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Negronis on The Links

Giddiness doesn’t begin to cover the way I feel right now.


Not only did I go out last night, yes, you read it correctly, I went out! So, not only did I go out, but tomorrow I am going to go somewhere that isn’t my house or the supermarket.


For the whole of lockdown, as you know dear reader, I have been working hard, salvaging my business and now, happily turning it into an online cash machine (that’s the plan at least), learning the dark arts of digital marketing, funnels and learning how Mr Zuckerberg really does know absolutely everything about you.


I am knackered. Like many people, Zoom meeting rooms have become my new home from home and by the end of a week filled with jolly people smiling at me from various parts of the world I am utterly spent. It’s as though we’ve all been cramming three week’s worth of work into one week. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve made more friends from around the world during this period of time than I have in my entire life and I absolutely love it.


From Capetown to New York back to Essex and then Italy, the variety of human beings I have encountered in my Zoom lounge has been epic. They’re all so lovely and like me, have been keen to work together to build businesses back up again after the shock we all received this spring.


I am grateful for this and the money it is now bringing into the coffers, making it easier to have conversations with the Ever Patient Husband about holidays and garden rooms. The garden room is a long way off, but I figure if I keep dropping large hints, we’ll get there. The state of the art jacuzzi hot tub thing might be pushing it, but I’m a huge believer in asking for precisely what you want as you never know, you might just get it.


So, last night, I met up with a friend who was a mere acquaintance prior to lockdown, but now I can class her as a friend as we unashamedly hugged in public before trotting off to purchase double negronis from the very entrepreneurial bar called Decanter. This establishment is run by a slightly charming, with a hint of risk type gentleman (I must keep Pip away from him as he would be her type and it wouldn’t end well) who was holding a small, cute boxer puppy as he greeted us with his winning smile in a sweet part of Edinburgh called Bruntsfield. He very cleverly cut a big hole in the window of his wine bar and stuck a bar on the outside so people like me and my new friend could saunter up as casually as possible and purchase delicious cocktails without looking too seedy or desperate. I think we may have failed on that last count.


My friend who had been practicing the outdoor drinking lark for some weeks, sensibly suggested we purchase doubles so we didn’t have walk back to buy more cocktails. Splendid!


Negronis in hand (recyclable packaging all the way), we excitedly walked to the local area of green space known as The Links. If I tell you that this is the place teenagers hang around after school and my youngest daughter meets her mates at, then you’ll know it’s not the sort of place I can usually be found drinking outdoors without shame.


My friend had brought a neat blanket to sit on and we enjoyed a few hours drinking, chatting and generally sorting the world out before heading home with slightly blue lips due to the reduction in temperature - it is Edinburgh in July, so its bloody freezing.


As if this level of excitement wasn’t enough, I am to visit another friend tomorrow. She very thoughtfully purchased a second home a mere ninety minute drive from my home about two years ago and so we are meeting there for a two night stay with our kids. She has the misfortune of having to corral no less than three teenagers into a car and drive them for three hours to the second home. I expect her to arrive in December sometime.


I, on the other hand just have Youngest Daughter and myself to organise and since she’s already written a detailed list of items to pack, I think we’ll be fine. It wasn’t that long ago, I had three kids and a dog to muster together, but things are getting easier on the domestic front these days. Even Middle Child has upped his game with a second job on the go and an application to work in New Zealand!


Ever Patient Husband offered to visit us on the Sunday and I told him in the nicest possible way that it was a ‘no go’ area for partners as us ladies had important things to discuss. This mainly consists of slagging off our other halves and then saying, usually after large quantities of gin, “I do love him really”. I once asked EPH whether he and his golf friends ever talked like this to each other about their wives and girlfriends. He merely looked at me as though I had two heads and proceeded to mow the lawn or use a drill etc.


I had the audacity to enter his man cave this week and nearly used his drill, I elected for an adjustable spanner and a screwdriver instead. Only the week before I had attempted to use the pizza oven EPH had purchased from Aldi’s last summer when he was sent out to buy milk, to cook delicious pizzas outdoors on the BBQ. His exact words when I mentioned this to him as he was driving to play golf again, were, “but I won’t be there.”


”That’s right darling, I don’t have a penis, but I can light the BBQ and cook on it.”


”Hell mend you.” Came his reply.


I then spent the next ten minutes trying to find the bloody pizza oven in his man cave, failing miserably and then having to text him to find out where he’d put it. If you recall, there was an incident involving a ‘lost’ garage door key only a couple of week’s ago and the last thing I wanted to do was ask him where the bloody pizza oven was kept, but I had two rather demanding and hungry eleven year old girls asking me when tea would be ready so I had no choice.


It turned out that the bloody pizza oven was hiding in its box, marked ‘bloody pizza oven’. Yes, I did feel stupid, but nothing a large g&t couldn’t numb.


It will be the last time I use the bloody pizza oven because the bastarding pizzas stuck to its stupid bottom and all the filling fell out, most of which the dog ate. I hate Aldi. I bet the pizza ovens from John Lewis don’t do that.


So now you know the source of my giddiness. After months of living like a hermit, seeing the same faces day in day out, I am now, like many of you, emerging, blinking into the sunlight, taking those baby steps to freedom. It might not be Mandela leaving Robin Island, but it feels bloody brilliant.


After the excitement of a weekend away, I am delighted to tell you that Pip and I have an actual walk planned.......more giddiness than you can shake a stick at awaits.


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