We are not the people we were two years ago. Just as in Camus’ “La Peste”, some people appear to come to the fore in these times, and many others to shrink away into the shadows. And the eternal questions….do we embrace the new autocratic vagueness with a positive zeal, or do we fight? Won’t we all do something different?

Being human, true, is all semantics. The affection we have for the things we do because our language tells us this is always done. What are we supposed to pass on to the next generation? Will they now want it?

Some things to do with the Pandemic are retrogressive and take us back to a former, more formal lifestyle. We have to mind our Ps and Qs, we have to notify people if we are coming to call on them, a greeting should be reserved and not warm, we have to assume people we do not know could be dangerous, and so forth. This was the way of the fifties, I think. Quaint to some of us, proper to others.

At the same time, we have to embrace the new modern global society, which will undoubtedly drag us even more firmly towards English monoglotticism, and a lifestyle revolving around screens, segregation. An overzealous cleanliness and fear of social activity which has already put its bootprint across all the countries of the world that can afford such distanced and remote upper-classedness.

Do I sound as if it’s everything I hate? Not really. It’s far easier in some respects to stay in your chairs all day long, to call remote meetings and never go out in the British Winter, for sure. It’s confusing for those of us who were not planning to retire, and puts a massive onus on the individual to keep themselves healthy and to insist on exercise.

So I was wondering what the main things were that we could do to feel humanly happy this “Season of Goodwill to All Men” that will make us feel less scarred and damaged, and maybe that will start us understanding what each of us has been through?

My best thing so far recently has been pulling Christmas crackers with “kids”, and reading the amazing jokes they contain….and they’re (the supposed kids) looking at me and pulling faces as if to say “Is this for real?”, because it’s so damn stupid. That was really huge for me.

So I vote that the first skill we must not lose under any circumstances is the skill of telling a really silly joke, and then trying to work out why it’s funny.

Here we go……check these out:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oEWwdPzCMZQ The Apollo’s Funniest Women https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=McKsw57B4hk Best Jokes of 2021 (Such deadpan….if you like shaggy dog stories!) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrGJcRczyAs And these just because they really could go in a cracker…..

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