Well as you know, we are now supposedly free down here in England. Free from what, exactly, I don’t know.
Certainly not the coronavirus, as cases have risen yet again. And not free from the NHS app, which has pinged even more people this week, Gordon included.
OK so we are free from masks, but as you know I have no intention of abandoning my mask.
With people I know, I might be a bit less strict because they would hopefully tell me if they had been pinged or have been in crowded places, but if truth be told, I’m more concerned than ever.
I think it’s because the buck now stops with us and we have to rely on people being careful and honest.
I was out at a big meeting in London this week. It was totally mask-free and I must say, it was a bit scary.
Maybe it’s because I was concerned for Gordon’s safety when I got home, or maybe it’s just because social distancing and masks have become a bit of a comfort blanket.
For the first 10 minutes or so I was angling my chair away from people, but after a few hours I eventually relaxed and felt back to normal. But at what cost?
When I got home and went to bed I started worrying – what if any of them had the virus?
I slept in the spare bedroom and stayed upstairs working on my computer all morning the next day, not even coming down for breakfast. Eventually I did a lateral flow test which was, of course, negative, but I still felt anxious.
Somehow it felt like a big step to go out to this meeting, but the worry afterwards was like a big step backwards. I started to regret that I had gone.
I was invited to the Royal Albert Hall the following night to a concert, but it all seemed too risky so I turned it down.
How long is life going to feel like this? Was I selfish to get back to normal and go out? Was I being rash?
By putting the ball firmly in our court, the government have given us this so-called freedom, but is it all it’s cracked up to be? Scotland, be careful what you wish for.
I certainly know it’s us, the public, who are going to get the blame if we end up back in lockdown.
So back in the safety of my own home I’ve been doing all my work on Zoom and then having lots of time for some more DIY. I’m not quite at Stacey Solomon’s level yet – this week she put panelling up on a wall and painted it, despite being about six months pregnant.
My task was much simpler. I decided to paint a mahogany coffee table because I’ve really gone off any dark-brown furniture in my house. Some of you might still have lots of it and it might all match in nicely, but in our house, it just looks dated.
The table in question has 12 drawers in it. Some of you might have the same one. It was a very popular design for Laura Ashley when we bought it back in the ’90s.
So, what colour do you paint a coffee table to update it? I decided on a colour called Ink, which is nearly black but hopefully gives the table a contemporary feel and a new lease of life.
I was quite proud of how smart it turned out, and although I still have to do another coat, I can see that it’s not going to be one of my DIY disasters like the time I decided to paint the dining room walls on Christmas Eve and they were barely dry as we served Christmas dinner, and the curtains still have splashes on them because I cut corners and didn’t remove them.
I’ve definitely become more careful and professional since then. I carefully painted each of the 12 drawers one at a time rather than just leaving them in place and painting them in a job lot as I once would have done.
I have realised the hard way that if a job is worth doing, it’s worth taking your time and doing it properly.
Maybe we will be wishing we had used that phrase with regards to getting our freedom back.
Let’s hope we are all sensible enough not to rush.
Have a good week,