At the farm shop this morning there was a chap panic-buying a large metal and plaster flamingo. It was the last one in stock and he looked very pleased with himself. I wondered if he had a few score more at home, hoarded in the attic. And then his long-suffering wife saying, when he arrived home: “Did you get the milk and chopped tomatoes?” And him replying with excitement: “No, but I managed to get another one of THESE, love...”
As I mentioned in my column this week, the government will be a fait accompli to the ending of lockdown. The glorious silence of two weeks ago is already a fading memory. Nobody at the farm shop this morning was buying “essentials”: instead garish lawn ornaments, flowers, chocolate cakes and, in my case, clotted cream for some strawberries. The road on which the shop is situated is as noisy at it was in pre-plague days. McDonalds is to re-open in a week or two, the government is discussing practicalities with the Premier League. It will not be long before the flights take off for Aya Napa. So let me be the first columnist to wallow in lockdown nostalgia. Yes, it’s ok for me having a house with a garden in the countryside and a couple of very good local shops a short drive away. But I can’t deny that I actually preferred life lived that way. And the thing that will have broken lockdown will not be government edict, but our lack of discipline, our impatience. More understandable if you are living in London, sure, but indiscipline and impatience nonetheless.