Seven things I have missed since the lockdowns began

It has been a shite nine months or so and there are a fair few more to go before we return to normality, or something close to it. Obviously, we all missed friends and family, we all missed going to places and doing things, we all missed not having to stay in our houses as a virus walked the streets with a swagger in its step. But what about the smaller stuff? Here’s five little things I’m looking forward to the most.

McDonald’s breakfasts

Yes, I know, I could get a drive through breakfast but that would be missing the point. It isn’t the breakfast so much as what it represents that I’ve missed. Quite often, when I visit a McDonald’s it is on the way to a nature reserve, way before anywhere else is open. Like in February this year when, after driving for two hours on the motorway and fifteen minutes down country lanes through a floating blanket of thick sleet, I reached the McDonald’s in Bourne* and had ten minutes to myself with a Double Sausage and Egg McMuffin (without the egg) a hash brown and a coffee. They can be wonderfully calm places before first light, full of people who quite like their own company (and McMuffins).


And while we are on the subject of going to nature reserves, I miss hides. Hides combine two of my favourite dad activities, being in sheds and looking at ducks. I’ve only been in one since March. I look forward to sitting in them again.

Art Galleries

I miss art galleries. The paintings, the sculptures, the other art things, the little shops, the quite expensive but very nice cake, I miss it all. Mostly the paintings. Also the cake.

Heaton Park Big Sainos

I know, I know, supermarkets are cathedrals of capitalism and I should be ashamed. But mate, the treats, the special foods, the surprisingly calming kitchen section, the (often very nice) stationery, the occasionally reasonably priced LEGO, the things I’ve never eaten or drunk before, the, the stuff. All that stuff. All that wonderful stuff.

Live Literature

Readings are not. the same. over Zoom.

Sorry, but they aren’t. Hopefully, the lack of human contact and reading stuff at strangers will get everyone out in the post-vaccine world and Manchester will buzz with live literature again. Maybe it won’t. Who knows? If nothing else, one day there will be book launches with signings again. I love getting a new book signed.


It’s the little things you miss the most. I knew I would miss Manchester, but London!? Weird.

Seriously though, I miss days out to an art gallery or something ending with me clearing the shelves of Any Amount of Books then popping into Foyles, then getting a coffee somewhere.

The cinema

Like a limb, mate. Like a limb.


*Best branch in Britain, I reckon.