The new normal
So, after 15 weeks of lockdown, restrictions have eased further and from Saturday 4 July restaurants and pubs were allowed to open to receive customers and hairdressers too. After some soul-searching about whether it was safe for us over 70s to venture out so soon after the easement we decided to take the plunge and booked a table for dinner in Eynsham on Saturday 4 July and I booked a hair appointment for the following Wednesday.
At the pub restaurant we were warmly welcomed back. Tables were well spaced out. The social distance rule for pubs and restaurants is 1m. Cutlery was brought to us with our food. Windows were open to allow air to circulate. There was a one way system for entry and exit. Drinks had to be ordered at the table, not at the bar and payment by card was required rather than cash. It was a really enjoyable evening. The staff were pleased to be back and service was, as always, excellent. It felt really good to be able to dine out again after so long. The last time I had been out for a meal was on Tuesday 10 March!
So to the hairdresser’s, also in Eynsham, on Wednesday 6 July. It was a relief to get back since the last time I had been was on 11 March. I had been cutting my hair and did colour it once during lockdown … all quite stressful. It was great to see the familiar faces again, though only part faces as the hairdressers wore masks, as did I when the situation allowed. Disposable plastic capes and aprons were provided for me and for the hairdresser. Customers were well spaced out and, if they had to wait for their appointment to start, they waited outside and were called in when the hairdresser was ready for them. Looking in the mirror at the end of the appointment it was good to see a neat more presentable reflection!
This weekend, 11 and 12 July, I look forward to being able to attend Mass again in person rather than virtually over the internet. Mass is being celebrated again at St Peter’s, albeit in a new, controlled, safely distanced way with strict safety measures.