Two things have spurred me to write this, the first was that I was told a few days ago that I can bank cheques using my phone, WTAF! I mean not in a bank, at home, I can scan the cheque and pay it in. Not that I have a cheque or have even given it much thought, but the kids got cheques for Christmas from older relatives and it took me weeks to remember to pay them in. They looked a bit dog eared and crumpled by early Feb having enjoyed the bottom of my bag since the big day, but an app used in the comfort of my own home, wow that’s a whole lot of Buck Rogers and Matrix right there!
The second and far more important factor is the long-time coming release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe. Finally, she is home with much celebration and relief for her loved ones (and anyone who is aware of her plight). Aside from writing this, let me just whoop with joy a few times and wipe my eyes again.
So six years being locked away, not our lockdown doing Joe Wicks and Zoom pub quizzes, but actually locked away from everything and everyone. Apart from the obvious distress and fear, I was trying to imagine being returned to my life six years after I left it. Nazanin missing her daughter’s early years are clearly the saddest, but what else has happened that would “wowzer” her mind as much as the cheque app wowed mine.
- David Bowie passed away 2016
- Alan Rickman passed away 2016
- Trump – everything Trump from his win to The Whitehouse Riots
- Prince passed away 2016
- We still haven’t won the World Cup
- Westminster terror attack
- Macron elected president of France
- Manchester Arena bombing
- London Bridge terror attack
- Theresa May
- Harry & Meghan
- Stephen Hawking passed away 2018
- Dale Winton passed away
- US border separated children from parents
- Prince Louis was born
- Thai football team rescued from a cave
- California wildfires
- 100th anniversary to mark end WW1
- Archie Windsor born
- Jeffery Epstein
- Greta Thunberg hit the headlines
- Extinction Rebellion
- Notre Dame fire 2019
- Boris Johnson moves in No10
- Britain’s hottest day ever 38.7 (25/7/19)
- ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi killed by US
- 39 Vietnamese citizens died in a lorry in Essex
- UK Widespread flooding
- Prince Andrew went to Pizza Express
- Covid & lockdowns worldwide – that covers 2020
- Biden 2021
- Harry & Meghan meet Oprah
- Sarah Everard
- Suez Canal blocked
- Prince Phillip passed away
- Debenhams closes down
- Emma Radacanu won US Open
- Captain Tom Moore
- The migrant crisis
As you can see the list is long, and that’s only news headlines, and not even all the global big news stories (terror attacks were far more prevalent than my list, I just got too sad recording them all).
How about the smaller changes, Netflix, Amazon Prime, that Thai food isn’t trendy anymore, that matcha is a big deal, the price of petrol (I’m still quaking at that one), the cost of living in general. Hair styles, make up, shoes & boots, the cut of your jeans, the trivia that slowly evolves but keeps you young at heart.
I can’t imagine having a six year void in my trivia knowledge (trivia is my pub quiz speciality subject), songs, films, TV (Cold Feet was back), I mean the gap is so big.
A note to Nazanin:
Some things you should know to help you navigate these early weeks…
Our dearly beloved George Michael has left us, it was shocking and happened on Christmas Day, I do not wish for you to discover this on your first one home. It was truly terrible, and a kitchen rendition of Careless Whisper may help you come to terms with it (it did me).
White bread is a bad thing, all bread is bad apparently but white bread! People will gasp aloud if you admit you enjoy a slice of Mother’s Pride. You are allowed sourdough (nice but tough work chewing the crusts) with smashed avocado, not mashed, smashed, there’s a discernible difference I’m told. Beware of avocado hand, its gruesome and involves a big knife slamming down into your palm as you miss the stone. Be warned.
Settle yourself for the best telly ever – Fleabag. Killing Eve. After Life.
That should keep you entertained for a good few hours (not child friendly viewing).
Chai latte – you missed the stampede for it. Personally I think it’s ok, lightly spiced, sweeter latte. Make your own mind up but don’t rush to it, its not that good.
Vegans – there’s more vegans than ever before. These are not the pasty sickly looking vegans of the past, these are healthy robust folks that are fit and strong. Don’t worry that you can’t identify them by sight alone, they will definitely tell you they’re vegan within seconds of meeting.
One the plus side, imagine the sense of wow each time you rediscover something: imagine the softness of your bed, imagine smelling your child for the first time in years, a cup of tea, a pedicure, the supermarket and the freedom to roam. Your garden, a squirrel or garden bird, just imagine how colourful and noisy life would be. I’m sure it’ll be overwhelming and as bumpy as countryside track, but the light will be dazzling and hopefully the future is rosy.
I’m joking of course: It’s occurred to me that if I was locked up for six years, my kids would be thrilled to see me then ask me what was for dinner before I was even off the tarmac at Brize Norton.