Is Cake the New Normal?
Normality is a word that seems to be bandied around with ever greater frequency in this the strangest of times. I wonder what it actually means for most people. I understand that if you have been furloughed, worked from home or even been stretched out in striving to maintain our health and care services that a reversion to one's accustomed workload executed in the pre-pandemic way might be an understandable interpretation.
If, however, you are fully ensconced in retirement, how does conventional wisdom define normality? Freedom to do as you please, where you want, when you want perhaps.
Aung San Suu Kyi said "The only real prison is fear and the only real freedom is freedom from fear." Clearly she had far more than pandemics on her mind when she wrote that. Nevertheless as debate rages about the prospect of opening up and the easing of restrictions, we must all be asking ourselves whether we want to seize the opportunity to walk through an open door (mask free) or is fear going to hold us back?
Obviously time will record the outcome, and reticence will prove either justified or simply the first step in regaining confidence. In the meantime and like toddlers learning to walk, Mister E and I have been taking baby steps on that road back to the mode of living we used to enjoy so much.
Just where have those beginners' stages led us? I've, albeit somewhat apprehensively, returned to the gym and increasingly taken to enjoying meals out again. Regrettably and so long as the two go in tandem, all the hardwork on the treadmill is thrown away on the dinner plate. Over the course of the last month life feels as if it has become a flowing movement between savouring long lunches to satiating appetites at dinner. Today, after perusing an exhibition by local artists, Mister E and I almost reached the nadir of our regained freedom when we sat down for morning coffee but then fed our inclination and desires by adding scones to the order. Give me another month, however, and normality might mean no more than glugging water at the roadside, although whether that will be because I'm petrified of going anywhere indoors due to the proposed lack of restrictions or because I can't fit through the door frame as a result of making up for a lack of restaurant dining over the last year is anybody's guess.
The way this afternoon unfolded, however, it may well be the latter. The postman delivered a box of cake from the eldest and his fiancée: wedding cake samples for us to taste and rank in ascending order. Clearly in the interests of science and a successful event we had to partake; others were relying on us. Strangely memories of children's birthday parties came flooding back as my stomach began to stretch and a wave of butter cream nausea induced a sugar hit before I crashed back down to earth an hour or so later.
Tomorrow I am meeting for lunch again. This cannot be sustainable behaviour. Gluttony cannot possibly equate to normality which surely lies somewhere between the lettuce patch and the spring onions instead.