This week is really beginning to feel like a new normal and I am definitely less panicked and positively buoyant than I ever was about being out and about in public.

It is very worrying that the infection rate is rising, local lockdowns are on the increase, the rule of 6 is being instigated and the R-rate looks like it is tipping over 1.  You only have to look at the graphs on the TV to see how bad it might become.

There was the grand opening of the office on Monday and, I have to admit, it is actually lovely being with proper real people.  We are all still being socially distanced and they absolutely made my week by advising me I had been allocated a parking space.  Happy days!  Anyone who has ever worked in an office knows that the keeper of the car park wields the power and not the CEO!

My mum & dad are still doing well but dad has many many medical appointments from his recent scare and the other regular checkups you seem to have at the tender age of 75.  It’s a good job my mum keeps the diary to keep everything running smoothly or else it’d be carnage.

I was very brave this week as when they were complaining about all the time it was taking and they had an appointment on most days, I pointed out that other than taking the bins out, they had F-all else to do!  Oh, how we laughed, and at least it snapped them out of their momentary down blip.

We know that my 50th is the gift that just keeps on giving and giving and going on and on and on!  My March overnight trip to the 2 Michelin starred Restaurant Sat Baines in Nottingham was rearranged for this weekend and, even up to the night before, I wasn’t 100% convinced we’d be allowed to go but we were – HOORAH!

OMG, the food was out of this world and it was just my sort of experience as I didn’t have to make any decisions other than if I wanted an additional cheese course.  We went for the 10 course tasting menu and I had the matching wine flight but Dave had a bottle of red wine instead.  It was very strange with all the staff being in black masks that looked like they were super reinforced.  They certainly sounded as if there were talking through concrete but my understanding increased the more wine we tried.

There is quite obviously a demand for more functional PPE as the chefs coming into the restaurant to serve a couple of courses had what can only be described as old-fashioned clear goldfish bowls on their heads.  I was absolutely mesmerised but it certainly made it easier to lip-read what they were talking about.  I suggested Dave got one for going into Manchester on the tram as his glasses would be less likely to steam up but he’s having none of it.

I had lost 2.5 pounds this week but I’ve got absolutely no chance of keeping this off this week after all that bread and scrumptious French toast for breakfast.

Being so close, it gave us the chance to meet up with my niece as she is at the University of Nottingham.  Covid-planning was in force so we didn’t actually figure out exactly what we were doing until the day before when we were sure of the rules of the day and the weather.

We had a simple socially distanced picnic on the campus in a quiet park lapping up the glorious sunshine.  It was good fun and I just wished I’d not given my unused she-wee to charity as there were no toilets open at all.

I’m not going to go into too much detail here as I can’t bear the mortification but I did the thing that I used to dread as a child – I had to go for an emergency pee in the bush.  At least this wasn’t in a layby on the way to Wales but if you think of unglamorous Tai Chi with my maxi dress tucked into my bra and my legs akimbo, I think you’ll get the picture.  I was very relived when it was all over and I’d dried off, I can tell you!

I was absolutely exhausted by the total weekend and, looking back, I can’t believe that I used to do this ALL the time pre lockdown!  That’s going out and about and not peeing in a bush, you understand!

My list:  Just lots of The Crown and not much else.  I am definitely watching too much TV and as the nights are getting darker, I think this will only increase.

My lowlight:  Another of my friends lost her mum this week and it’s not been that long since she lost her dad.  It is so sad and makes me panic a lot as I just don’t want to think about it.  I know we are in our new normal but there is still sadness everywhere and you don’t have to look too hard for it.

My highlight: It was one of my best friend’s 60th birthdays this week.  Friday has been booked off for months and it was one of the dates mentioned in my recent interview to make sure it was on the “non negotiable” list.  This pandemic has certainly made planning events stupidly difficult but thank goodness we have the amazing invention called the internet and the trusty Post Office!

By the Tuesday, we had agreed that the 3 of us would do a Zoom and postpone the garden party/boozie long lunch until everything had calmed down.  With this Plan C now agreed, within 24 hours, beer, cake, presents, cards, confetti and a quiz was arranged.  It was such good fun and oh, how we laughed all afternoon.  Just magical!

Week 25 was the closest to normal I’ve had for months.  It’s amazing just how good it feels and I hope we don’t go backwards into another lockdown as it will make me very sad to lose even more of the freedom that seems to be diminishing by the day.


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