Sun, sand, and the water companies bleating about water shortages!
But this year it is different; the coronavirus has thwarted holidaying overseas leaving only the staycation as a viable option, proposed air bridges excepted.
To some it will seem like second best, and probably many of us will know more about Thailand or Nepal, than we know about our own country. I think generation jet set will find exploring our union of four great nations, a revelation.
Now is the time to visit Britain (or it will be when you can stay overnight). There is plenty to see and perhaps it might be worthwhile to go somewhere away from the madding crowd. There is a lot of coastline and many miles of footpaths and rights of way to explore, so no need to be anxious about social distancing when on holiday.
Personally, I am quite happy to stay at home, padding around in the back garden. This year it has been especially glorious, and Marion, my wife, has excelled herself with her green fingered ingenuity, as you can see.
Nature has blossomed this spring as it is not being deafened, dug up, or run over by human beings. While we have all been penned up, the flora and fauna are proliferating unimpeded by our thoughtlessness.
Here in the garden we have seen all manner of wildlife.
We have 2 bats living in our bat boxes, and one of them whizzed past my head the other day, when we were looking for Molly, our cat. They are especially keen on catching the insects buzzing above the pond and fly around the pond in incredibly tight circles, trying to catch a tasty snack mmmm!
Butterflies are having a good year so far, and we have seen several different kinds much earlier than usual. Best of all we have 3 resident hedgehogs. Bearing in mind they are in deep decline in terms of numbers, this is good news.
I know I am exceptionally lucky; I have a nice home and a nice garden. Many do not, which is why I can see why some have gone bomb happy after lockdown ended. It is not thinking of others, but it is understandable in some ways.
I have been reading in the garden, and with the libraries closed (Get them’ open KCC !), normally, Amazon, would have benefitted from my book shortfall, but instead, I have now tried other book sellers like Postscript and Wordery (other booksellers are available) and they’re just as good, but in different ways.
What I am looking forward to is our local bookshops reopening, like Michael’s, in Ramsgate (and all those in Margate). When they open after lockdown, support them; we need all our local bookshops and small businesses to reopen and thrive.
Not going out means you get time to think and I have been thinking a lot, while sitting in the garden.
I have been thinking about where we are all headed and what the pandemic has laid bare within our economy and society.
What do you think of the show so far?
Localism or local action has done well. Volunteering has done even better. But on the obverse side of the coin, our treatment of the old, in their care homes and the risks that the low paid have endured on our behalf, to keep things going, has exposed the inequities that fracture our cohesiveness as a nation.
The NHS has coped, a bit buckled, but unbowed, thanks to the dedication of its staff. Other big centralised bureaucracies have not done as well, and we need to address this problem and change track.
If we do not restore harmony and cohesiveness, we will find it difficult to adjust to the new normal and an unaligned Britain. Constantly controlling everything (or at the moment, perhaps not controlling), from the centre is not the way ahead.
I am not wanting to see the old normal reappear as it was not up to much, when you think about it.
Too many were disadvantaged and too few advantaged, but if we must take a leap into the unknown, let us aim to live in a cleaner, fairer and more balanced world and give communities the tools they need to thrive and prosper.