Is it just me or have things changed? Christmas decorations apart (and most of them I find tasteless) I mostly find everything so dull looking down a modern day main street in a town. Most of the big shops have disappeared - now doing most if not all of their sales online so that only the biggest cities have an actual shop that you can step over the threshold into and actually finger the goods. 'Do I want that blue jumper or would I prefer that red one' kind of thing. That means that in place of those shops some of the windows are bare, dark and waiting for some entepreneur to have a bright idea - that means no models, no colour and - at this time of the year- no Santas on sleighs or reindeer or anything in the windows. There will be a few coffee shops (of varying qualities) the odd tea shop (and if you live anywhere near Harrogate the lovely Betty's. But will they ever recover?
Over the last few days the News has been totally taken over by Covid - the variants, the hospital admissions, the vaccination programme, what can open and what can't open under the next lot of complicated and ever-changing rules. So the News has shot after shot of the High Street - and it has brought home to me just how dull it is. The weather is wet, everybody's overcoat these days seems to be an anorak and they are almost one hundred percent navy blue or black. Yesterday - a Sales Day the High Street in whatever town it was - London I expect - was quite crowded. If the camera had suddenly taken out all those in black or navy anoraks there would have been about ten people left - and over half of those would have been in fawn.
I wonder if, psychologically, we would all feel better if there was more colour about. Would it make any difference to how we felt and how good or how bad our reaction to Omicron was. Of course I am sensible enough to know that the variant is extremely infectious but I do also know just how important our state of mind is when it comes to meeting bugs head on.
I find myself over and over again thinking back to streets in Seville many years ago - streets just off a main square and they were lined with Seville Orange trees. I have been there twice - once when the trees were being pruned and once when they had oranges on. The colour stays with me.
On the News at lunchtime today we went to Kabul where there is now huge unemployment, terrible poverty, almost starvation - three little boys no longer at school and roaming the streets cleaning shoes to earn enough to buy one slice of bread to share. The streets full of litter and rubble and the whole with an air of hopelessness.
There is, somehow, over the whole world a terrible feeling that something has gone so terribly wrong = I watched "Call the Midwife" last night on TV for want of something to watch - the scene is the East End of London in the thirties - the dirt, the poverty, the lack of colour anywhere. Don't let us drift back to that.
Sorry if I sound depressed. I am not, not at all. I feel very lucky to still be alive at 89 and to be able to lead a comfortable life with plenty of friends, but it does make me sad that colour= in its widest sense= seems to be disappearing from our lives at a very rapid pace. Convince me I am wrong.