Just three days left until we can finally put behind us the nightmare that is 2020.
That said, 72 hours is still enough time for this annus horribilis to spring even more catastrophes . . . I wouldn’t be surprised if flying saucers started blitzing world capitals.
Mind you, given the grizzly crew in charge at Westminster, I for one would welcome our new alien overlords.
Usually at this time of year I go a bit Mystic Meg with predictions for the year ahead.
Twelve months ago I was all about how the Brexit shambles was going to see us queuing for hours at airports to start our summer holidays.
Yeah, summer holidays … remember those?
Little did anyone know that coronavirus was waiting in the wings to caw the legs from under every one of us.
Remember how it all started, with reports of a flu-like virus in China, then in Europe, then they were in lockdown and we were wondering how that would work, then suddenly so were we.
Don’t know about you, but I thought I’d be working from home for three weeks, which was going to be a bit of a change of pace.
Fast-forward to today where I’ve converted a spare room into an office and only see my colleagues through a screen.
Oh the grind of that first full lockdown where the highlight of your day was to go for a Sturgeon-sanctioned stomp.
I now know every castle and cemetery around Stonehaven that’s within walking distance of my hoose.
Little did anyone think that we would be seeing out 2020 back in as near full lockdown as to make little difference.
I’m already pining for the heady days of summer when for a while you could get a meal and a pint of an evening. Even the freedom of sitting outside with a beer when it was blowing a hoolie was a joy.
And you know what, that underlines just how far from normal life is just now. The fact you can get misty-eyed about restrictions that weren’t as restrictive as the restrictions we have now is bizarre.
Which is why it’s so important to remember that this isn’t normal. None of this constrained, diminished, denuded way of living is normal.
Had anyone said last Hogmanay this is how 2020 would be, it would have been dismissed as fantasy, yet here we are.
But not forever. It’s important we remember that.
Covid-19 will pass. Everything does.
And in years to come we will be watching nostalgia programmes on telly, nudging each other and saying “gosh, do you remember when we all had to wear masks and couldn’t go near anyone?”
And life will be as it should be. Maybe even a bit better.
I like to think we’ve become a bit more caring about each other, a bit more appreciative of what is important in our society – not least our NHS – a bit more appreciative of the freedoms we had.
Coming out of this, we can hopefully cherish more all the things we took for granted, large and small, and make life even better than it was before. Happy New Year, everyone.
Finding my feet again on the 10k fitness trail
Hope Santa was good to you all . . . but I think he’s trying to send me a subtle message.
Under my Christmas Tree on Friday was a pair of trail running shoes with a note saying “take a hint, chubster”.
Okay, I made that last bit up and the shoes weren’t actually from the North Pole, but from an online sale as a Christmas present to myself.
It was also a statement of intent. Last year I tackled my first ever 10k trail run, down in Peebles, along with chums.
I was drawn by the part of the route through a disused rail tunnel, but one tricked up with fancy light displays.
Now, 10k I can do. Up near-vertical hills and back down again, with a thick layer of mud, over rock and tree-root strewn trails was a trickier matter. I was sliding around like an eejit in my regular road shoes while others were gazelle-like because they had the right footwear.
Even the really cool tunnel was tricky because of the gravel and rocks underfoot.
So now that I am running again – got to work off the lockdown Pringles and Gold Bars – one of my goals is to redo that run, but without all the flailing and falling about.
So trail-running might even become a thing I do – if only to justify the cost. Not cheap these things.
And if I’m going to run trails, where better than here in the north-east with all our forests, hills and clifftop paths?
Now, does anyone know some good abandoned railway tunnels near here?
No cover-up after mask mistake
Oh my goodness . . . are our politicians at Holyrood getting a bit more mature in these plague times.
When Nicola Sturgeon was caught maskless at a funeral there was a fair bit of frothing from the usual trolls online. But that baying didn’t reach the opposition benches. When Nicola fessed up, said she was a tattie and really sorry, the collective murmur was “fair enough”.
Which was a welcome acceptance that anyone and everyone can make a mistake like that. We’ve all done it. I know have, more times than I care to admit.
It’s just a reminder that we all need to stay vigilant.