2020 was The Year Without Wimbledon. This is The January Without The Australian Open. And, on top of the plague, we’ve now got floods. Sounds a bit Biblical, doesn’t it? I think it’s fair to say that this year has not got off to the best of starts. The Northwich/Warrington/Lymm area seems to have borne the brunt of the floods, although other areas have been affected too, and it’s very sad to see the pictures of the chaos caused. Twelve cars were submerged just a few miles down the road from here, and people in parts of Didsbury and Northenden were evacuated.
It’s never the best time of year anyway, and what normally gets me through it is the Australian Open … but that’s been delayed by three weeks, and the build-up has turned into utter chaos. There are now reports that the Olympics could be cancelled, and it can’t be a coincidence that these are emerging just after all the chaos over the Aussie Open kicked off. Tennis Australia put a huge amount of effort into making the arrangements, but I don’t think anyone anticipated that people who’d tested negative 72 hours before flying would then test positive after arriving. Everyone who was on a flight with those affected, and three different flights were involved, is now confined to their hotel rooms, rather than, as originally planned, being able to go out to practise for five hours a day. And some of the rooms have got mice in them. And there are all sorts of rows going on over social media, with everyone and their dog shoving their oar in. What a nightmare.
Also, I just panicked when I saw that Coronation Street had had to pause filming for a fortnight as scripts need to be adjusted due to the latest lockdown, but, phew, it’s not going to affect the number of episodes shown.
Meanwhile, we’re pretty much confined to barracks, but we are allowed out to exercise, and I’m very grateful for having Heaton Park within walking distance – and for the fact that I’ve discovered that a café which I pass on my way there does excellent scones. I know – no wonder I’m so fat 😦 . The park’s like the social hub of the community – it’s a bit like the days when the upper classes would go riding out in Hyde Park to see and be seen! Walk round the park for long enough, and you’ll see all sorts of people you know.
The daffodil shoots in the park are coming through now, though … although they aren’t growing as fast as my hair (which is also greying … meaning that I’m going to have to start using that awful spray-on hair dye as well). I’m looking forward to seeing the spring flowers. We’ve still got flowers. And United are top of the league! And we’ve still got each other. It’s sad that some people seem to use social media primarily to post hatred – why hate people so much, just because they vote for a different political party to you – but most people use it to connect with relatives and friends, and hopefully that’ll get us through it. And, all being well, we will get the Australian Open in February! It always ends in tears. Well, nearly always. It first broke my heart in 1990, and, with a few exceptions, notably in 2009, it’s done the same most years ever since. But at least it’ll be something to focus on. And then the snowdrops and the daffodils will come …