Photo – A man overlooks Crewe town centre before all this madness began, having accidentally left the station.
Photo by Free Creative Stuff from Pexels

You would be forgiven for thinking everything looks just a little bit dark and gloomy right now. A sweeping pandemic is prone to do that to one. When the news takes a break from displaying the number of infected in bold red, it’s only to inform on the horrifying economic impact of Covid-19. However, in every shitty situation, there are rays of cheerful light that we’d do well to focus on to keep our spirits up.

I intend to keep this as a live article. Tweet me your thoughts @wjhblog and I will add my favourites.

  1. There’s never been a better time to learn how to make pasta. Good luck finding your staple carbs in Sainsbury’s. Even if there were any left you’d probably be faced with a small child wielding a sharpened stick defending the last packet until mum is done wrestling toilet roll from the wizened hands of a crying pensioner. Flour stocks are low, but wherever I’ve been there’s always Tipo ’00’ left over – perfect for making your own tagliatelle.
  2. On that same note, you can learn how to cook with just a handful of ingredients. This is a time for getting creative. You can make a banging veggie chilli with practically any plants you can get your hands on as long as you have a few chopped tomatoes, a generous sprinkling of chilli powder, and cumin. Very nutritious, and should stave off scurvy for a couple of extra days.

You won’t look like this glamorous middle-aged couple, you’ll be in a onesie, covered head-to-toe in flour, and the pasta will be shit. Sorry.

  1. Remember that pile of books you have? It definitely isn’t the case that you read the first page and got bored or only bought them in the first place because you hoped guests would think you were well-read. But seriously, so much chance to learn! And in this wonderful age of Kindles, you can stock up without leaving home. You can even get many classics that are out of copyright for free from Project Gutenburg.
  2. It’s a BOOM time for online dating. Literally everybody is stuck inside, they’re bored, they’re miserable, many are in relationships, but let’s be honest, those are going to be on the rocks after even a couple of weeks! Active users are up 7-8% and messages are up around 25%, plus when a Skype date goes badly, you can just pretend the internet dropped out, which is so much easier than climbing out of a bathroom window. (You can of course still climb out of a bathroom window at home to make it feel more authentic, just be sure to tell any passing Police that you’re going shopping.)
  3. Drinking alone in your pants bingeing Netflix now makes you a hero. Remember when you did that in February? Yup, you were a smelly loser then. But in March? Respectable, NHS-loving, national hero. You can even boast about it on social media: #stayhome. The Finnish have had it right for years, they even have two words for it: kalsarikänni and päntsdrunk (genuinely!).

Passengers arrive at Magaluf in 2021

  1. Going on a plane might become an exciting treat once again. Once this is all over, there’ll probably only be two airlines, and a return ticket to Spain will be somewhere in the region of £25,000. Gone are the days of balding bright pink men in football shirts downing pints in Manchester airport at 5am ignoring their children whilst the brats lose £400 on the one-armed-bandit, back are the morning suits, silver-service and ‘trolley-dollies’. (Of course in reality, most airlines will be likely be bailed out with taxpayers cash, whilst cheap oil and surplus aircraft and crew could cause an aviation boom, but still…)
  2. Maybe we’ll start getting stamps in our passports again. Remember when you used to always get a stamp in your passport when you travelled? They were great! Well, as freedom of movement more or less grinds to a halt, perhaps we’ll start getting stamps again to track where we’ve been! Brilliant!
  3. You’re getting a retreat worth thousands of dollars for free! Trustifarians and wealthy techno-hippies pay huge amounts to be forced to stay inside with only their own thoughts whilst eating a meagre diet of grains and bugs. Now you, you lucky bugger, get to do the same, but for free, and you have Netflix, and you may even get to still have a job afterwards. Who’s having the last laugh now?! (Probably the millionaires holed up in mansions with 50 rooms and a pool, posting stay-home advice on Instagram then crashing their Range Rovers on the way to a mate’s house.)

So, yeah… keep smiling!

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