Andy Richardson: If Brexit made us a nation of factional tribes, Covid-19 is bringing us back together

By Andy Richardson | Opinions | Published:

Sport is at an end. The Premier League may not finish. The Olympics may be put back by a year. And the cricket season will not start on time.

Back yard cricket, however, is alive and well. And while my partner re-imagines herself as a latter-day Rachel Heyhoe Flint, pinging balls just short of a length, I have picked up the mantle of England’s favourite left-hander, David Ivan Gower. Balls are routinely creamed through the offside as I get onto the front foot, peppering a fence installed one month ago.

Yesterday, a Terracotta plant pot became a victim of Covid-19 as it stood too close at silly mid-off without first wearing personal protective equipment. It ended when my partner hit a ball into the neighbour’s garden and was too embarrassed to ask: “Please can we have our ball back.”

If Brexit made us a nation of factional tribes, Covid-19 is bringing us back together. BoJo and Corbyn have become the best of frenemies and the kindness and generosity shown by more than 500,000 NHS volunteers shows our true colours. Supermarkets are no longer the scene of rugby scrums beside the toilet roll. People are queuing, social distancing and buying only what they need. As we finally descend into displays of civility, there is hope we’ll get through this.

Not everyone has got the Kindness Memo, however, and while people compare the current lockdown to being like Christmas without the joy, the banks, Wetherspoons and others portray themselves as Scrooge.

The life of restaurant reviewers has become complicated, given there are no restaurants. But this is the time to be inventive and one chef has perfected Fruitella three ways. Fruit chews are placed on top of one another, then garnished with a pea shoot.

The life of a writer continues and yesterday I interviewed one of the UK’s most prominent chefs. It’s hard to empathise warmly when two cats are doing a 100m chase on the living room rug while high on catnip. I’m expecting a knock on the door from drug testers.

Trying to buy supplies is also a challenge. At one stage, the Wickes website indicated a wait time of 2638478.14 minutes. That’s 43,974 hours, 1,832 days or five whole years. I’m not sure I need a bag of compost that badly, but I’m still in the queue. Patience is a virtue, especially if you need to repair a back yard cricket wicket.

Andy Richardson

By Andy Richardson
Feature Writer - @andyrichardson1

Feature writer and food critic Andy Richardson interviews celebrities, writes columns and hangs out with chefs for stories that appear across all group titles.

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