I knew I was on borrowed time when Selfie King came up for Hanami last year, he was on the train home as Johnson made the announcement about the first lock down.
We had our picnic and then we all holed up in our houses, well, except for those of us key workers who just kept on going. And then I joined Ex-Gardnerian’s Discord server along with half of Lancaster.
Wow Discord’s been good over the pandemic. Even my old server grew from occasional use for games to a place for pagans to meet up and a group of parasite enthusiasts to talk too. That last one I did not see coming.
But in true Lancaster nerd style Ex-Gardnerian’s server started out with daily check-ins, for people to request and offer help, catch up on what was going on. Every evening at 7pm. Who’s isolating? Who needs groceries? Who wants a game tonight? It was good, and we felt weirdly practiced for it, like the substation going down was a dry run for it. After over a year of that it’s reduced to three times a week. Monday and Ex-G chairs, Wednesday is Sensible and Friday is me. I thought we’d be done by now but we’re not and I get the feeling the 7pm chats are going to remain useful this winter.
There is a comfort to it, and for me at least it helps its voicecall only. There’s a sense to be made to me, ex-Ham that I am, of voices checking in, in an apocalypse.
I don’t know when the last seven o’clock will be, but I think these are going to stay with me.