New Normality?

Oh, how I miss my friends. This new normality, in which I haven’t seen my friends for months, except, a couple on Zoom! is beginning to toil. It’s all very well and good N saying ‘Make new friends’, but, really, at 41, it’s tough to do that. He’s got one of his oldest friends living in walking distance, he’s half an hour from where he grew up. My friends are mostly the Other Side Of London from us. The NCT girls are lovely, but I’ve not really clicked closely with any of them, and we don’t have the shared history of years of knowing each other.

I’ve been erratic on my secondhandness. LK is still clothed in secondhand for the most part: me, well. I’ve had a new pair of jeans (having lost 11lbs at the beginning of lockdown, I’m still 4lbs down on where I was, and a slightly different shape again, and the comfiest jeans are the pair I’ve only one pair in that size and style). I could do with some new knickers. I’ve bought some new trainers for running, and gone slightly mad and bought some new socks after a geriatric feetures sock slipped (because it’s shrunk) and I got a nasty blister on my first outing with the new trainers. I was doing fine until I went down a hill and the dratted thing popped. Fortunately, I was only about a third of a mile from home at that point, and had done the distance I wanted, so I just de-trainered and finished off in my socks. Secondhand bras have been mixed blessing – best bought singly rather than in a batch, I feel – I got vastly overcharged on postage for what was advertised as 9 M&S bras, but which turned out to be 4 M&S bras and 5 supermarket brands and one of those was really rather badly stained with fake tan. The seller on eBay is being most unhelpful (i.e. totally silent) about my request for a refund, so I’ll be raising it up the system.

And then I seem to be absurdly sensitive, inclined to anxiety and panic. I’m fed up with waking at about 5am worrying about nothing in particular. I limit my exposure to the news. I don’t go on Facebook at all. I have one group chat on Twitter, but don’t actually look at Twitter. I do follow Instagram. Pretty pictures mixed up with anti-racist motivation. It’s a good combination.

I run – I need it for releasing some of this adrenaline that I’m carrying about. Our lovely sports massage chap is open for business again. I go. He’s diligent, and good at cleaning. I have a shower before and afterwards – it’s five minutes’ walk from my front door, so that’s easy enough to do, and leaves me feeling about as safe as I can be.

I’m plotting a trip into London to see my friends. Mask on the train. Lots of hand sanitiser. Taking my bicycle so I can avoid the Underground. I see the same people day in day out, for a minute – Dave the crossing man (and N likes to bundle past whereas I like to pass the time of day), and whomever we hand LK to at nursery. That’s it. I like my own space, but, oh dear me, I have had Far Too Much of it now.

On the plus side, I’ve nearly finished a Clapotis, a Fugue, and I’m working on Shark Week too. Knitting is going nicely, in between mending nappies (I have been mending LK’s nappies for six months solid now. She’s just not ready for potty training, and I need these things to last just a little longer!).

And, on Sunday, I’m entered into the Farnham Pilgrim Half. Which I am very excited about. Less excited about my 11am start time, which is just difficult, and warm, but, heck. I get to run 13.1 miles on a route which I love, but which I’ve not run to death in the past six months. Which is glorious.