Wednesday 29 July 2020

Social distancing

If you have been being well behaved, for the last few months you will also have been being quite antisocial. Many jokes were made back in March about how anyone would tell the difference when it came to birders. For a fairly long time even trips outside were limited, and whilst I saw the odd local birder and had the occasional chat, for the most part I have been nowhere and seen no-one. Summer birding on Wanstead Flats sometimes centered on local pubs after a hard day of seeing nothing, but no such possibility existed in 2020. Last week I found myself home alone, and in a rare moment extroversion decided I was fed up of seeing nobody for days at a time and decided to host a small party. A socially-distanced party. 

Good grief social distancing is a pain. For starters we all had to be outside, that's rule number one. The advice is still to maintain a healthy distance even if outside, so I dutifully got out my tape measure and worked it all out. I set up a table with clean glasses that I handled only with gloves, but put all the drinks inside and only I did the pouring, also with gloves. There was no food sadly, that was too hard. The sink and toilet were thoroughly disinfected before people arrived, and there was a one way route to it guarded by Polar Bears. Really. Everyone got their own towel to dry their hands with which they had to take with them, and there was Dettol at each end if they felt the need.

Here's the garden all set up. Socially distanced chairs and wine crates repurposed as tables

So last Friday evening four of the Wanstead posse turned up and for a few hours things felt largely normal again - seeing real people with real drinks in their hands was extremely refreshing. Largely it all worked very smoothly even though it was a little awkward, and as far as I know we all still feel fine. Or at least I do anyway, and the WhatsApp chat group is not showing any coughing or ambulance emojis. It probably won't be long before this type of thing is banned again, so it was nice to get it in and see people before we're all locked down again. I'm a glass half empty kind of person.


  1. Great evening, thanks, despite best efforts my glass seemed to be mostly full.