JAN MOIR: Unwaxed legs, Zoom parties, mad hair… please, not again!
JAN MOIR: Unwaxed legs, Zoom parties, mad hair… oh please, not again!
Today marks 200 days since lockdown started. Two hundred days! This is not what we all signed up for. We thought we would be free by now, or at least out on parole. Instead, here we are.
Either heading for a lockdown or already in another lockdown, and the mood on the streets is not quite as equable as before. Where has the year gone? How did that happen?
In the early days of the first phase, when everything began to change, there was a certain excitement about the growing pandemic pandemonium. For those who were not suffering or had not been bereaved, there was a pulse quickening about the changes, for the thrill of the new had its charms.
This was mainly because everyone thought the pandemic would be all over in a matter of weeks, and that life would soon return to normal. It would be like one of those silly bird-flu scares, over before your first mini-bottle of hand sanitizer had run out.
The arrival of coronavirus saw panic buying across the UK as shoppers rushed to stock up on supplies including toilet rolls
How foolish that seems now, but perhaps Covid has made fools of us all — or at least made us understand what is and is not important.
Passing through a near-empty Heathrow Airport this week, it felt strange to reflect upon all the energy, passion, aggravation, greed, optimism and despair lavished on the row about building another runway there.
How hollow that seems now. Few travellers mill around the great concourse at Terminal 5. The airport is like a ghost town; an empty hangar with only a fraction of travellers passing though and even fewer flights taking off and landing.
In the transport wars, Heathrow now needs a new runway like a fish needs a bicycle.
Nature and the pandemic have taken the expansion decision right out of our useless hands.
Police officers patrolling Greenwich Park, London, in May after the UK was sent into lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus
Few travellers mill around the great concourse at Heathrow Airport (pictured) which has now become like a ghost town
Back in March, which already seems like a lifetime ago, there were jokes and memes and the drenching romance of Italian neighbours singing to each other from their balconies at twilight.
In the UK there was clapping for carers and shopping for neighbours, as we congratulated ourselves on being superior citizens. Yet one didn’t have to look far to see the darker vein of selfishness, throbbing away alongside.
There were demi-riots in supermarket aisles when the loo rolls ran out. This stockpiling of Andrex, the first thing Brits did to man their own personal barricades, says a lot about our national psyche, none of it good.
‘You’ll understand it when you get older,’ sighed one of my colleagues, and perhaps he has a point.
A member of the public collects a free face mask at Brixton Underground station in south London to wear whilst using public transport
What has the pandemic revealed about our nation? Are we kinder than we thought, or more selfish than we dared to imagine? Obedient or disruptive? Respectful of authority like the Swedes, or roaring anarchists under our twin sets and Tattersall check?
Rather glumly, I feel it has driven society apart, rather than bringing us closer together.
The old and the vulnerable, those who shield and those who do the shielding, all looked on in horror as people congregated on beaches or threw parties in parks, breaking all the rules and not giving a damn.
It didn’t help that so many public figures felt that the rules did not apply to them either, paving the way for thousands of others to follow their disruptive example.
The pandemic has pitted old against young, the weak against the strong, anti-maskers versus the masked. Every time I have been on public transport in London there is always someone, usually a young male, sitting there, unabashed in his masklessness.
I’ve given up saying anything. What is the point? Many thought that Britain would do well in such a crisis, with strong leadership and a smart and savvy population. That seems laughable now.
We have done OK and in some quarters the response has been magnificent, not least Mail readers raising millions to provide PPE for front-line workers.
But our cherished concept of British exceptionalism has taken a terrible beating, as we flounder from one crisis to the next. Is it time to accept we are no better than other countries and, in many ways, a lot worse?
I still have faith that decency prevails and that most people will do the right thing in times of stress, but that belief has been sorely tested of late. Now, as the second wave beckons, how the heart sinks.
