Lang may yer lum reek

I belong to Glasgow,
Dear old Glasgow town…..

Will Fyfe

This week’s Reflection comes after a weekend away in Glasgow (not the locked-down bit), Bonnie Scotland for a visit with family.

This is the first time I’ve flown on close on a year, and I confess to feeling nervous beforehand.

Since the end of Lockdown, I’ve eaten out, been to the pub, visited a museum, and met with friends and family. I’ve even been to the Cinema. Has anyone seen Tenet yet? Has anyone that’s seen it understand it? At times I didn’t know if I was coming or going….

However, in doing all these things, I was able to maintain a sensible distance from others.

Social distancing on an aeroplane is a little trickier. Yes, everyone wore a mask. The air we breathed, passed through the best of filtering systems. Yet you are sitting shoulder very much to shoulder with the person beside you. On one side sat my wife on the other a stranger. Being a gentleman, I took the middle seat as a sort of barrier protection for my wife. Love means catching COVID on someone’s behalf. That’s with no disrespect to the stranger I sat next to, whom I am sure was COVID-free. Come Monday he will not be hangover-free as in conversation I discovered he was off to Loch Lomond for a military reunion.

As an aside (a Reflection wouldn’t be a Reflection without an aside), do those old enough remember the days of smoking and non-smoking sections in an aeroplane? I never quite got my head around how that worked.

In taking the middle seat, the words of Dickens came to mind. “It is a far, far better thing that I do than I have ever done”; I just hope that the rest of the quotation doesn’t come true. ‘it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known”.

Overall, the flying experience did feel different. Both terminals were much quieter than the usual melee one expects to see on Friday afternoons. Fewer people, fewer open shops, masks seen in every direction. Most of us appear to be auditioning for a part as Uriah Heep as we worked the anti-Bac into our hands.

One significant difference on the flight was on disembarking. Usually, the aircraft has not come to a stop before people are up out of their seats pulling luggage from overhead bins and queuing in the aisle. Not this time. Under strict instruction from the crew, we disembarked row by row with those waiting, sitting patiently for their turn. That aspect I enjoyed.

Now I’m back from Scotland it’s back to normality (well, the new normality). It’s just I now have this nagging worry that spreading inside me Alien-like lurks COVID. Biding its time until ready to make its horrific appearance.

I’m sure I’m fine and then again, I’ve heard the Scots already have a cure. Some who read this will have heard of Irn Bru. Something made frae girders is bound to cure or kill anything (before you mock at least I’m not suggesting you inject bleach — Ummm, who was that?). And if the Irn Bru doesn’t work, I could always fall back on Scotland’s other national drink.

Stay safe everyone and lang may yer lum reek.

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In the Renaissance period of my post-career life …

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