We are now, so the papers are telling us, in a race to save Christmas. It’s like some weird mutant version of The Grinch. And the coronavirus capital of the country is Kearsley. For anyone who may be reading this and doesn’t know Kearsley, it’s a perfectly inoffensive area on the Manchester/Salford side of Bolton, around five miles from chez moi. There is nothing unusual about it. I have no idea why it should have more cases than anywhere else. Maybe the rumours about a “super spreader” going round Bolton pubs are true. The Super Spreader and the Grinch.
And I’ve booked a ticket to pick a pumpkin before the start of play on the middle Saturday of the French Open. The French Open is not supposed to be in the autumn. It’s supposed to mark the start of summer. Does anyone actually know which month we’re in? The Italian Open’s being played, so it must be April. But the French Open starts next Sunday, so maybe it’s May. However, the football season’s just started, so doesn’t that mean it’s August? Or maybe it’s July – it was boiling hot on Monday and Tuesday. But then Tesco have put the mince pies and Christmas puddings out, so is it December? Then again, after going to Tesco, I went to Marks & Spencer’s, and they’d got a sign up saying “Happy Rosh Hashanah”, so maybe it’s September.
Marks & Spencer’s are right. It’s September. I knew that really, because the US Open’s just finished, and the schools have gone back. But so many of the things that mark the stages of the year have been lost that it’s enough to confuse anyone. There hasn’t been a decision on the Manchester Christmas Markets yet, but it’s going to take a miracle for them to go ahead. I see that London’s New Year fireworks have just been cancelled. I’ve bought my calendars for 2021, but I think I’ll be writing most things in them in pencil.
However, the sun is out, the sky is blue, the Italian Open tennis is on on the TV – and Rafa won his first match with a double breadstick 🙂 – and United are playing tomorrow. And I’ve almost got my Word Press record of the pandemic up to date – just two more weeks to tidy up. Maybe one day I’ll be a famous diarist like Samuel Pepys. Or maybe not, but at least I won’t have to read my record of events in my illegible handwriting!
I’m seeing and hearing quite a lot of nasty, bitter stuff, and I’m trying to remember that everyone’s fed up and frustrated, and not to be upset by it. But I’m also seeing some “keep smiling through” stuff, about not giving up on this year, about seeing the smiles behind the masks, about looking after each other, about trying to make the best of what we’ve got, and about pulling together. And that’s what we need. Well, that and a miracle (on 34th Street or otherwise).
If anyone’s read this, thank you. And, if you’re one of the people posting cheerful stuff on Word Press, Facebook, WhatsApp or anywhere else, a very, very big thank you. Keep smiling through …