Five things from January 2021 I'd bury in a time capsule
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We've almost made it!
When we turn off the lights tomorrow night (after watching Match Of The Day 2, naturally) we can kiss January 2021 goodbye forever.
As far back as 1975 Scottish rockers Pilot were rhyming the month January with "sick and tired, you've been hanging on me" and ever since it's been a 31-day glum fest.
This year we had the added bonus of the whole month in lockdown where we've interacted more with white van man and Jonathan Van-Tam than with our own friends and family.
But we are going out with a mild bang in this quiet corner of England. For a region that most outsiders think has only just got Ceefax, it does seem strange to write the words Sutton Hoo, Suffolk and Netflix in the same sentence.
Yes East Anglia is set to light up the small screen with the release of The Dig, the movie staring Ralph Fiennes recreating the famous discovery of Anglo-Saxon treasure.
Based on the fact that it's also 50 years since Blue Peter buried their own time capsule, we've done a bit spade work digging through the archives in the Weekend magazine today on time capsules over the years.
- 1 Woman in her 50s who died in A11 crash named locally
- 2 Roads closed as armed police and dog units swoop on Norwich home
- 3 North Norfolk pub re-opens as a hotel
- 4 Train travellers set for another weekend of rail disruption
- 5 Mum trying to find lost 'heart' of daughter who died days after birthday
- 6 Woman in serious condition in hospital after crash between two cars and van
- 7 North Norfolk glamping site named among best in the UK
- 8 The school where boys can wear skirts - but not shorts
- 9 Woman in her 20s dies in A47 crash
- 10 Norfolk festival cancelled amid 'challenging year'
We've unearthed some great pictures of the weird items chucked in a tube and buried underground for future generations to marvel over - although I'm not sure an empty Mars bar wrapper, Diet Coke can or Kylie Minogue cassette will be heralded as gems representing the 1980s and 1990s, but then what would?
So in 30 years time or when or an alien from the planet Tharg asks to see what life was like in January 2021, what could we tell them? Of course face masks would be the first thing to go - we'll have to find another way of steaming up our glasses in supermarkets.
Here are five other items I'd happily consign to a January 2021 time capsule and hopefully never see again.
1) My 2021 calendar
Last year's calendar was a big mess of lines crossed through running events, cancelled school plays, aborted football courses, mothballed holidays and postponed gigs.
My wife's big birthday celebrations went from New York to Spain to London to a beach hut on the Norfolk coast.
I haven't had so many ruined dates since I accidentally stood on my dad's box of Eat Me in the 1980s.
2021's calendar is even worse. January's has 'Back to School' crossed out and just one other thing on it - the thrilling prospect of a trip to the dentist.
2) A pair of stretchy trousers
The clothing choice for a legion of homeworkers, the shapeless trouser with a saggy bottom has become an unsightly uniform synonymous with lockdown.
Why get dressed for work when you can just wear the same pair of stretchy trousers every hour of the day? It's like being retired already (he joked).
You may know them as joggers, but that implies that they are actually used for some kind of mildly strenuous activity. I'm talking about the sort of slouchy trousers you would have changed out of before putting the wheelie bin out in 2019.
Those same trousers are now considered fine and appropriate attire for your weekly trip to Sainsbury's.
3) My parkrun barcode
Life really has become a bit Chris Whitty in the last 12 months - something as simple as going for a run against the clock with a load of other like-minded fitness fans bit the dust last March.
Having seen Piers Morgan call for joggers to be banned from town centres and seeing people turn their heads away when runners jog past in the street in the last year I can't see running events like this returning for a long time.
If we have reservations about personal space, how are we going to feel about mass exercise events like this?
I sadly don't think I'll be using my barcode at all this year.
4) My wi-fi router
I used to have a bit of routine in my daily life.... breakfast, kids to school, walk to work, lunch, walk home, play with the kids, free time, bed.
Now it's one long waking mush of laptops, chargers, home-schooling, video calls and trying to stay in touch with friends and family.
Weekends are hardly any different.
I've had to reconfigure my house so I can work near the wi-fi router to allow me the pleasure of seeing my colleagues in two dimensional form on a small screen.
I'd love to have my life not ruled by wi-fi and to be able to talk to people in person again.
5) Banana bread recipe
I haven't made it either. Or sourdough or a Quarantini cocktail. All these food fads and recipes that are supposed to have got us through lockdown are going to be as welcome post lockdown as Steve Davis reading out the latest NHS statistics.
I'm not sure actual food is apt for a time capsule but there are some panic buys from last March still lurking in my cupboard - two strawberry jellies and two tins of custard, for example.
They'll probably be OK in 30 years time and would be a good illustration that life really was a trifle odd in 2021.