I want to hug my friends for so long and so tightly and give them such big, sloppy kisses that they’ll long for the days of social distancing.
I want to shake the hand of every person I meet, one of those double-hold shakes, clasping their one hand between my two, with eye contact and a smile so big that my face will look like it’s going to fall off.
I want to meet every friend, their partner, their children and their pets and treat them to coffee and cake, listening to every detail of what they’ve been doing during lockdown and enjoying every single word.
I want sit for hours in cafes drinking coffee, eating cake, then sandwiches, then more cake, a different sort of course. I’ve missed cafe cake. This will be my personal contribution to kick-starting the coffee and cake economy.
I want to drive to the Greasy Sausage Sandwich van, parked on the dual carriageway layby and buy the greasiest sausage sandwich they sell and wash it down with a pint of builders’ tea in a chipped mug.
I want to sit next to total strangers in the cinema and share their popcorn, even if it’s sweet, then brush past them all as I go to and from the concessions, searching for Kia Ora and the singing crow.
I want to join the round-the-block queue to the Apple store for the latest iPhone release, even though I don’t and never will have an iPhone. When I get to the front, I’ll ask for the latest Samsung Galaxy, then run away sniggering. Just because I can.
I want to get in the car and drive the length and breadth of the country, then cross over to another country and another, stopping at service stations and using every toilet. Twice. The purchase of coffee and cake is a given.
I want to climb 6b+ at the climbing wall, thrutching and huffing and puffing as I try and fail to reach the dirty, smelly, sweat-stained holds, then crawl to the cafe for chips with extra chips, soaked in vinegar. I’ll share them with all my mates.
I want to pop into a shop and buy flour, so I can make cake.
I want to put on my running kit and not run alone. I want to pin on my race number and be shoulder to shoulder with hundreds, maybe thousands of other runners in the start funnel, chattering nervously, or maybe shivering with cold, then watch as they all sprint off, and leave me plodding along, grinning, crying with happiness.
Most of all, I want to parkrun. I want to wake up on a Saturday with that ‘it’s parkrun day’ buzz and get there super early to greet fellow parkrunners as they arrive. Yes, I want to parkrun, it’s what I’ve missed the most during these lockdown times. The friendships, the stories, the pure joy of seeing so many familiar faces who I may or may not be able to put a name to, the setting up and taking down of the course, the short walk to the cafe afterwards, and of course the coffee and cake. Oh and the running, mustn’t forget that. Afterwards, hours later, returning home with a buzz and grin that lasts the rest of the day. Yes, parkrun. I want to parkrun. Please let it be soon!