One of my favourite pieces of music, ‘The last big weekend of the summer’, by Glasgow band, Arab Strap, is buzzing around my head.
It is one of those songs that must be difficult to fully appreciate if you don’t come from Glasgow, like Billy Connolly’s jokes.
Today feels a little like that.
We’ve had the Lockdown, we have had VE day, we have had the media congealed with coverage of Covid (not intended to alliterate – just came out that way).
The weather has changed; yesterday we were basking in too-hot sun, today, the wind and clouds have gathered.
I hear cars driving past my house, more than at any time in the past month and a half; the drivers sensing that we are coming to the end of something, the start or perhaps return to another.
Individuals will visit the supermarket when they have nothing better to do, they will visit Primark, Lakeland and Laura Ashley, the benign gap-fillers of retail-therapy and going about will return.
It hasn’t been announced yet, although the sense of anticipation is palpable.
The pressure on those decision makers must be huge – whether the Oxford-tie frontmen or the apparatchiks who pull the strings, the stakes are high.
Open the economy and watch a return of the virus or wait a while longer.
Funny how it seemed easier to resist global opinion two months ago, ‘We, English, know better than, the Italians, Germans, Finns… What do they know? We have the Queen, Buckingham Palace, Number 10, Big Ben and many other famous tourist attractions, we English are exceptional! Remember the Alamo; Oh, that wasn’t us…’
Kind of crude to make a joke out of the situation but witnessing the pseudo-VE pride in our ability to beat the Germans 75 years ago is hollow today; we stand alone; back then we were amongst a group of allies, committed with one goal. Today we have Mr T buzzing in his maniacal torpor, we are fragmented from Europe and, India, Australia and Canada are sorting themselves out, thank you very much.
Sure, the summer is yet to come and, the past few days of sunshine have been an anomaly.
The facemasks, proliferation of alcohol gel or men striding-out on their early morning dog-walks with torn rubber gloves will continue.
We will roll-on.
Recently I have become fascinated with the blossom, with the flap and glide of woodpigeons, the weeds on my lawn; I have slowed-down to the extent that I have gained a new understanding (I feel, anyway) of nature or the passage of time, of the moments when I am alone.
The past six weeks, equivalent to the summer holidays when we were children have been transformative.
They have opened insights into us and others; they have brought some together, others torn apart.
Not often do we experience collective transformation.
Kind of special.
Like heading down to The Arches or messing about on Glasgow Green. The last big weekend of the Lockdown.
*For anyone interested, I have just been informed by Annie that it is not the last, but, The First Big Weekend of the Summer. (Confirmed by Google).
Funny how you carry one idea around in your head for it to be turned upside down.
I am not going to change the title, as I don’t think it would work the other way around and, I don’t intend to change the song in my head.