A good friend who is a minster told me that I look very frightening wearing a plain black mask, so if my photo scared you, I'm sorry. Wearing masks is mandatory in some settings at the moment, and strongly encouraged in others, subject to defined exceptions. The science is unclear, and experts offer conflicting advice about efficacy and safety. Be all that as it may, I'm a rule follower by nature, and have taken time to check out what I think is the 'least worst' approach to mask use.
So off I trotted to the supermarket, where there was no queue to get in and two jolly men at the door (unmasked) greeted me with cheery smiles. I smiled back, under my mask, and said 'hello'.
As I made my way round the store and engaged in the inevitable pas-de-deux of socially distanced shopping, I was struck by the phenomena of 'eye smiles'. We've always known that true smiles reach the eyes, but today it was the only evidence - and ht eonly evidence needed - that people were smiling.
And people were speaking... the odd 'hello' to a stranger (it is Glasgow after all, second only to Liverpool and Manchester for such things!), an 'excuse me,' an 'after you'... even the odd laugh at the crazy dances we executed.
The last few months have seen a lot of stressy shopping, of hoarding and panic buying, of empty shelves and restrictions, of furtive glances and dodgy attempts at homemade PPE. That hasn't all gone away, but today, in this shop, there was chat and banter, laughter and 'eye smiles' - and it felt good.