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No, that isn’t a boat parked there…

But you have to admit that it looks a lot like it! It’s the MS Deutschland and it was massive. In front of it, but out of shot, was the fair that’ll be at Harbourside for the next week, which isn’t my sort of thing but is a wonderful, wonderful reminder that for most people, Covid is well and truly over and normal service can resume.

Which leaves me wondering who defines ‘normal.’ I don’t know about you, but no one’s ever asked me for my opinion, any more than they ever do before they confidently declare that ‘everyone’ wants this, or is going mad for that, or must do the other if they aren’t to spend the rest of their lives missing out. And you know what? Having been evicted from the world because Covid is serious for me and vaccines don’t work, I’ve found one I like better.

I realised this on Thursday because my favourite cake and pasty stall at the farmers market isn’t going to be there in August because he’s doing fairs and festivals. So, I consulted Peter Cunningham’s friend Mr Google, who is my very good friend too and made a list of bakeries within walking distance that I haven’t tried for ages and decided that we’d go and explore.

And then my daughter and I accidentally went for a six-mile walk. I know, I know, you can’t see how anyone could do that accidentally, but we raided the bakery (steak and ale pasties and Dorset apple cake, which were yummy, thanks) and then decided to walk back around the park. Then we decided to go and see how flooded Keyhole Bridge was after all the heavy; and it was, right above pavement level because that whole area is below sea level, which is why it's my beloved park and hasn't been built on. Then we walked down onto Whitecliff just in case the harbour had changed while we weren’t there to supervise it and saw that monster ship so we wandered round to have a look at it. And we resisted eating my husband and son’s cakes and pasties and our own, which shows how good we were.

If you’d asked me if I’d be doing any of that back in 2019 I’d have laughed in your face, but now, at the risk of sounding smug, I love the quiet, home-based world I’ve built myself and it’s done me the world of good physically and mentally. I know exactly how lucky I am, but I also believe that you choose how you deal with a situation and I am choosing to be happy with what I’ve got rather than think about cinemas and restaurants and most shops and theatres.

I think this explains why I don’t believe in happy endings. Each day, icky as it sounds, is a new beginning and I can choose what I do with it. Not all of them go as well as I’d like them to, but I can choose what defines the day and I choose it to be something happy. Or at least I try to because this self-talk stuff is a work in progress, but it is progressing and I can now tell that nasty little voice in my head to shut up because it’s wrong. I can also wonder why I ever gave it head-room, but then I suspect that we all do…

So till we meet again, I hope you tell your little voice to shut up, remind yourself of all the good things you are, and work to improve the bits of yourself and your life that you don’t like. And stop and look at bees on flowers, because they are amazing and free.


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