Today marks 100 days of lockdown here in the UK. I have just written my latest column for Norfolk Online and in that I lament the loss of one of life’s greatest pleasures – one that we definitely all took for granted – and that is a cup of coffee with a friend. Whether spontaneous or planned, a cup of coffee – or tea, or wine, or water – with a friend is truly the thing that puts the world to rights. It resets the mind, and it balances the soul. It helps us make sense of our lives – even when our lives have been paused in the most extreme of ways – and that is the one thing I miss the most. That, and being able to hug my extended family and friends. Those two things would have made these last 100 days a little easier.
Certainly for me, lockdown has thrown up some interesting challenges of the kind that I hoped never to face. But it has also presented me with opportunity – to write more about the local food and drink scene that I love so much, to publish my long-awaited novel, and to change the rhythm of life to a calmer pace. By now, I would have already visited three or four countries this year with my role as owner of The Arabian Magazine. I would have flown across three continents, and lived out of a suitcase. Instead, I have been able to see the daily changes in nature, rather than a wave of ‘this is new’ when I turn off the A140 and head for home. And I have been able to spend more time with our cats – who are so settled and less restless as they know that we are ‘there’. The change in them has been tangible, and it is lovely to see.
Tomorrow, we will be into day 101. I have no idea what the future holds. Where my readjusted path will take me. But I do know that spending that magical time with friends, lingering over coffee as we recount the minutiae of everyday life while we build up to sharing the big news, will be top of my list of things to do once we can. And for that, I will be truly thankful. Stay safe.