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  • Writer's picturePhilip Bryer

The Things I Miss the Most*

After my sudden, unwelcome arrival on the scrapheap four years ago, there have been some major lifestyle changes. Not least, that since beginning a new career as a freelance, I no longer have to commute to an office – something which I had been doing twice a week for the previous ten years or so.

Obviously, many people have had their travelling to work routines upended by the pandemic, so perhaps a sympathetic reader, similarly inconvenienced by the covid effect, will find some resonance in the things I miss the most:

· Colleagues. Well, some of them. If I haven’t kept in touch, it’s nothing personal, but it’s not me, it’s you.

· Face-to-face, in-person conversations. Unless they’re about company ‘fun’ days, team-building activities, departmental rounders matches, etc.

· Stopping off for a pint on the way home with Martin Pritchard: the nicest, warmest, funniest, and most generous man in the world. The vast majority of readers won’t know Martin, but I feel he deserves a line or two for posterity.

· The train. Over two hours of reading, writing, music, or staring out of window in silent contemplation in the manner of Inspector Morse.

· Coming out of the station at night to find Mrs B waiting for me in the car.

· Opening the front door on a chilly evening to be greeted by a roaring fire in the log-burning stove and getting on the outside of a cheering snifter.

· Having a chat about the day’s events – rather than nipping upstairs four times an hour to share moments of inconsequence.

· Taking my shoes off. (Not such a pleasure for the rest of the household, I’m sure.)

I could follow this with a list of things I don’t miss, but let’s keep the tone light and positive, eh? Anyway, I don’t have the time.

*Inspired – as are many things in my life* – by a Steely Dan song.

*Inspired – as are many things in …, (oh, stop it).

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