“Stepping Out” | Charlie’s Column, May 2021

by Charlie Ridgewell

As I write this, the sun is shining through my window. Now while this may seem like a minor detail, I like to think it’s a sign of what’s to come.

The outside world is, it seems to me, starting to change: for example, people are being vaccinated, and everything is starting to look a bit more hopeful. Given this, I’m sat pondering the question, “What am I most looking forward to when restrictions end?”

There are three main things:

First, I’m looking forward to being able to go to the shops. It may sound silly—it almost definitely is—but I’ve missed the novelty of seeing new games, vinyl, and films on display. And one thing’s for sure: I’m not going to miss waiting two metres away from the shelf that I want to look at while someone else is taking their time browsing.

Second: Seeing my carers face-to-face. Zoom has been a lifesaver over the last twelve months; but it just doesn’t compare to seeing “real” people—seeing them in person, that is. I’ve only been meeting one carer face-to-face since Christmas; though soon, this number is going back to three, which I’m sure is going to be brilliant!

Last of all, I can’t wait to meet-up with my friends. They are a fantastic bunch of people and not being able to see them has been tough. As soon as we can, though, I imagine we’ll book a table at a restaurant and, well, natter away for hours! I can’t wait.

But I must add this: there is a road ahead of us still. We still need to continue to keep our distance, be cautious and calm, and—perhaps most importantly—not get ahead of ourselves; for only then will a sense of normality begin to creep back into our lives.

Yet even so, we can certainly be hopeful about all the positive things to come.

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