I could have visited before but I'm only recently double-jabbed, indeed the day I travelled was exactly the requisite fortnight after jab number two. It means I'm safer but also, more importantly, it means those around me will be safer too.
It was great to see my Dad again as I stepped down off the platform, but not euphoric. The beardy son ahead of me bounded up to his family with a broad grin and hugged them all, before walking back to his parents' car hand in hand with his Mum. I merely said hello with a smile and climbed into the passenger seat [15 months]. We have never been a huggy family.
Once I'd sat down next to Dad the very idea of social distancing disappeared. We'd be less than a metre apart in a confined space for the 20 minute drive home, after which the need to stay apart for safety's sake would be entirely redundant.
It was only the second time someone else has cooked me a meal since March 2020. The fact it came with alcohol, a choice of vegetables and a dollop of ice cream was a bonus. The 'steak and Guinness' was also the finest pie I've eaten in recent memory, and I don't think I'm saying that due to unfamiliarity.
I'd be staying overnight [18 months], so Dad and I dropped all pretence of distancing and pootled round the house as normal. He held the ladder while I went up into the roof, I sat beside him as we fixed his email and we both stood together at the window watching the baby wrens in the birdbox prepare to fledge.
I also went round to see my brother and his wife [18 months], and to see my niece in her new house [18 months]. We did spend some time out in their gardens, it being perfect sunny summer weather, but most of the time we spent indoors where the comfier seats and big-screen TVs were.
What struck me was how normal our behaviour felt, despite the unprecedented gap since I'd last experienced anything like it. Even such rare treats as watching the news together [15 months], walking round the village green [18 months] and feeding the tortoise [2 summers] didn't feel overly special.
I'm staying for a few days so I expect to be up here when Boris announces a delay to the unlocking of all further restrictions. Mid-June was always a very optimistic target, a dangled carrot to raise the morale of the nation until eventually reality cut through.