After around 30 balloons I temporarily ran out of lung capacity

50 Geburtstagsballons

It was Randi’s birthday yesterday, so to add a special celebratory feel to our living room I spent the night before blowing up (and struggling to tie) 50 balloons while it slowly dawned on me that if I was currently infected with coronavirus then I was essentially just creating 50 mini biological weapons. But, fingers crossed, happy birthday! Randi gained an exemption to open her DIY poké bowl present from Tash a few days early in the interests of freshness, so we’d already been feasting on that throughout the weekend, and yesterday evening we celebrated with our first Honest Burgers delivery. Still great! We also had a very special socially-distanced doorstep visit from some of Randi’s colleagues. You heard it here first: in-person socialising is so refreshing, I fully predict this is going to be a hot new trend of 2021.

After around 30 balloons I temporarily ran out of lung capacity
After around 30 balloons I temporarily ran out of lung capacity

Of course, old-fashioned Zoom socialising isn’t going away overnight, and for Katie & Kim’s Thursday-night quiz Randi and I have recently hit upon the strategy of inviting people to join our team who are actually good at quizzes. This started a while ago when my colleague Erin joined the team, but we have now also absorbed Erin’s sister Kellianne, their LOTR-expert father and – our newest recruit – quizmaster extraordinaire Todd. In honour of our soaring performance due to the King family, and the fact that our new centre of gravity is firmly in Massachusetts, we’ve also rebranded as the New Kinglanders. Suffolkators: we have our eyes on you!

Crystal Palace from Dulwich Upper Wood on one of our 'unlimited exercise' walks
Crystal Palace from Dulwich Upper Wood on one of our ‘unlimited exercise’ walks
This is where my hair has got to
This is where my hair has got to

When not quizzing, we’ve also fallen into a black hole of documentaries about mountain climbing. First came The Dawn Wall, then the more political Sherpa, then A Line Across The Sky and now every other suggestion from the Amazon Video app involves climbing something. I also rewatched Argo so that Randi could experience the incredible tension of that final airport escape scene. (Somewhere in the back of my head I think there’s a bit of Argo playing every time I ever go through an airport.)

And, of course, we enjoyed Saturday night’s special Eurovision programmes to fill the Song Contest-shaped hole in our lives this May, but I’m genuinely excited about celebrating twice as hard next year. Balloons on me!

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