NO MASK, NO SERVICE,’ said the notice outside the small industrial unit near Coalville to which Jacqueline and I had been directed. So we complied and went inside, only to find just one other person with a mask. People are getting fed up with being told that Covid is the only game in town. It’s time we scrapped the regulations and treated it like colds and ‘flu. The collateral damage already far exceeds the ill effects of this virus.

There’s nothing ‘posh’ about Coalville, – Coal town. When I first knew it sixty years ago it was ringed with deep mines, and they were easily the main employers. So confident were they of their future that when mines on the Scottish borders closed families were relocated to Coalville and we started hearing Scottish accents on the streets. It didn’t last long, and when the closures came they were sudden and dramatic. I’ve long felt that the local councils deserve some credit for the fact that this didn’t lead to mass unemployment Business parks sprang up all round the town, and are still expanding.

The part we needed for our Komatsu digger was made quickly and efficiently, and we threaded our way back through the town to Staunton Harold. What a contrast; here the landscape has hardly changed in a hundred years. But we need both, the tools to run our lives and the quiet of the countryside. Let’s claim back some normality to get the best of them.