This is the first day of Summer 2020. And already it feels good.
The strange pace and sameness, of these ‘Lockdown’ days has put us into a new relationship with passing time. We can register it, savour it, enjoy it. Life has become framed by small – and largely unchanging – routines. Without the usual imperatives and thick-clustering distractions many things have become clearer – not least our own characters.
It is hard to hide from yourself when you are self-isolating. Of course, ‘character’ is a multi-facetted and mutable thing. It has its different aspects, its varied moods and moments. As guides to my own shifting sense of self, I have been very glad to a have a complete set of Andrew Mockett’s ‘Mister Men’ wood-block prints readily to hand.
Early anxieties that my inner ‘Mr Lazy’ might try to take control have proved unfounded. There is simply too much to do – the (virtual) gallery, the real window-boxes, the on-line shopping for non-essential items. I have brushed past ‘Mr Muddle’ and tidied up my office – so that the desk-drawers are now miracles of regimented, colour-coded order, and the files are ranged newly alphabetized glory. I have confounded ‘Mr Greedy’ with a regimen based upon large quantities of leafy green vegetables and small portions of oily fish – oh, and frequent squares of dark chocolate.
I have indulged my ‘Mr Nosey’ instincts and got to know all my neighbours. (Luckily none of them seem to know ‘Mr Noisy’.) And, given the importance of laughter in boosting the immune system, I have embraced both ‘Mr Silly’ and ‘Mr Tickle’ - at least to the extent allowed by social distancing.
But, as one sun-filled day follows another, I have been delighted to discover that my closest affinity is with the estimable ‘Mr Happy’. And I’m sure he joins me in wishing you all a VERY HAPPY SUMMER TIME.