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Monday 5th April 2021

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Another fun family day as we went round to our friends' massive garden for a barbecue and to let the kids run wild. I think lockdown has been the hardest for my son, as it's difficult to explain to him why he couldn't see his friends and he loves being with other people. So this was awesome for him. He got to hang around with his best friend and as everything was enclosed we didn’t even have to keep an eye on them. I was still a bit nervous when he was out of sight, but a few years ago I couldn’t even imagine a point where I’d be happy not having eyes on the kids and couldn’t foresee a time ever when I’d let them be on their own, even if they were 28 years old. So this is progress.
It didn’t quite feel like the end of lockdown, but it’s so long since we’ve done something like this that it did feel like a big step forwards
The adults sat round a big portable fire pit keeping warm in the snow. But even the weather had to admit it was a new dawn and the skies cleared and the sun shone and I ended up with a pink face from sitting in direct sunlight. We ate big steaks and talked rubbish and though it never quite felt like the before times, it didn’t feel like the imprisoned times.
And my tiredness had lifted. I felt well enough to join in with the play and I didn't crash and burn afterwards. I don't want to start thinking that everything is totally back to normal just yet, but signs are positive.
When it came time to go, my son was inconsolable. He wanted to stay and play forever and after 12 months  where there’s hardly been occasion to have this much fun, who can blame him? He is owed a lot of play time. He cuddled his pal goodbye and they gave each other a kiss and it was the sweetest thing ever. Why can’t we carry on with that? Why do we start to suppress our emotions and not let our friends know that leaving them is a sorrow? Three year olds are so emotionally honest and maybe life would be crazy if that carried on throughout our lives (and we’d have had to stop for Covid) but if that’s crazy, then I am not sure I want to be sane.

In an attempt to push things back to normality I also booked us in for lunch in the garden of a local restaurant next Monday. We have to have lunch at 3.30pm due to demand, but that’s not a bad thing. I hope that as things relax everyone who has not had to scrape by over the last few months will be spending their money in bars, restaurants and (fingers crossed) theatres. I have some socially distanced RHLSTPs at the Clapham Grand planned for May, June and July. It’s a big enough venue that there’s still room for about 350 people and we’ll also be showing them online. I really hope you can support us (though of course the podcasts will go out for free too, for those of you who can’t).

There’s still a chance of another surge and another lockdown. The prospect is soul crushing, but then I think I thought that about lockdown two and we got through that, almost in one piece.

Also I’m taking part in Off Menu Redemption on Sunday. That’s got to be worth a look. Some of your ticket price goes to Fareshare and I am donating my fee to the charity too.  


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