9th June – So listen very carefully. Get closer now, and you will see what I mean. It isn’t a dream.

Cleaned myself: oh yeah
Monkey see, monkey do: sorry …
Tics: I’ll tell you later
Believe in God? YNYNNNNYNNNY
YTLH: 2 active

I don’t know about you, but my enduring lockdown dislocation dream is from inside a WhatsApp video – the one where there was no pollution or other stuff cluttering the place up, which showed the planet slowly taking back control, with little Louis Armstrong singing softly from heaven to me and a few horses playing in an open meadow by the stream. 

The captions that went with it went promised that we’d never forget to look after the world again, and that we were very sorry for being so selfish and neglectful over the last million days or so.

As we come out of it, it is not so much the image of a single unkempt mourner standing at a graveside that encapsulates the mood, but rather that of mobs leaving a trail of detritus and destruction in their wake. Their hair is getting longer but there is a crucial difference between this lot and their 1960s counterparts, because now their shouting seems less about a request to be listened to, than it does the egregious wreaking of a sort of contemptuous entitlement against anyone who is not like them. Say, is that what they used to call fascists? Among them perhaps are the zeitgeist-gurus who make the videos that get circulated on WhatsApp.

Oh yes, the new normal lasted into the relaxation of lockdown about as long as it took to get into some open space; whence the old normal reasserted control again. You can buy drinks from a pub across the threshold and next week, from inside the pub itself; and when you’ve had a few, you are free to have a fight, provided you keep yourself a yard or so from the other combatants – but you should endeavour not to take it too far, because you’d have to make your own funeral arrangements if it all goes wrong. And you’d be dead.

You may not go to a barbers, or a restaurant, and lots of other things; and whereas a short time ago I did not join in the clamour to blame the government for confusing everybody, and actually believed that a sense of what’s right amongst most of us would prevail, I now see the country as a place clearly divided in two: those that are trying, or by poor health are forced, to continue to observe the partial lockdown rules; and those that have given up on the idea altogether.

it was just the best of outings

Oh, and as for any third parties who visit this country from overseas, they must keep themselves in very strict isolation for 14 days following their arrival, but they may travel between the airport and their lockdown quarantine accommodation by any means they choose, and if they desire, they can take in a demo, or a visit to the pub on the way. Or anything else they feel like doing for that matter. Or not actually stay in quarantine at all if they don’t feel it’s right for their personal circumstances. But otherwise it’s very strict. I swear by Almighty God that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to my foibles, wants and desires, according to law.

Now, rather like The Archers, this diary has ignored the coronavirus only to embrace it too late into the piece with a dreadful monologue, so let that be it for my recording of history. For the purposes of this account, like Ambridge, Coxford, can continue in blissful ignorance until the second wave sends us all back into our caves.

Being unfurloughed, and not quite self-employed enough to be self-employed, I have been keen to re-establish a socially responsible personal economic upswing. And perhaps because the shadow of luck has followed me round for, err, say, … ever, and made a particular point of wasting its entire load on me recently without a scintilla of thought for the future, much like, well, … me actually – I seem to have escaped the plague with two of my fireworks still not entirely drenched yet.

These form the two projects with which I justify my non-job/the means by which I receive money. One, is that we are to host an event at the rugby club. It was supposed to happen at Easter but given that the club can’t be used for anything else, it will now take place as soon as we can organise it. All I have to do is to decide what it’s going to be: a display of Japanese tanks from the Second World War; an introduction to the accessories of Scottish country-dancing; an open-mic poetry competition for office managers from Wolverhampton; a yard of ale drinking contest: over 85s versus under 9s; pig wrestling for piano teachers. Anyway, it’s not as pressing as two: we are still to run a Pearl & Dean style advert in local cinemas, and only need to see them open again to realise our plans. My idea, when it was first conceived, was to do a take on homemade, owner-managed business adverts, so that we could make something cheap and knowingly amateurish that might get one of those cult/viral take-ups. Now, having watched dozens of ads like that during lockdown – put out by the usual advertisers in slots previously reserved for big budget productions, as a timely, sensitive, of-the-moment idea, I wonder how original our thing’s going to look? By the time ours is out there, people will probably have had enough of stuff like that, and it’’ll look like a lame attempt to jump on the bandwagon. It definitely no longer stands up as an ironic take on irony, as I’d planned it. Perhaps we should present it as an ironic take on everything AC (after Covey)? You know Before Covey followed by After Covey, instead of BC followed by AD as it is now? We can literally be the first people to take the piss out of new post-Covid sensibilities. Actually, yes, BC should be followed by PC not AC. AC has already got air-conditioning and alternating current; PC works better because all it has is that near reference to the phoney assumption of respect that is due to each other, like the implied theme of those WhatsApp videos. BC & PC – they will be the new terms of reference. We’ll invent them.

Or is what we’re planning just something daft? And if so, is that the same as saying an ironic take on irony? The new world into which we’re emerging will have these answers – it is not for me to know them. I must simply put myself out there PC and trust my response to the new-once.