Now for all those wondering how my Covid-19 Resolutions are panning out, here’s an update:
Organising family photos: This started out with great promise. After all, what can be easier than organising some 50 years of photographs, print and digital, across a few platforms and some shoeboxes? Well, not organising these is the honest answer. After a while, all photographs look the same, you come across too many people you have forgotten (because you wanted to forget them), and too few of those who matter.
Enthusiasm is followed by keen interest is followed by waning interest is followed by indifference before that final stage: irritation. What was half-done before is quarter done now.
Cleaning bookshelves, and organising books: Some progress here. There are some ten thousand books across five rooms, some of which are in order (which means you might not find a biography of Nabakov in the cricket section).
Proud to say that one such room has been cleaned and organised, which is 20 per cent of what I set out to do. But these were 80 per cent organised in the first place. It is the remainder that needs work – and will continue to need work.
Growing shoulder-length hair to recapture youth: A good idea except it was arrived at without considering the wife. Two haircuts later, my head is ready to qualify for a role as Hercule Poirot – egg-shaped, if you know what I mean. And egg-smooth too.
Writing a book: Here, I have done some boast-worthy work. The break from routine has inspired many friends to do one of two things – write a book or make a baby. It takes less energy to do the former, and following the easier path I have succeeded here. Watch this space for details.
Gardening, cooking, carpentry, house-painting, building extensions to the house, organising my papers: No. No. No. No. No. No. A total washout.
Learning a new language: See above. Besides, I wasn’t involved in any medical, judicial or technological breakthrough (these weren’t part of the resolutions, just thought I would include these here for the sake of full disclosure).
And so to the question from my grandchildren in the future: What did you do during the great Covid disaster, grandpa?
I held the country together, I shall say. I worked on policies that ensured we would lose neither lives nor livelihoods. If it weren’t for me, you wouldn’t be here enjoying a good life.
The catch is, our leaders are already saying these things, and by the time the grandchildren arrive and are old enough to ask, those lies will be accepted as truth, leaving no place for my lies. But at least I would have written a book.