Keeping Calm to 21 June

We’re getting there…But there is still a long way to go until 21 June. Now is the time to dig deep, to find your inner resolve and stay the course with some distractions, fine-tuned routines and judicious planning.

Preparation is key 

What does a hibernating animal do to prepare itself for spring? They actually find it incredibly exhausting and there’s no reason to think that we will be any different. Take things s-l-o-w-l-y. Have you thought about what day-to-day re-emerging actually means? I have recently read Stephen R Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and the take-away from it for me is making a weekly rather than daily schedule, concentrating on priorities. That sounds obvious but I find it all too easy to let my mind rest in the urgent bits of life rather than concentrating on what is important.

Capitalise on the skills you’ve acquired

I don’t know anyone who, as well as the bad times, hasn’t also experienced some kind of growth or maybe lightbulb moment in the last year. It would be a shame to allow your newfound skill or insight to fade into the background.

Counting blessings one by one

Birdsong, sunshine, good deeds, friendships, health, the ten cats that come to my office window and say hello every day. And, as the world opens up, playing tennis, having a pedicure, brainstorming with colleagues face to face. Later still, art galleries, cinema and …. International Travel. Savour it all.

Pinching myself

My grandfather – a keen traveller – used the annoying phrase that it is always better to travel than arrive. I have to admit there is some truth in this. Perhaps we can have our cake and eat it and enjoy the journeying and the arriving. I can hardly believe that festivals are going ahead this year but Latitude Festival tickets have been bought and the 2021 playlist is already part of my Spotify favourites. Where usually the music headliners are the biggest lures, this year what I am craving most is some intellectual awakening: bring on the poetry and comedy, the pop-up theatres and the Literary tent: I need a cultural fix. Other festivals that are going ahead include: Isle of Wight, Bestival, Wilderness and Parklife and The Big Feastival food bonanza.

Biding our time

In the meantime it is business as usual with evenings still dominated by boxsets: new delights include ZeroZeroZero (Italy, Mexico and New Orleans are the specular backdrops and Gabriel Byrne features). Your Honor (best thing on TV since The Queen’s Gambit – if your nerves allow) and Walter Presents, Channel 4’s edited collection of foreign-language drama. Many of us have the restaurant-at-home experience down to a T now, with Spring, Bocca di Lupo and Nonna Tonda firm favourites.

The lure of a new dress

How delicious will it be to go shopping for a new summer dress? I cannot wait to go back to my favourite boutiques. The clothes hung by colour or designer, the delight of trying things on, even handing your debit card over and waiting patiently for the clothes to be wrapped in tissue paper before carrying it home in a beautiful bag. The Cross, Colleen & Clare, The Jacksons, J W Beeton, Aime … If you can’t wait until 12 April, there are some gem dresses this season already online; we love the new drop from Reformation.

How is your small talk looking?

This is genuinely keeping me awake at night wondering what I am going to talk about with friends when we are allowed to meet up. To such end I have been sampling a huge range of magazines for things to inspire and teach (WH Smith is an essential shop apparently and has an encyclopaedic range). Recent hits have included Decanter, New York Times weekend, Philosophy Now, Prospect and of course trusted Conde Nast Traveller.

Finally

Don’t forget to book a babysitter/dog sitter. Demand will be huge.

— Annie Reid
10th March 2021