For the first time in more than three months I enjoyed what could almost pass as a normal weekend – almost.
Friday night was spent on a chum’s patio, along with another set of pals, happily munching fish suppers and quaffing cold beer and chatting until the small hours.
There was a lot of catching up to be done. After all, it was 12 weeks since we were all together in one place, talking face-to-face and not through a screen.
Sure, we were all two metres apart and any loo breaks involved swabbing down door handles with Dettol wipes, but it was just a chilled evening.
Most of the talk was around what we’d been doing. Eh, working from home and not going anywhere.
And it wasn’t lost on us that in normal times at that very moment we’d be yukking it up at the Midsummer Beer Happening in Stonehaven. Still, next year, eh?
Sunday was just as chilled around at the in-law’s with a sizzling barbecue turning out a conveyor belt of fine burgers, sausages and chicken.
Again, it felt about as close to a normal Sunday afternoon as there’s been since all this began.
We won’t have been the only ones to feel that way. After all, the beach at Stonehaven Harbour was chock full of folk on the warm Saturday afternoon. And, for the most part, people were staying in their own wee bubbles, steering clear of others.
But, and this cannot be stressed enough, we are not in normal times yet. Far from it.
I reckon this is the most perilous part of the path on the way back to how we used to live.
The bit of easing we felt over the weekend offered a huge temptation to just shrug and say “that’s that then… get the pubs open.”
But we can’t. Not yet.
Because for all we’re going in the right direction, Covid-19 is still out there waiting for us.
If we ease up too fast, it will rush back in and bite us badly. And then we are back to square one.
I want lockdown over and done with. I want to get back to work in my office, not at my dining table.
I want to be in the city centre with my pick of the shops, pubs, restaurants and galleries. I want to be in His Majesty’s at shows again.
But it has to be done right. I’m not looking at the lifting of restrictions in England with envy, but with hope they know what they are doing down there.
Haste will cost us dearly, something which the Scottish Government is acutely aware of. We should be thankful for that.
So, patience and caution need to be our watchwords so we can welcome normality sooner and for good.
Feeling sorry for Trump – honest!
I feel sorry for Donald Trump. No, seriously, I do.
Imagine telling the world a million people wanted to come to your rally, then you step on stage in a half-empty arena.
Surely, that must be the point at which being a blowhard braggart comes up against harsh reality.
That reality being either your support is down to a redneck base that give their assault rifles pet names or you were owned by teenagers snapping up all the tickets to make you look pathetic.
Given the White House has ruled out the latter, it must be the former.
And pathetic he did indeed look, no matter how much bluster and bull he brings to bear.
But I feel sorry for Trump for another reason. I cannot be the only person on the planet who looks at him and sees someone unwell.
In fact, in other circumstances you’d think he was a poor soul and wonder why the people around him aren’t seeing it and aren’t helping them. They should. They need to. Not just for Trump’s sake but for his country’s and, come to that, the world’s.
Cannot wait for end of 2020 as time flies
If you blinked you might have missed the fact that it was midsummer day on Sunday.
And next Wednesday is July 1 which will bring us to the halfway mark for the year.
I don’t know about you, but I have this weird feeling that lockdown has been forever but the year is hurtling past at a surprising speed.
To be honest, I’m not going to moan much about the swift passage of time.
The sooner 2020 is over and done with, the better.