Something different today.
It’s a bit of a slog at the moment, good days, not so good days. Disappointments and even the odd celebration.
I’ve been sending you info on goals, and purpose, and finding your lane.
This is all good, but I read this incredible piece, and decided to share this with you today instead.
Dear lonely nation,
I miss you.
I miss smiling at you with my mouth, not just my eyes.
Holding the door for you without feeling like I’m committing a crime.
Being awkward around you because I’m British and shy rather than because I’m concerned that you’re going to infect me.
Listening to our favourite band together, where a thousand of us move with the tide of a rolling beat.
Small talk about the weather. When you tell me what ‘they’ve said it’s gonna be’ like today. Even if they’ve said it’s gonna rain. All day. The weather didn’t matter so much when we had each other’s homes.
Crossing over the border of your doorstep and feeling the cold, hard ground beneath my feet give way to warmth and carpet that hugs my toes.
Hearing hot drinks being made in the kitchen, the crescendo of bubbles drumming against the walls of the kettle, the CLICK that calms the bubbles down, the clink-a-tink of steel on ceramic as tea is stirred in my favourite mug.
Hanging out with you in more than one way. Sitting in coffee shops and restaurants that become our home for an hour or two. Being distracted from the conversation because ‘I thought that was our waiter’.
The nervous excitement when the lights go down before the film. Passing packets of chocolates down a sold-out row of velvet seats. Turning to you with mouth wide open because Something Awesome Just Happened Did You See That Tell Me You Saw That.
Lying on your sofa in every permutation possible: legs crossed, legs out, both legs on the arm of the sofa, one leg on the arm of the sofa, both legs on the sofa with body on the floor. Falling asleep in a heap of limbs. Wondering if anyone caught me snoring (they did).
Realising that what’s on the TV doesn’t matter, because for now I feel safe, and everything else is a bonus.
Laughing until I’m crying, because I don’t cry a lot and it’s good for those tears to get some air sometimes. Catching my breath when the fires of our laughter have finally gone out. The sigh of relief that we do at the same time, which says it was all worth it for this moment.
Oh, my lonely nation, I miss you.
Though we have learned to cope with less of each other, let us not forget each other.
Let us still walk, still talk, still text, still write letters, still deliver, still care.
And when this is all over, let us remember the things we missed, and do them all over again.
This was actually written by my nephew. I didn’t want to tell you that before you’d read it.
You can follow him and his brilliant writing here.