Wishing you a ferry merry Christmas, some time soon | Rick Jackson

I felt that under that cool, calm exterior, inside chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty was jumping for joy.

Wednesday, 24th February 2021, 3:58 pm
HO HO HO! Only a few weeks until Christmas (2020)... Picture: Shutterstock

How wonderful to be able to bring the news that we are winning the war against the coronavirus, thanks to the incredible efforts to vaccinate more than 17 million people and counting.

At last I feel proud to be British after feeling like the worst country in the world at the way we had handled the pandemic.

As other counties enforced more strict lockdowns and had excellent track and trace systems operating, we seemed to stumble our way through.

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But by midsummer day we, hopefully, will be restriction-free and life will hopefully be back to near normal. And you know what? I’m more than happy to wait.

With more than 120,000 deaths, we don’t want to suddenly see infection rates and deaths rising again. A five-week gap between each slow lifting of restrictions is very prudent planning in my mind.

I’m desperate to see my folks, but another month won’t hurt before we can finally board a ferry to the Isle of Wight and celebrate Christmas with them at last!

All our Christmas presents are waiting to be opened and my 92 year-old nan cannot wait for our kids to go around and wreck her house again!

We are all going to wear Christmas jumpers on the ferry, even if it’s very warm.

Christmas will be back for one day when we finally get over. We may even watch an old Bond movie.

As the weather bucks the trend and treats us to a taste of spring, you felt the country breathe a sigh of relief. The light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter and although we are not on an express train, the stopping service will get us there eventually and won’t cost us as much.

What an incredible thing these scientists have done; create the first coronavirus vaccine in less than a year and what an incredible thing the NHS is doing to administer it.

I’m feeling very optimistic about the future today, and as each day passes, more and more proud of this country.

The streets were alive with the sound of… fish and squid

I thought lockdown was getting to some of my neighbours when fish, lobsters, octopus and squid started appearing on the front of their houses. Then all became clear, an Alverstoke Art Trail – a great idea.

We bought a map, printed it, then took to the streets hunting all the aquatic wildlife.

The brainchild of local girl Hebe Compton, it raised much-needed funds for the Gosport & Fareham Inshore Rescue Service (Gafirs).

The streets were alive with happy, socially-distanced residents out and about fish spotting. Another wonderful example of how community spirit is not just surviving, but thriving here in Gosport thanks to these wonderful ideas.

Two pints and a dirty burger, when Saturdays come again

I may not be going to Wembley to watch Pompey face Salford in the EFL Trophy final, but things are looking promising for a trip to Fratton Park before the season ends.

How I long for the journey across on the Gosport Ferry, the train to Fratton, the walk to the Staggeringly Good Brewery for a pre-match pint.

And after the game, Mick’s Monster Burgers will receive my patronage for a ‘Half-Pound Special’ before another pint in the Ship Anson before catching the ferry home, or the Castle Tavern on the other side if it’s too busy. Boy I so miss this.

There’s nothing like a dirty burger and a few pints of ale on a Saturday afternoon to keep a man happy.

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