So, an entire year has passed since our last completely normal weekend.
For me, that final weekend was marked with a surprise 30th for my brother David, it was in a pub, complete with a buffet and karaoke. I remember belting out some pretty horrendous renditions of some of my favourite songs, hugging people and watching my brother blow out the candles on his cake.
How bizarre does that sound now?
I’d never thought before about just how unhygienic karaoke actually is, for someone who works with microphones near enough every day, it is less than ideal to be a bit grossed out by them.
It was also the last time I went to a live gig, dancing (jumping around) to The Subways at Manchester Academy during their Young for Eternity 15th anniversary tour.
I went on a writing retreat, Scott ended up watching the Paddy’s Day parade and got the VERY detailed life story of a random stranger.
Ah the halcyon days of actually having plans for the weekend other than, well, walking (I can say at this point I’ve probably walked up every hill in the Rossendale Valley).
It goes without saying, I miss my friends, family, travel all the big things but over the past few weeks I’ve been thinking about the seemingly smaller, random, mundane, annoying, surprising things.
It was spurred by a moment driving to work when I found myself shouting: “indicate dick head” for the first time in an age and I thought “God I’ve missed that”, that’s right dear reader, I actually miss daily bouts of road rage.
I miss being annoyed by slow walking people, dawdling along, taking up the entire pavement. The person sat across from you on a train using all the table space, or the woman who has taken possession of the arm rest on your 12-hour flight (she also asked me to turn the brightness of my Kindle down, she did not endear herself).
I miss the randomness of my Grandma’s care home, I’ve been patted up and down by one of the residents before, who, after her inspection of me, decreed, “I’m not so sure about this one”, thanks love.
I miss pressure picking off a menu because the waiter wants to take my order. In fact, I’d like to look at menu, pretend to debate what to have when I actually know I’m going to opt for some kind of burger, like always.
I miss forgetting to get something out of the freezer for tea so having to go out for food – to be clear we still occasionally end up having takeaway for the same reason.
I miss being that disorganised for a gig or concert that I don’t leave time for tea and inevitably ending up scoffing cheeseburgers from Maccy Ds because that is literally all I’ve left myself time for. Which actually happened the night of that last gig.
Really stupid things that in the past I’d never even thought of.
So, clearly I’m very nosey and obviously asked others to chip in…..
“The shower of compliments between girls in the toilets of every bar” – The same, the same.
“Dancing on a dance floor surrounded by strangers and meeting and talking to complete strangers in the fag shelter or the toilets. Even queueing up for a drink at the bar”. Even being ignored at the bar.
“All of the above, the deep and meaningful drunk conversations about absolutely nothing, trying to remember whose round it is, stumbling to a takeaway, laughing with actual people, getting dressed up and then complaining about foot wear or I shouldn’t have worn something so tight because I’ve drank too many pints and now feel bloated, going out for one cig and then smoking another 2 because we need to ‘stock up’ on nicotine” – All of this.
“Weirdly, trying on 57 outfits before a night out, because “I have no clothes” – In my case pressure picking because the taxi is due in 10 minutes and my hair is still wet.
“Dirty drunk takeaways, I’m thinking cheesy garlic bread covered in donner meat and slathered in garlic sauce”. – I even miss the stink of a leftover drunk takeaway the morning after.
“Not pubs in general, but, talking absolute random nonsense with random strangers at a bar”. Honestly met some of the most interesting people doing this, including the first gay man to get married in South Africa, who also happened to be an international conservationist (all true I googled it) who for some reason was in Smacks in Burnley.
“Drinks and a gossip with my friends where you proper end up belly laughing and talking nonsense” – sob, belly laughs at the most ridiculous things, things that might have happened years ago but still have you crying with laughter.
“A spontaneous glass of wine at the pub” – same, only cider.
“Double booking on plans. I’ve only just bought at 2021 diary. And I’m reluctant to add plans to end up with further disappointment” – Or writing plans in said diary, only to never *actually* check it and forget you’d made said plans and miss multiple birthdays.
“Days out with my little man, the zoo, Blackpool, soft play areas etc…” Days out, I’d love a wander around a zoo.
“Countryside pub garden on a summers day” – following a long walk a couple of weeks ago when the sun was out, I can honestly say I’ve never craved anything more than I craved a beer garden at that point.
“Play centre for kids to run wild whilst I have 5 mins” – I can only imagine how much this, five minutes is needed.
“The inspiration opportunities from travelling to open gardens, national trust sites, castles etc.. Interesting places and sites of historical interest” – Yes, just going and seeing something different to Rossendale
“Social life, travel, actually going to work rather than working from home… Something I never thought I’d say because I always wanted to be one of those who worked from home… Now I have it I hate it.” – I miss office banter, free food deliveries and other people making a brew (I’m the annoying colleague who always says yes to a tea but never actually makes one, sorry guys I promise I’ll make a round when we’re all back).
“Changing rooms …. I’m sick of playing online shopping roulette” – Yes! Or just wandering around the shops
“There being a difference between weekdays and the weekend! feels like a constant Groundhog Day” – I’m never entirely sure what day it is at the moment.
“Internally telling people to piss off the gym equipment I want to use in the morning.” – I get you’re saying, can’t entirely relate to the gym though ha, ha, ha!
“Trying not to be sick in a taxi at 3am” – Ah the danger zone at the end of any night out
“The Nando’s full menu. Like many places they have had to cut down the menu and the vegan and veggie options were sacrificed” – This would actually annoy the shit out of me.
The last one is something I’ve missed too.
That will come as a surprise to some, I have distinct memory of my friend Janine trying to hug me when I was upset about something or other and me sitting there with my arms clamped to my side like the most awkward human on the entire planet.
It’s obviously people we miss, even the annoying the ones. I never thought I was that much of a people person, lets be honest I’m easily irritated, but my god I miss people. I’ve noticed when I go to interviews I end up chatting for ages, I’m sure when I leave, the poor soul is thinking “bloody hell, she can really talk”, after I’ve chewed their ear off for Christ knows how long. I can’t help it, I simply can’t shut up.
I miss Sinead laughing uncontrollably and no one else being entirely sure what’s set her off, I miss cackling like witches with my closest friends and just the general day to day, mundane things that as it turns out weren’t that mundane after all – who knew?
See you soon ladies – at least I bloody hope so xxx
Journalist, writer, traveller, music lover, collector of hats, news addict, bookworm