An Evening Out

Last night we went out, I was too tired to post when I returned and, this morning, sat down to write a post at work, which I emailed to myself. It was quick, but not elegant and I have spent so much time editing I may as well not have written it. On the other hand, as there was no work to do, what else was I going to do? I could have cleaned the toilet or blogged. Not a difficult choice.

I’m struggling with the idea of getting out and about after 15 months of various lockdowns and wasn’t entirely comfortable about going. Despite my misgivings, it went well. It’s not so much that I’m afraid of catching Covid, as I’m now fully vaccinated, but after spending all that time isolating I don’t want to see the world blow it because people can’t think things through. After all that time, and all the alterations we have made to our lifestyle, it would be a shame if we spoil it now. There is still, in my mind, very little difference between a foreign holiday and a super-spreader event.

The main difference between Harvester now and Harvester fifteen months ago is that I am not allowed in one on my own. I don’t have Track and Trace loaded on my phone and even if I did, I don’t have the thing on it that allows you to use those pixelated square things you see around the place. It seems that unless you are tech savvy or in the company of young people you are no longer required. This is OK by me as I am resigned to being on life’s scrapheap, but it seems a little rough that a whole generation is written off just like that. On the bright side, it will enable me to save money.

Bee on Welsh Poppy

Bee on Spanish Poppy

The steak was dry, the garnish was grudging (a few peas, half a tomato and two mushrooms the size of my thumb nail) and the massive portion of chips was a clear attempt to disguise the paucity of the rest of the plateful. The free salad had to be served by a member of staff and the choice was limited, as was the portion size. A shy person would have been seriously short-changed on the salad. They were happy to offer bread rolls, in fact they were happy to offer two bread rolls – see my previous comment on disguising small portions.

They also had no choice of bottled water – it was just still water in a large bottle – no sparkling or small bottles. There was no horseradish sauce. There were no condiments on the table so no pepper or vinegar for me. Like so many of the economy measures we see, it’s a cost-saving exercise dressed up as a health precaution. They had, however, salted my chips without asking me. I don’t add salt to my food. I haven’t added salt for around 30 years. It took a bit of getting used to, but I don’t need it and I don’t see why it should be added without my permission.

Apart from that, it was OK, though I’m not going to be tempted back by the quality of the dining experience.

The actual socialising was more relaxing than I had expected. It was nice to see people and it was good to get out and to find that I could relax in a social setting despite my misgivings about mixing. Even so, I’m not planning on more mixing for a while. That’s the thing about lockdown, I wasn’t very sociable before lockdown so I’m not suddenly going to become a people person just  because the government tells me I can go out.

A lot of people put themselves at risk so that I could stay happy and healthy in lockdown, including members of the NHS (though not dentists, who have not been doing much apart from counting their money), emergency services, dustmen, bus drivers, postmen and, of course, Julia. I was lucky enough to be able to just treat it as one long holiday.

All that will be in vain if we start to act stupidly now.

Similarly, we have had cleaner air recently. If we all jump on a flight to Portugal it won’t be long before we are back to normal.

Hoverfly on Welsh Poppy

Hoverfly on Spanish Poppy

I’m with David Attenborough on this one – “The truth is: the natural world is changing. And we are totally dependent on that world. It provides our food, water and air. It is the most precious thing we have and we need to defend it.”

Covid has changed my life, and my way of thinking. Even now it is nearly over, the changes continue. And briefly, for just one post, it has made me serious and philosophical. I will try to be more light-hearted next time.

We had 24 poppies out yesterday morning – all gone when we got home. They are Spanish Poppies according to Clare Pooley, and when you look them up on the internet it seems quite obvious. I’d never heard of them until today – another gap in my knowledge. Mine are singles, rather than the pom-pom flowers on the RHS website. Thank you Clare.

Marmalade Hoverfly

Marmalade Hoverfly

30 thoughts on “An Evening Out

      1. Helen

        I haven’t got the app either but in this case the restaurant or whichever establishment you’ve entered is supposed to take your details. If they say you can’t go
        in without the app, it’s discrimination.

      2. Helen

        I meant if you wanted to go somewhere without a person who had the app.I don’t have it and I don’t know anyone else who does but we’ve never been refused entry.

      3. Helen

        Actually no, that’s the point I’m making. The app is only one way of giving the necessary details – eg when we were at Sutton Hoo a couple of weeks ago, we simply signed on a form, a bit like a visitors book by the front desk. So, basically, the app really isn’t necessary.

  1. LA

    I could talk about how the cleaner air apparently warmed the Earth’s temperature more. (I only read one article about that and didn’t fact check but you know, it’s in my head) or that as we continue to be global.citizens things won’t change, or dependence on devices, or goods manufactured in countries that really don’t follow rules, but those are while other things

  2. derrickjknight

    Excellent insect close-ups – and thanks to Clare. I always thought the poppies were Welsh. “Apart from that, it was OK” is taking generosity to extremes.

  3. jodierichelle

    Oh, I’m with you on the COVID thoughts. I am also fully vaccinated, but am hesitant to go eat in a restaurant. Not sure why – but I am. And when I go to the stores, I still wear a mask. It doesn’t bother me to do so, and if I can possibly prevent the spread with that small gesture, I am happy to do that.

    I am an introvert, and the last year has not been as hard on me as it has on some people. I AM happy to be seeing my family in more relaxed settings, for sure! I think it will take a bit of time for some of us to adjust to the new relaxed rules. And that’s ok. We’ve all been through a lot, and we get to adapt any way that feels right.

    1. quercuscommunity Post author

      I think that after a while it becomes a habit, and it seems harder to break than some other habits, probably because it could have uncomfortable consequences. After seeing people who are younger than me dying of Covid, I see no reason not to be careful until w have had the booster vaccine and flu shots. 🙂

  4. tootlepedal

    I hadn’t heard of Spanish poppies before. Thank you for enlarging my poppy knowledge.

    Your remarks on the current situation very much chime with my own thinking. The loss of the cleaner air will be hard to bear.

    1. quercuscommunity Post author

      Thanks should go to Clare. I’d never heard of them either. They are, in my experience, self-seeding, great at growing from cracks in paving and are very cheerful in the morning. For a man like me they are an almost perfect plant.


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