Now For The Hard Part

It’s twelvety-seven weeks since lockdown started, and over the last few weeks it’s felt like I’ve run out of words. Whilst these months of isolation have been far from easy, they have at least been simple. Stay home; don’t go near anyone; try to at least wear some underwear during Zoom calls. But as we ease out of lockdown, the long slog back to normality has become ever more apparent.

Like America, we’re realising a global catastrophe is not the best time to have a morally bankrupt leader in a dysfunctional relationship with the truth. But unlike the US, where people can solve the problem in four months’ time, it’s hard to imagine what Britain will look like after the remaining four years of this Government.

So where are we? Well, by the weekend the vast majority of shops, restaurants and pubs will be allowed to reopen. Providing they adhere to the strict social distancing regulations, that is. The same goes for offices, although like many people working from home, it’ll be months before I’m compelled to go back. And in many cases, two households can now act as one. On a personal level, this means I now get to spend time at Jane’s house. My gain is her loss.

As the UK flounders around the top of the worst affected countries, even the Government’s most outwardly ardent supporters no longer trust it. We’re told to rely on ‘Good Britsh Common Sense’ (none of that foreign rubbish), but there are 65 million different versions of Britsh Common Sense in this country. As Bournemouth beach filled up with thousands of sunseekers last week, the council declared a major incident. The city of Leicester is now forced to extend its lockdown based on infection data two weeks overdue. As well as a failure of competence, even more crucially, we’ve seen a failure of leadership. We have a Government whose main claim to fame is the ability to come up with three-word slogans. The country’s being run by a third-rate PR Agency.

You probably wish I’d shut up for another month now.

In an attempt to start the return to normality, I decided to go up to central London for the first time since this all started. I live right by the station, so can leave my house and be on the South Bank in under an hour. Masks are now compulsory on public transport. I’d expected things to be much busier now, but of course, there are none of the tourists that would normally pack this part of London. Even after everything that’s happened, it’s still a strange experience.

A person who is tired of London is not necessarily tired of life; it might be that he just can’t find a parking place.

– Paul Theroux

All photos Nikon F100 / Ilford Delta 100 / Developed in Bellini Foto Eco Film Developer

Waterloo Station looking uncharacteristically quiet

I’m seeing lots of good mask etiquette

The London Eye still has no reopening date. Disappointing for those who want to pay for a panoramic full HD view of London, and then watch it through a six-inch phone screen.

The Houses Of Parliament. The only time I’ve seen Westminster Bridge this empty was during the Rage pandemic of 2002.

Winston & Abe, still looking on from Parliament Square

Normally these steps opposite the National Gallery would be packed with people chatting and eating

And you’ll never see Covent Garden looking this empty during waking hours

Not much movement on the Thames

Hand sanitisers! On the streets!

7 comments on “Now For The Hard Part

  1. Gerald,
    You said “You probably wish I’d shut up for another month now.” Not at all! I can’t tell you how rewarding it is to know that someone shares our view of the pea-brained idiot currently pretending to be PM.

    Johnson – and his extraordinarily repulsive band of Brexit-minded sycophants – are a greater danger to this country than the virus (and that’s not to underplay the danger from the virus, of course).

    Were Henry II around today, one might easily imagine him saying “Who will rid me of this incompetent buffoon?”. I just hope that the electorate wake up at the next election, to try to salvage what might remain of the country. 🙁

  2. I’m glad to see a post from you. Great photos from London. I was a bit surprised to see a statue of Winston Churchill. I thought the protestors had pulled them all down or painted them over. Maybe that’s just what it looks like in the news. Which I try to avoid these days.
    More photos and posts, please!

    1. I don’t think there was ever a credible threat to the Churchill statue. It appears to be a rumour put round by some extremist far-right groups, who then turned up to ‘protect the statue’ by attacking the police, who were also there to protect the statue! What are we doing to ourselves?!

  3. Here’s hoping we’re smart enough to solve our problem in four months’ time. I’m underwhelmed by our national intelligence right now.

    In Indianapolis, the mayor just made masks compulsory in public places, except outdoors where proper physical distancing is possible. I wish the governor would follow suit statewide.

    1. Although I have my political preferences, what’s happening in both the UK and US is not about left/right to me. It’s just about having someone in charge who’s a decent human being.

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