What was amusing and cheerful before — mad hair, unwaxed legs, Zoom parties and the ever-shortening gap between last cup of coffee and first glass of wine — just seems a drag now.
Our Blitz spirit has been well and truly blitzed. And this time around there is the added delight of officialdom finally getting itself organised and the clipboard brigade being out in force.
It is not quite the crunch of jackboots on the garden path yet, but across the land council staff are being encouraged to peep through letterboxes while neighbours delight in dobbing each other in and £60million has been made available for something called Covid Patrols.
There we were, thinking we were noble and brave, preparing to Dunkirk our way out of this crisis, and it turns out we are a nation of curtain twitchers and window rattlers instead. But is that really so bad?
Pass me that hi-viz jacket and the matching megaphone. I’m going out on Covid Patrol. And you can’t stop me.
So, Jane, can you actually walk in those things?
This has been a vintage year for vintage women.
Jane Fonda (82) climbed aboard a pair of over-the-knee boots to show off her great new haircut — it was hard to decide which was the more flattering.
Jane Fonda, 82, climbed aboard a pair of over-the-knee boots to show off her great new haircut — it was hard to decide which was the more flattering
Sharon Stone (62) did much the same thing, proving that age cannot wither them, nor stale their custom-made leather fetish-wear.
A marvellous effort from both ladies, but what I want to know is: can they actually walk in those heels, or merely stagger to and from the bathroom to take sage capsules and rub HRT gel on the displayed areas of their thighs?
I’m only asking because I’m trying to locate a Heel Whisperer — someone who can teach me how to walk again in heels after a lockdown of loafers and slides (bliss).
Sharon Stone, 62, did much the same thing, proving that age cannot wither them, nor stale their custom-made leather fetish-wear
Few remember Brigitte Macron’s first husband, who died a recluse this week. Not even, one suspects, Brigitte Macron herself.
He faded quietly into the background after she stormed the political stage with her Emmanuel.
For what kind of husband could get over the fact that his wife left him for a 15-year-old schoolboy? Not even a French husband, I fear.
All I want for Christmas is SJP’s divine velvet sofa
I’m thinking of buying a new sofa. Which means I’m not buying a new sofa, just looking online at sofas I can’t afford.
And even if I could afford them, there seems to be a special strata of beautiful but completely unattainable sofas that only celebrities can buy.
Sarah Jessica Parker’s matching sage green velvet sofas in her Manhattan townhouse. Gwyneth’s double-depth cream linen sofa in LA.
There seems to be a special strata of beautiful but completely unattainable sofas that only celebrities can buy. Pictured: Sarah Jessica Parker’s matching sage green velvet sofas in her Manhattan townhouse
Where do these girls buy their gear? I’d love to know. And when I did eventually find a sofa I liked, a chill stole around my heart.
It is already too late for Christmas delivery.
Christmas! What is happening to this year? With Halloween cancelled and the world gone to pot, I’m putting my decorations up in November, just to be on the safe side.
The actor Robert Powell has been branded an ‘elitist snob’ for saying bigger cinemas that serve junk food have ‘only got themselves to blame’ if they are forced to close during the pandemic.
Robert argues that mainstream cinemas should not be bailed out, because there’s no quality of experience in sitting next to someone ‘eating cheesy nachos’ down at your local Cineworld or similar.
But hasn’t he got a point? It is a ghastly experience. And the day when cinemas started selling crisps was truly the day that civilisation ended.
Yet even worse than this are the posher independent cinemas that offer a drink-and-dine experience at your seat.
Frankly, being surrounded by cinema-goers chomping steaks and slurping wine while you are trying to focus on the big screen is even more disgusting. And it makes everyone go to the loo — more disruptions! When I become leader of the People’s Republic of Jan, all food in all cinemas will be completely banned.
Visitors will be allowed a small glass of water, but only if they sip it quietly. Many of us yearn to return to communal experiences, but cinema eating is one I can do without.
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