankfully not including his foot) with the spade and now I have to buy him some new trainers. This is a classic example of how in most situations, it is easier and cheaper to do it myself.
“Sorry mum, I’ll think of something, but don’t forget none of us had a summer last year, it hasn’t been easy. We’re all excited to have a bit of fun together.”
He does have a point. I feel sorry for everyone. Money is of course an issue if you want to have fun and they are all finding the cost of pints in the pub astronomical – a combination of being used to sitting in a park drinking a can bought in the supermarket for the last 18 months and that pubs have had to put up their prices.
So I shall go off again to commune with nature (trying not to cough) in order to come up with some solutions. Maybe I can help him out if I can’t get away for a holiday with my kids this summer. I’ve failed to book something in the UK and now there seems to be nothing available anywhere. So if I spend August camping in the garden and buying boxes of wine from the supermarket, I’ll save a fortune.
Spotted these swans when I went to get my second vaccine. Seemingly not bothered that they’re on a verge of a busy intersection. They’re clearly doing a good job, given how many offspring they’re nurturing:-
Swans in Richmond park, again protecting their young:-
And a most unusual visitor – an African parrot in the park was spotted too:-