I’ve been meeting my manager in the park every week during lockdown. He lived in a neighbourhood nearby and we both missed seeing people from work face-to-face, so it made sense. Plus the weather’s been good for the most part so it’s been nice to sit and have our catch up in the sun with either a coffee or a beer. Today I cycled there from the new house; it’s about fifteen minutes away.
On the way back from the meeting I was sitting in a bike lane behind a mother on bike with her toddler in a seat mounted on the back. We were waiting at a red light and I followed the gaze of the toddler to the left and through the fence of a primary school. There was a scene of total normalcy playing out inside. Schoolkids in those paisley dresses and primary red jumpers were running around in the yard together, playing. It’s been such a long time since I’ve seen that. The sound of children playing and laughing together is so reassuring. I’m not going to make out we’re in some Children of Men scenario but of the kinds of crowds I’ve missed, happy children all together is one.