Sunday, June 13

We are almost close enough to touch freedom. But is the end of the confinement a mirage? | Zoe williams

IIt is very similar to a mirage, isn’t it, the route out of the confinement? From a distance in April, the “day of freedom”, June 21, seemed almost inevitable. It was so obvious that it was going to happen that there wasn’t much else to say, beyond, “Oh ho, that’s convenient isn’t it, so close to the prime minister’s birthday on June 19?”

He was planning a housewarming, delayed since November. Mr. Z loves parties, giants. Your ideal scenario is to pack a room so tightly packed that someone will definitely set themselves on fire, because in the end, with enough candles and enough bodies, it’s just a numbers game, and the only creature that can move freely is a cat (which we don’t have ), as in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. You can raise any objection: 200 people? Really? What will everyone eat? – and his answer is always: “Frazzles”.

In May, we were talking about the Delta variant and Boris Johnson was saying there was nothing to worry about, which is a very decipherable code for, “This is the point to start worrying about.”

The mirage was still very much intact, to me. It’s just the orientation of my character. There was the pool sparkling and sparkling, although, okay, it was starting to glow suspiciously and maybe those distant wildebeest looked a bit misty. Last month, we were still having a party, we just hadn’t invited anyone. Your basic Kevin Costner game: If you build it (in your mind), they will come. They just don’t know yet.

It was not the only pending event on the roadmap. A young relative is getting married at the end of June and is counting on the government to lift the 30-person limit for weddings in England. It’s my family reunion in early July, when all the top Williams members from across the country gather in one house and say, “This was so much more convenient when we did it in Nottingham” and, “Oh, but when we went to Newport , the Isle of Wight contingent was there, and they are the funniest. ” Then we start to sort the branches of the family in order of coexistence and then we have a fist fight. The thing that worries me least is the reunion, since we did not do it last year, for the first time I can remember, and the relations between all of us have never been better.

What worries me the most is the wedding. In middle age, in your second or third marriage, you have a lot of flexibility around the nuptials. They can be delayed, or the wedding breakfast can be replaced by a scones at the last minute, and nobody cares, because it is more or less what they expected of you.

In the first sprout of youth, a wedding is like a planet: lots of satellites dangling from it, chickens and deer, honeymoons and rehearsals, post-game analysis barbecues. Six months before the event, he’s already been arguing about the guest list for what feels like half his life. If you have to cut the numbers, you will inevitably lose untold deposits in the hands of marquee vendors and macaroni smugglers, whose contracts are so hermetic that they should have a side hustle in international law.

The UK Weddings Taskforce estimates that 50,000 weddings have been planned for the four weeks starting June 21. Usefully calculated the number of individual flower stalks that would be wasted if the blockage does not end (300 m), the amount of food in tons (275). If you imagine the volume of the cake, the tragedy of the cancellation becomes enormous. But it’s much worse than that: it misaligns the stars. Soon, there will be a plague of mice.

At the beginning of June, the government was still enthusiastic, but the key newspapers, generally speaking, the ones you should always take with a pinch of salt, except when they are delivering bad news while the official line is still good news, were speculating that, in a “data, not dates” approach, the data was not in our favor. Rishi Sunak told this newspaper that he was comfortable with a four-week delay, which is the language of the chancellor: “If someone makes the wrong decision and we end up in a third wave, don’t force it on me.” At least someone is thinking ahead.

Now, we are almost close enough to touch freedom. The most up-to-date rumors are that the full uprising is unlikely, but the rules for weddings will be relaxed, so maybe the prime minister is in my opinion about the cake (and the mice). People across the country are making the best decisions they can with the information in front of them, of which there is none.

Johnson is in Cornwall for the G7 summit, awaiting the strictest deadlines to make the decision. He took a plane there, which doesn’t have the best optics, the carbon waste of air travel and all that, but he probably didn’t mean to. Most likely, he intended to take a train and missed it only after a cascade of other appointments, also missed. You have to be careful to think about this too deeply as you will land on: “A man who finds it so hard to say whether or not a party will be allowed next week … realistically how useful he will be in the challenge world. of the climate crisis? “And then you will be really scared; freedom or not freedom, mirage or no mirage, you will forget even that you were thirsty.

Zoe Williams is a columnist for The Guardian

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