'Flaming June'


At last, I went to meet a friend without wearing a mask. Mind you we sat at a table for our coffee outside, so I felt safe, and we talked face to real face for hours. It was all quite a landmark for me although I know a lot of you will not find this as remarkable as I did. But there was a disappointment in this triumph.

You see, I have just realised that I look better wearing a mask than I do without one. My eyes show a few laughter lines but if my wear my mask then I have presented as respectable. But when I remove my mask, I look a lot older. Things have dropped, on my face I mean, below my eyes. Gravity has taken its toll. Features like my chin and jowls have sagged and my cheeks have creased. I might stick to the mask for a bit longer. No one would think it strange just that I am more vulnerable and being careful!

Mr T and I went for a café lunch yesterday. The first time in over two years. I was so excited by this new experience that I had two coffees at the beginning. Ham sandwiches have never tasted so good. No one else was wearing a mask and of course I took mine off to eat. Then thinking of my chins, I put it back on. I have just had a thought though, I probably looked like this before the pandemic. I never scrutinised my face that much. In any case, on the scale of disasters in the world today, my face is not that important.

Because I have missed out on meetings with friends, we decided to have a party at our house. They would bring the food. It was going to be easy. I would provide the drinks. The windows could be left open and we could sit in the sun room with the patio doors ajar. A list of what we would all supply was compiled on email. It was so simple. Then things started to go wrong.

The weather forecast was not good and at 11pm the night before when I was in bed, I got a text to say that Anne could not come as she had COVID symptoms. The test was negative, but she didn’t want to take the risk. At midnight I realised that Anne was bringing the pudding. We would have not trifle. Frantic texts followed.

In the event there were delicious meringues and although we were cold, we kept our coats on and looked out on bright orange garden flowers and a red sunset in ‘flaming’ June.

(Taken from my column in the Shropshire Star)


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