As the relaxation of Covid restrictions continues, I have begun to gather small groups of church folk (who wish to) to meet up for coffee and a chat out of doors - we are permitted up to six people from six households outside.
On Sunday, the first group met - it was cold, and I took a blanket with me to keep my legs warm! But it was really good to see actual flesh and blood people rather than boxes on a screen.
Like around 30% of people int he UK,. I live alone, and having no-one with whom to form an 'extended household' the past fourteen months are so have been such that most days I don't speak to anyone face-to-face. Indeed, at one point I sat down and reflected that the only indoor conversations I had, the lasted more than a minute to pay at a supermarket till, were with the medical professionals who checked my teeth or eyesight, took blood or injected vaccines into my arm. What's sobering is that that is the 'normal' and unchosen experience of so many older people.
Last Friday, I met with two ministers in a garden to plan a joint 'blended' service; Sunday, as illustrated with three folk from church; and yesterday, I took a train to meet one person in an indoor cafe setting.
At one level, I smile at the absurdity of considering these as being 'out out', at another, I simply delight in the possibilties that are becoming possible because most people have kept most of the rules most of the time.
For food, and friends and fellowship, God's holy name be praised!