Opinion: Janet Christie Mum's the Word column - Get outside and you'll find fomo has been frozen out by Covid

“Skimming stones across the ice and hearing them skitter and bounce, then this noise,” says Eldest Child. “Cracking. So loud. Ridiculously loud. Never noticed that before. Maybe because it’s so quiet. You can hear everything without the traffic.”

Walking has become a national pastime during Covid.
Walking has become a national pastime during Covid.

He’s been doing a lot of walking. We all have. There’s not much else to do unless you mix it up with walking faster (running) or a salsa beat (zumba).

“Where were you cracking the ice?”

I want to do this. I’m running out of walking destinations, given that I’m limited to five miles and if I do any more running, I’ll ruin my knees again, which would play havoc with the online zumba. I’m not complaining. Thank you Covid, I suppose, you finally got me exercising and off the fags. I wish that games teacher who used to encourage me by shouting “come on stiffy” could see me now.

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“Out by the lighthouse station,” he says.

“Oh yeah, I was there yesterday. Frozen ice and the swan couple at the far side doing impressions of hotel towels. I’ll do the stones thing next time, away from them obvs. Top tip.”

That’s the good thing about nature, the constant change - gives you something to notice when you’re prowling about topping up the vitamin D and nurturing your mental health. All this stuff I never noticed before lockdown as I raced around blindly, always somewhere else in my head, fixated on the destination and never the journey.

It’s for health reasons that I spent half an hour lying on my bed watching a woodpecker hacking lumps out of the vast oak tree outside. Now I know the source of the chunks of wood on the decking. I had thought the hissing squirrels were trying to drive away the badger who is an acorn addict and with last year being a mast year with a bumper crop, has moved in on their patch to feed his habit. ‘Our’ fox meanwhile prefers leftovers collected from a neighbour, their daily route picked out in the snow, through my hedge and round the house in precise straight lines of chevron prints, back foot landing where the front has been.

Ice at Edinburgh waterfront.

Yeah, skimming stones is cool,” says Eldest. “And something else I’ve noticed about Covid. No FOMO. That’s fear of miss...”

“-ing out,” I finish. “I know, but thanks for the translation.”

“No social media posts of people having amazing times at gigs you’re not at,” he says. “No pressure.”

True. And missing what was right in front of us all the time.

Fomo has been frozen out by Covid.

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A blast of positivity stops my lockdown wobble - Janet Christie

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