A party, our first one in 2020, completed our best weekend since lockdown.
With it came the long forgotten little stresses of getting smartened up, being on time and making conversation with new people. All felt good though.
There was just nine of us socially distant in the corners of a decked area in a beautiful secluded Leicestershire garden.
We all had our own cool bags, drinks, glasses, sanitisers and wipes but as the alcohol flowed a little of the socially distant discipline fell away.
With five ‘households’ meeting in one place we must have broken what’s left of the latest ‘social bubble’ lockdown rules. With protests allowed in every city these last few days, what we choose to do is up to us now as far as I’m concerned.
The rain threatened to dampen the gathering for the first hour or so but then the clouds vanished to leave us all happily baking in the searing sun of this long June evening.
It was great to be amongst others, eating, drinking and chatting with music playing. There were fewer people there – just the select ones I like to think – than there would have been pre-lockdown but it was all the better for it.
I struck up a conversation with someone I’ve seen on and off for years but never really properly talked to. He’s not long turned 60 and, apart from our age, we had lots in common including our political views and a love of football. It was good to have the first proper man chat in a while, fuelled by copious quantities of beer.
We even talked about his tattoos. There’s something about hitting that 60 milestone that makes me want to do something totally out of character and get myself inked! I’m so tempted.
This morning I woke up with the remnants of last night’s revelry and for the first time in months the distant hum of motorway traffic.
Non-essential shops can reopen today and with it lots more people will be returning to work.
Despite the downsides of more traffic, congestion and the noise and pollution that goes with it I’m glad that things are returning to normal at last.
I just hope to God that we’re really starting to see the back of Covid and the full return of all our freedoms including parties in the sun.