Socially distanced socialising in the New Forest

Socially distanced socialising?

An almost permitted socially distanced street party in the New Forest

By Mark Symons with illustration by Hugh Lohan

"Yesterday, in our quiet, little close we had a street party. I can’t say where because I am sure there are those who feel we should be in our back gardens, not the front. But in terms of the risk of transmission, is there any difference?

Two metres?

One of the girls asked “So what is two metres?” Handyman me had a tape rule in his pocket and I tossed it over. There was then much laughter as she disinfectant wiped it then measured out the required distance between her and her mother as they were about to go to the shops for essential supplies. “Hold onto that Mum, there we’re the right distance!” “If you think I’m walking to the shop hanging on to this you’ve got another think coming!” Much giggling.

socially distanced party by Hugh Lohan

Mixers, yes. Mixing, no.

All of us stayed the recommended two metres apart and each of us was self-supported in terms of drinks and food and as such there was certainly no mixing. There was laughter and chatter with stories and reminiscing. One of our number pondered if this little gathering would have taken place if it were not for the present problems? We all thought not but at the same time it was considered to be a rather dramatic means of socialising the nation.

Blitz spirit or spritzer spirit?

There was even a verified sighting of a teenager, perhaps the gaming machine had overheated and exploded into a thousand pieces. The grinning mother greeted him with sarcasm.

“Hello darling, recognise this? It’s called the world, there’s the sun, this stuff here is called grass, these are people, they live next door, they are called neighbours.”

There was much tittering at the embarrassment of the poor victim.

The evening was brought to a close by our flying friends, no, not Police drones, rather mosquitos and midges. Gradually we said our goodbyes as we filtered away to our televisions in order to be told the latest doom-laden news statistics. Our hearts go out to those affected by this horrible business.

Stay safe and take care."

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