In our house, there was a comment on what life was like ‘before Pandemic World’. I remarked that Pandemic World would be a pretty rubbish name for a theme park. Predictably, my comment was met with stony silence and an icy stare. Chastened, I slunk back to the garden table that has, for the past few weeks, been my work station. Apparently, green is a soothing colour in which to paint your office. Mine is naturally green and, when I first sat outside, it was very much the prevailing colour. However, in the days I have sat looking over the top of my laptop, burgeoning patches of pink, cerise, yellow, scarlet and indigo have emerged, startlingly peeping out from the green leaves. It felt as if the world was emerging from a hibernation and, now that the humans were confined to barracks, the coast was clear and nature could breathe a sigh of relief. As the nearby M25 calmed from an ever-present roar to a faint murmur, the birds seemed to sing louder and more joyfully. I came to recognise the blackbird that perched atop a tall Arborvitae and held warbled conversations with neighbouring blackbirds. The foxes that live somewhere just beyond the fringes of our garden became bolder and the occasional slinging out of bread, cheese, grapes and other dispensables has now become an expected dinner date that we can set our clocks by. Initially, the one or two that ventured from the boundary hedges and trees seemed satisfied with slightly stale pickings, but we seem, unwittingly, to have raised their culinary standards and vulpine snouts of the whole family are now turned up at any insultingly low votive offerings. Speaking of hibernation, according to our Prime Minister we are now emerging from it. If so, this has got to be the hottest period of hibernation on record. Also, word seems not to have reached the ears of my children, whose lack of social or educational structure has seen their hours of resting and rising shift steadily later. It may be, of course, be that they actually emerged from hibernation weeks ago and are now simply nocturnal. Be that as it may, I am not sure that I am ready to go back to ‘how things were’, ‘daily life as we knew it’ and definitely not to embrace ‘the new normal’. I have enjoyed a more reflective life, the kindness and community spirit of our road’s fellow lockdowners and communing with the garden’s colourful variety of fauna and flora. Maybe Pandemic World wasn’t such a rubbish name after all.