This will not go out today. Today I am too engrossed by events taking place thousands of miles and almost another world away. Except that it is no longer another world, their presidential election is taking place in the US, an event with such profound importance, it should command the undivided attention of all peoples of all nations. At present it is much too close to commit to unalloyed joyfulness without the fear that things might still go titties to take-off position. Restraint is required.
Little else however is able to exercise knackered neurons right now and in any case a level of weariness remains after recent busy matters nearer home. Lockdown 1 came to a close on June 28th. 130 days ago, an intervening period of ups, downs and sideways. We had a holiday here at Higher Rixdale Farm buried in the countryside near Teignmouth.
After Lockdown 1 we also had our birthdays, health issues, another great-grandchild and life carried on but it was all strange and strained, unrelaxed and abnormal. Around my birthday in September we courageously ate out for the first time since early March, an occasion which, apart from an appalling meal, served to teach us how government measures are so inadequate and which reinforced the perception that it really is everyman for himself. We quickly disappeared back indoors and did not venture a meal out again until October 3rd in Devon. Here in fact.
This is the view from our table in a restaurant in Shaldon looking across the Teign estuary towards Teignmouth taken at that crepuscular time of day when seaside life underwater, unseen and unheard, takes over from the now sleepy seagulls. The time when, in my opinion, all harbours are at their most romantic.
And for our first day and our first holiday in fact for a couple of years it felt wonderful. Apart from our romantic perspective beyond the window we felt secure. The staff and their service were ostentatiously safe and doing all the right things. I can report that my steak was exceptionally well cooked as I like it.
An auspicious start to a relaxing two weeks away on a holiday deferred from March because of Lockdown 1 and just sneaked in before Lockdown 2. Of course beyond a Covid secure romantic table for two by the water much weirdness remained, people walking around each other in the street, strange coffee shop protocols, businesses each with their own interpretation of distancing rules and as usual far too much evidence of pure ignorance and confusion. Sometimes this could be humorous in a quirky way. Study this image. This is a seafront public convenience.
In the gents, according to the sign inside the gents, men and women must keep two metres apart! Similarly men must keep two metres away from women when using the ladies side. I excused this odd signage because in the gents you are warned that the attendant is female but then noticed that this attendant is male when cleaning the Ladies side. As you can see from the office window Martin was away so I could not confirm the logical reasoning behind these signs and the direction in which ‘Martin’ must have been transitioning.
Okay, I admit it. I get a little bored while waiting for my wife.
Matters in Trumpland seem to be coming to a conclusion. Most opinion seems to be positive for Biden. I remain restrained and it is fascinating that this is the prevailing attitude out there. So many people passionately hope that this nationalist, alt-right, racist, dystopian nightmare is about to end but everyone is afraid of the dejection that would result from a Trump win and are hedging their bets to save their feelings from the worst.
We are however, today, a little more willing to acknowledge that good news is on its way.