Here are some of this entertainer's ups'n'downs while living in the slippery grip of Covid-19.
● Wednesday 1st December 2021
Had my 'booster' shot last week, and have a big stack of lateral flow tests here to use just before going to bookings.
Omicron. Sounds like the name of a Transformer. The scientists won't be able to establish just how this new variant behaves for a few weeks, so my guess is here in the UK we'll have a "normal Christmas", and if there a big announcement about it, it'll come in the new year after the festive season.
● Wednesday 8th September 2021
"Freedom Day" came and went without any great hubbub, and almost two months on this is at least to some extent the 'new normal'. I'm not sure if at this stage there's much to say - Covid-19 hasn't disappeared from the landscape, yet in this country it's been effectively controlled. One bit of unarguably good news is that we're allowed social gatherings. This from the government: "Keep Calm & Party On"!
● Sunday 18th July 2021
It's gonna happen, from tomorrow we'll largely be free. It's ironic that half of this government, including the bungling PM, have been "pinged" by their own track'n'trace app, and will be enduring self-isolation "to think about what they've done" while everyone else will be able to revel in a licence to do what they want.
● Monday 14th June 2021
Britain's worst-kept secret is out. Due to the exponential growth of the Delta variant 'Freedom Day™' is to be delayed by four weeks to the 19th July. The Cabinet Office have put out a list of the latest rules.
The one crumb left on the table for us is of wedding cake. From 21/6 weddings will be exempted from the rule of 30.
"Love conquers all things." - Virgil (...er but "Love conquers all, except poverty and toothache." - Mae West)
● Tuesday 8th June 2021
Freedom Day™ is coming - or is it? Time teases us with suspect treats it may snatch away. If they do lift some or most of the restrictions, we'll still obviously be concerned about the pandemic. Fortunately at parties we live in the moment, and the anxiety, at least temporarily, will quite rightly be replaced with joy.
"On the other side of fear lies freedom." - Anonymous/unknown
● Sunday 23rd May 2021
The more it changes the more it stays the same...er, changeable. Concerns over "rogue" variants et cetera apart, the changes look positive. The government hasn't altered the "roadmap", and the miracle of the lifting of restrictions on the 21st June looks like it might actually happen.
Optimism improves reality and pessimism worsens it. My father used to enjoy saying "A pessimist is never disappointed", and Voltaire cheerfully said "Optimism is the madness of insisting that all is well when we are miserable". I say when it comes to he future, life can only be understood by looking back, but it must be lived looking forwards. Probably.
● Thursday 15th April 2021
Second jab, done. No side effects. Yet. Again. In any case I do half of my shopping at Lidl so who cares what's in the vaccine? Haha but actually it was a depressing, quick yet slightly boring experience. Here's another coronavirus joke - but you'll have to wait two weeks to know if you've got it.
● Thursday 25th March 2021
Large parts of Europe are back in lockdown, vaccine shortages are expected here, things are all looking increasingly complicated, yet at the risk of unnecessary optimism, all being well -
12th April - 16th May: 15 people
17th May - 20th June: 30 people
21st June on: All restrictions lifted
The government's caveat slogan is "data not dates" though. Their presumably-constantly-updated
● Tuesday 2nd March 2021
The vaccine program has been extremely effective. This is easily the most cheerful development I think that we've had since this whole thing began. My hunch though is that the government won't want to risk making more obvious blunders and so will cautiously trickle-feed our freedoms back, but fingers crossed as long as there isn't another wave, large social gatherings may well be able to begin to be held from the 21st June.
● Tuesday 16th February 2021
Had the jab last week, administered by a friendly GP. Apart from having mild asthma I'm not in an at-risk group, so I asked why me and was told there were simply surplus vaccines that needed to be used. No side-effects to report. So far so good.
The hospitality/entertainment sector is obviously still at a standstill - the more it changes, the more it stays the same.
Lastly, RIP dear old Captain Tom. A good life well-lived.
● Monday 7th December 2020
By the looks of things it won't be for a couple of months until the rollout of the various vaccines will come into effect, then it'll be a few more months after that before mass immunisation is hopefully achieved, meaning people can group together properly...then expect a big resurgence in parties! In the meanwhile I can still provide top-notch small party, corporate event & wedding entertainment.
● Friday 13th November 2020
The past seven months of doom & gloom have almost prevented me from processing the past couple of days' positive news, but...we've got a vaccine!!
Obviously it hasn't passed all of the required safety trials, and when events & society in general might "get the go-ahead" is still up in the air of course, but hey.
If you've had to downsize to a small party, it'll actually work in our favour. For close friends, family & colleagues, my sketches work so well due to the 'interpersonal interaction' (nods, smiles, conversations and giggles) they stimulate. At these more intimate gatherings, small party or wedding entertainment can make a huge difference to the guests' enjoyment of the event. As party ideas during Covid go, booking me is an inspired one!
● Sketching seated or standing at a distance of a couple of steps - certainly more that just one metre - from my subjects, is ideal for me. I can of course work "static", with guests coming to sit for me one-by-one, couple-by-couple, or group-by-group - I only need a few judiciously-positioned chairs.
● I know it won't come to it - but (you never know): I can draw masked guests! I've worked at so many masked/Venetian/masquerade balls I've totally forgotten what a face looks like! Please see masked (ball) examples below and you can find more here. But, I hear you say, those masks cover the eyes, not the nose & mouth! - yet it's the same principle - I just focus on the eyes instead of the nose & mouth!
I don't mind wearing a mask myself, in fact I like the idea of having a touch of mystique.
Whatever happens - THE SHOW MUST GO WRO..oops..ON! Stay safe.
● I'm here to help with any questions or ideas you may have. If you aren't sure of everything (or anything) at your end, get in touch anyway and we can go over the basics, and if you like I can pencil your date (if you have one yet) in & let you know if anyone else makes an enquiry for it.
● RIP Sir Captain Tom - Click to enlarge ●