If Not Now, When?

I do love a train journey, and I haven’t been on one for almost 18 months so this ought to be exciting …

Train tickets

… but if I’m honest, I’m finding the prospect rather daunting. Saturday will see me on not just one train, but seven, as I make my first proper trip out of Southern Scotland since this pandemic began (walking over the Chain Bridge briefly into England doesn’t really count). I wouldn’t be going if it wasn’t something I felt I had to do – a memorial bash in celebration of a man who was one of those people who tirelessly worked away in the background turning someone’s vision into reality, and who was still working away even into the last weeks of his life. Lockdown robbed his family and friends of a chance to say goodbye, and I couldn’t let my own misgivings prevent me from joining them now that they can gather again to do it properly.

Even so, and even though I tell myself that I’m double jabbed and that cases are (at least for now) declining, I can’t help feeling The Fear at the prospect. Partly I’m worried about COVID itself, having got this far without catching it, and partly about people taking it upon themselves to object to my wearing a face covering on the trains, even though I’ve no idea whether they will or not. I think I’ve spent too long seeing the world filtered through social media to know what actually happens out there beyond my quiet little rural corner of Scotland. While it’s possible that every train will be crowded with coughing strangers who want to explain to me at close quarters why Coronavirus is a hoax and they’ve not had Bill Gates’s jab, it is surely much more likely that everyone will be carefully spacing themselves out to the maximum extent possible and avoiding all eye contact like normal British people, because that’s what we do best, after queueing.

Either way, it’s time for me to put on my Big Girl Pants (and my Big Girl Triple-Layer Mask, let’s not go mad here) and get out there and find out for myself. And once I’ve braved that, I have other more purely pleasurable trips in the offing to look forward to.

If, as Huttonian used to say, I am spared.


4 Responses to If Not Now, When?

  1. hexeres says:

    I feel your trepidation, and I predict (stand by for this) that you will find some people wearing masks and some not. Possibly a 50/50 split, but I’m guessing more like 75% with masks/25% without. Look forward to your report back…

  2. […] then blindsided by the thing (or things) you never even thought about. So when I set off yesterday on my epic(ish) journey south, my main concern, apart from actually catching Covid, was the fear of other people’s […]

  3. […] Tuesday). Eating indoors in a restaurant crammed full of strangers? Not so much. Head to England to celebrate someone’s life – or a missed wedding? Yes, albeit with trepidation, and leaving a long gap afterwards before […]

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