The social dynamics of social distancing

This morning brings the news that lockdown restrictions will be tightened in England following an alarming surge in cases of Covid-19. The aim of the new rules, which feature a ban on social gatherings of more than six people, is, according to Health Secretary Matt Hancock, to be ‘super simple’ to make it as easyContinue reading “The social dynamics of social distancing”

The end of summer

Today, in England, it’s the summer bank holiday, the last public holiday before Christmas. Although British Summer Time continues until the clocks go back an hour in October, for many people, this marks the end of the summer break and the point at which we start to turn our attention to the challenges of theContinue reading “The end of summer”

Hate crime in the age of coronavirus

This weekend, my family and I went to the zoo. My daughter’s at an age where she’s really starting to be interested in animals and it seemed like one of the lowest risk and least stressful attractions we could visit, given that, with the exception of two minutes at the ticket desk, the whole experienceContinue reading “Hate crime in the age of coronavirus”

A walk through town

Yesterday, I had to go to the bank. It was the first time I’d walked through the centre of Folkestone┬ásince the lockdown rules relaxed on Saturday, allowing pubs, restaurants and hairdressers (among others) to resume trading, and I was intrigued to see what I would find. At first glance, you could have been forgiven forContinue reading “A walk through town”

Venturing out and seeking solitude

A few days ago, a friend in Australia sent me a message: ‘Been to the beach lately? Worrying scenes on our televisions!’ He was referring to the major incident declared when around half a million people flocked to Bournemouth on the UK’s south coast last week on one of the hottest days of the yearContinue reading “Venturing out and seeking solitude”

Going our separate ways

The past few days have brought a greater sense of variety and divergence to life here on the UK’s south coast. With different lockdown rules now applying to different groups of people (for example, single adults are now at liberty to form a bubble with another household, while those deemed clinically vulnerable are still advisedContinue reading “Going our separate ways”

Life opening up again

The world has felt different these last few days. Walking out with my toddler along the cliffs near my house yesterday, a change was evident. The flags were back on the municipal golf course around the Martello tower. The tennis nets were up on the courts at the local sports facility and two games wereContinue reading “Life opening up again”

First outing with a face mask

A few days ago, I put on a face mask for the first time. Although much of the rest of the world has been wearing them for weeks (and much longer than that in the case of some nations), here in the UK the habit has been slow to catch on. The official advice hasContinue reading “First outing with a face mask”

Them and us

Yesterday marked the beginning of new measures in England (although not in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales) aimed at starting to open up society in the wake of the coronavirus lockdown. The new guidelines are set out in a 50-page document. Broadly, however, the main headlines have been the idea that those living in EnglandContinue reading “Them and us”

The point of no return

When I was growing up, I loved performing in shows. Musicals, comedies, revues and straight plays; angsty contemporary dramas in small rooms and massive extravaganzas. I put myself forward for them all (including Stephen Sondheim’s ‘Company’, from which the song featured above comes). I loved the buzz of the rehearsal room, the discipline of learningContinue reading “The point of no return”