So on Sunday afternoon I accompanied Gail on her annual short walk around the neighbourhood to deliver local Christmas cards. I donned my Nordic pullover in an endeavour to inject some (Gail said much needed) festive cheer into the proceedings.
It worked! A few paces up the road we ran into our friend Yvonne's daughter Leah. She stopped and admired my attire. I take this as a high compliment 'cos Leah is these days a very chic young lady, home for Christmas from her Paris-based job. Leah looked puzzled when Gail expressed hope that she would get back to France OK in the New Year. We think she'll by now have heard the news about the new Covid variant and the borders closing.
Just around the corner, we handed a card to our elderly friend Martin, who was twiddling with the fairy lights in his front garden. Martin's wife has a lung condition and has been shielding all year, and this sociable pair will not be hosting their usual Hogmanay party. Neither will anyone else it seems, at least not legally.
A little further on, we felt a bit sad to pass the entrance to the house which used to belong to Max and Ros, a lovely couple who moved away to Ilkley in Yorkshire earlier in the year. By now it was 3:30 pm and getting dark. The new residents have done a fine job with their decorations (that's the house pictured above) but we miss Max and Ros. Gail had hoped we could visit them back in the summer. Maybe 2021...
Finally we saw a neighbour whom we won't name. He was loading up presents to deliver to his two beloved grandchildren who live about 150 miles away in Peebles. He shouldn't really be doing this according to our latest restrictions, but he assured Gail he was handing over the presents in his daughter's front garden, and would not enter their house.
It took well over an hour to complete this newsy half mile walk, and on returning home we reflected on the odd times in which we now live.