Yesterday was my turn to visit the office in person and, fearful of rush-hour public transport, I decided to walk it. This was no scenic jaunt, but a two-hour trek, taking in some of east London’s greatest eyesores – the Stalinist tower blocks of Stratford, the municipal horrors of Stepney Green, and Mile End in all its post-war finery. Not quite the daffodils of Ullswater, perhaps, but this was easily one of the most enjoyable walks of my life. After days cooped up indoors, even multistorey car parks take on a Wordsworthian hue.
三级成人视频The march of coronavirus is life-inhibiting in so many ways. It has reframed our collective outlook, transforming previously “small” things like a haircut, walk in the park or drink with friends into longed-for pleasures. The sheer pace of change has left me overwhelmingly grateful for lingering signs of routine; the reassuring sight of the bin men turning up on time, the quiet heroism of the tarmacers, shelf-stackers and street-sweepers going about their business as usual.
Unable to visit them in person, many of us are showing renewed appreciation for our loved ones – though perhaps not those couples now forming uneasy collegial relationships over the kitchen table三级成人视频. Overnight, normally feckless twentysomethings have morphed into paragons of civic duty. Friends who habitually screen their mother’s phone calls are now dutifully checking in each night, and, in a disturbing reversal of adolescence, begging older relatives not to go out.
三级成人视频Forbidden physical proximity, we find creative ways of showing affection. I won’t be making my usual trips home for Easter or Mothering Sunday, but we observed the latter early with a brief coffee at a safe distance last weekend, which took on a strangely ceremonial, almost festive quality. As I handed over my bottles of antibacterial hand gel, stashed away for elderly relatives, Mum reciprocated with a few rolls of lavatory paper and cartons of long-life milk. I predict tin-can stocking fillers if coronavirus isn’t over by Christmas.
How wonderful that we can still speak to our friends whenever we like. WhatsApp groups provide a constant source of lame, often tasteless gags to keep our spirits up. For some of us, having the pub off-limits is the greatest privation of all三级成人视频 but, undeterred, my friends are starting a new Saturday night ritual; enjoying cocktail hour “together” via Skype – or “Sex and the City in hazmat suits”, as my housemate put it.
At times of war, and this feels very much like one, we crave connections with the earth and nature. The Shire – the Hobbits’ rural idyll from The Lord of the Rings – was partly written in reaction to the “animal horror” of the Somme, which informed the landscapes of Tolkein’s Mordor. In the aftermath of the Second World War, sales of garden sheds soared, as returning servicemen sought a link with the soil and normality. As the weeks go by, I suspect the “man cave” – the spiritual descendant of the shed – will gain momentum. Allotments are heaving.
三级成人视频Perhaps when this temporary nightmare is over, we will be left with a lasting appreciation of the mundane. Home cooking is back, as is the great outdoors. And at rock bottom, what we have always understood in our heart of hearts – that nothing tops the pleasure of knowing that our loved ones are safe and happy.