You are currently browsing the daily archive for August 18, 2021.

This month, August 2021, my far better half and I went up to London.

We made two trips, our first since March 12, 2020, 11 days before lockdown.

While there were not as many people milling around, there were enough to be reassuring.

A ground report follows.

Trains

We took a mainline commuter train to and from the capital.

We did not wear masks, although more than half of the passengers did.

Everyone seemed to be minding his own business, so no one had a go at us or the other maskless passengers.

Where we went

Our first journey covered the Embankment going to a private venue for a party. Going back, we returned via Fleet Street.

The eateries about which I had worried so much for 16 months are, in large part, still there, which amazes me with so many people working from home.

The only shuttered establishments I saw was a dry cleaners and a small Thai restaurant which had gone out of business sometime since 2020. Other than that, everything else was in operation.

Our second trip covered the Euston Road and the West End going to our final destination. Coming back, we went via Piccadilly Circus, through Soho, then down Tottenham Court Road and Grafton Street, returning to the Euston Road.

Once again, restaurants and cafés were open, which I found a surprising, yet welcome, sight.

Quite a few Britons were in the streets, milling around and shopping.

Venues

We went to private venues.

The first, along the Embankment, requested that we mask up in common areas, such as corridors and the conveniences.

No one had a mask on in the room where we attended a cocktail party.

We went to a second venue in central London for lunch. No masks were required anywhere, although those who wished to wear one could do so.

We did stop into a shop to get watch batteries replaced. As it was a small shop, customers were requested to cover their faces, which we did.

Conversation

Our friends were as relieved to be unmuzzled as were we.

The most common lockdown activities were gardening and frequent runs to the supermarket, if only to leave the house.

On the way back on the train last week from our second trip, the luncheon, a maskless thirty-something man sat across from us.

I made a deprecatory comment on a coronavirus article I had read in that day’s Evening Standard. The man picked up on it and the three of us shared our sceptical views on the ‘crisis’ for the rest of our journey.

When we alighted, he said that he purposely sat across from us because he prefers to be with maskless passengers.

Conclusion

While this is a short post, I wanted to let everyone know that London is up and running again.

It was great to be in the Big Smoke once more and see that life is returning to normal. We, too, feel normal now that we can resume our regular trips and social events.

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