By Nick Hancock

I should start by saying there is an alternative remix to the 1991 Janet Jackson and Luther Vandross classic which is “The best things in life are freebies” and if (like me) you love a good freebie, I hope you are enjoying all the prizes we have to offer at Your Harrogate!

Odd times. Very odd times. Every now and then you just have a moment don’t you. Mine was in Primark (Pri-mani) last Saturday. Whilst my wife was shopping for something that she said was amazing and cheap, I can’t remember what, I just looked around for thirty seconds and saw all the shoppers, all masked up and I found myself thinking ‘if you’d told me in October 2019 I’d be in Primark surrounded by masked up people I still wouldn’t like going shopping’.

Since lockdown one, or as we call it in our house ‘proper lockdown’ (The Joe Wicks, Normal People, Thursday clapping and baking bread lockdown) I have developed some new habits which are making me happy.

Firstly phoning my mum every day. Pre-covid, probably like a lot of sons, I would only call my mum on a Sunday to catch up on the weeks news. Since the middle of march we now talk to each other every day. Funnily enough we never run out of things to say. Admittedly a lot of the time we talk about Covid life (this week for example there was A LOT to unpack in Donald Trump’s twitter feed, and by the way how awful must he have felt twenty years ago??!). It’s nice. I pass the phone to my kids and they tell her about school and Nerf guns, although if they are engrossed in Youtube videos (about Nerf guns) they will be mute!

The daily exercise. Back in March when work had gone west and all social plans went out the window I really enjoyed the routine of “one bit of exercise a day”. That was the rule, that was the law and you felt guilty if you even considered undertaking a second piece of exercise! I mean, what if a neighbour caught you!!! I try and go for a run every day. Just a short one. 5k to start the day. A run before the fun. For me it is just about clearing my head and it makes me feel good. I also believe it allows me to eat an orange twirl while I watch TV in the evening as I have “earned the credit”.

My final one sounds small but is the biggest change. Now at the weekend instead of rushing from work event to kids party to sports lesson to a friends house, we are just at home more. Just relaxing at home. Everyone in the house can do their own thing and it feels like it’s doing us all a bit of good.