Fingers Crossed

Hello, fellow reader!
Well, it’s that time of the month again and, touch wood, it looks as though we’re back on course to a post-Covid normality. 
Yes, as of 26th February, schools are opening on 8th March and hopefully online learning should be a thing of the past. Definitely a quieter start to the year, but hey-ho.
Spring is on the way and at the moment, it looks as though we’re on a cautious downward slope towards a more sociable Summer.
Winter hasn’t been too bad – we had snow! Well, saying that, we didn’t get quite as much as the rest of the county. Most of the time, it was just a sugar-dusting of snow. It really needed to get its act together. Beore Covid, snow was pretty cool (metaphorically as well as literally). It wasn’t just Storm Gertrude or something – 
it was the Beast from the East. Whenever I say that, I always think of a big brooding storm cloud wearing one of those furry Russian hats sweeping over the country.
Now, it’s not even like we have Pests from the West – they’re not even coordinated enough to give
the tabloids a catchy rhyme. Anyway, that aside, we got a decent flurry in which to spend a Sunday morning (again metaphorically as well as literally) chilling in the snow. The fact it was on a Sunday was actually good this time around. Usually, it wouldn’t be as fun because we wouldn’t miss a school day. However, given the situation, had it snowed heavily on a weekday, we’d have stayed at home anyway and school would’ve continued. I remember that tingle of excitement on a school night, peering outside into the gloom and watching the snow pelting down, constantly refreshing the school website in case a closure was announced. Will that be a thing of the past now? 
Future generations may never even know what a snow day is because everything will be already set up online. Wow.
Most of the time, though, the weather has been a tad warmer. It’s actually been quite pleasant during these recent afternoons. I’m transitioning from t-shirt, hoody and coat – to t-shirt and hoody.
To anyone who’s been reading these articles for over a year, firstly: thank you very much, and secondly: you might recall I started jogging sometime during Lockdown Part One. Well … 
that didn’t last very long … but I’ve started again. Four minutes into my first go, I was bright red and seeing stars, lying spreadeagled on the pavement – getting several concerned looks from drivers as they passed by. After a few goes, I wouldn’t exactly ask you to call me “Usain”, but I’m a little faster. Jogging with a friend helps enormously. He’s much faster than I am – he’s got one of these epic smartwatches that shouts at you if you’re going too slow or haven’t matched your target pace.
He then conveys this to a gasping, exhausted me – he’s become my personal trainer, to be honest.
The whole process is a great laugh, although I found out that by smiling, the curving upward of your mouth actually decreases the amount of oxygen you can get in. Dangerous stuff, but I recommend it.
I’m also visibly showing the effects of lockdown: I’m in need of a haircut. It’s starting to look like it belongs to a character from a Hercules film. It needs taming, it’s become like a sentient being on my head. I have to reason with it whenever I get the comb out. Most would call it “messy”, I’ve always used the term “flourishing”. I don’t even think “cutting” is the right word – “shearing” is probably more appropriate. I’m like a sheep, or one of those lamas with a big ta-dah! of curly hair.
Oh well. Maybe I can make it work.
Well, that’s all for this month, fellow reader. With any luck, there are brighter days ahead.
Stay safe, stay sane and stay happy!

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