Fantastic news. Even more COVID restrictions have been lifted. I’ve spent most of the morning working out what to do with my new found freedoms. Here’s my list to date:

  1. I can play golf, if I can get a tee time
  2. Er…
  3. That’s it

Obviously, that’s just me having a bit of fun. There’s loads more I can do. I can drive wherever I want, even if there’s nothing I can actually do when I arrive at anywhere. I can meet up in a group of six and something else. This will surely be life-changing? Or perhaps not?

You would think judging from the media that people have been following the government rules to the letter. Well, I’m sure many people have been, but many more have either been ignoring the rules or, like me, interpreting them to best protect my loved-ones, both physically and mentally.

I only have to look at my social network timelines to see the extent of government rules being blasted apart. Locally, I have seen virtue signallers lecture others on what to do, while at the same time welcoming family members into their households. People go in an out of each other’s households as if the virus never existed. Plenty of people are carrying out long distance runs and cycle rides around Bristol and beyond and what’s more they attract vast numbers of likes. Others visit historical monuments and share photographs. I know more people who have had a haircut in this latest lockdown than not and I don’t mean an amateur trim with clippers, either. The reality is for many people that they have never followed the rules from the start.

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone so allow me to say that, since restrictions began, I have not been without sin. Given Priti Patel’s Police Bill, which has been given such a boost by the anarchic head cases in Bristol, attacking the police in the guise of protesting, I’d best not say how, but suffice to say Inspector Knacker would soon be on my case. What I am trying to say is that flouting of COVID rules is widespread. And there’s no going back now.

The ‘stay at home’ rule is over and people can travel. If they want to go to the beach from now on, they can. They can drive to any beach in the UK. If they want to visit historical monuments or go on long cycle rides or long distance jogs, that’s okay now.

From two weeks today, I can legitimately get a proper haircut (I am booked in already), I can do unnecessary shopping (because obviously I have done none of that in the last year) and I can get shit-faced in a pub garden, as opposed to in my own garden. And in the weeks following, I will learn that I won’t be going on holiday in 2021, just like I didn’t in 2020. Laugh? I didn’t start. And that’s all before we go back into lockdown when the third wave “washes up on our shores” as Al ‘You can call me Boris’ Johnson keeps reminding us.

Slicing and hooking golf balls into the great wide open will still be a pleasure like almost no other. Not dying from COVID is a definite Brucie bonus, but staying alive for what, exactly? Golf, and then what? Normality is the aim, which I sense is still a very long way off.

Tune in to Al Johnson at 5.00pm on a TV station somewhere near you. He will overwhelm you with optimism and positivity or, as I call it, bluster and bullshit, coated with lies and half-truths. Yes, normality is returning. Except that it isn’t. Not yet, anyway.