Last Tuesday saw me venture back into Newcastle for the first time in a long while. It was my first attempt at getting back to a more normal way of working. I don’t want to go permanently back to an office, not that I have had one in a long while, but I do miss the physical contact with people. Only by us all making a conscious effort to make the move will anything happen.
I used the opportunity of an overdue car service as the catalyst for change. This was in itself ironic as I have hardly used the car in months but when the dashboard light comes on there is little you can do. Suitably masked up, I got the bus along Scotswood Road to the Central Station and made my way down Forth Street to meet my friend Paul.
The building he lives in has a meeting place on the ground floor which was ideal for a socially distanced discussion around #CyberFest. It was so good to finally sit in front of someone and chew the cud. Following that I made my way to the Lit and Phil, a library in the centre of town, for another first for me. Thanks to my daughters I have now become a member but I will leave that to another blog.
From there I made my way, by bus again to Hoults Yard where the Dynamo office is. I wanted to pick up one of the CyberNorth banners which was kept there and it was a good place to catch up on some work. I was alone and, apart from a guy who came to check the smoke alarm, didn’t talk to anyone.
So how was my foray back into normality? A bit weird. In essence many of the things we took for granted were working. The buses were excellent and most of the shops were open yet there was an eerie feeling of emptiness. Yes, there were people around and most obeyed social distancing but they were sparse and avoided each other where they could. I felt that I was doing something wrong by being there, a bit lost like Babe in the City.
On the way back from Hoults Yard though, the sun had come out and the bars on the quayside were buzzing once again. Some more signs of a returning normality?