As everyone is rushing to book restaurants, weddings, events, bars, and the best table in the house, Glasgow going into Covid Level 2 means some business is coming back to the much-needed crippled hospitality sector.

This makes me happy. There is something uplifting about watching people all out on the street cafes and bars enjoying themselves; it’s a reaffirmation that we are still a social society and step towards normality. Even though I am still nervous about being in crowds and probably will always have that anxiety for the foreseeable future, I have to trust the science and join the real world again. Albeit still within the Covid rules and nervously making sure I have a spare mask in every pocket.

I will obviously give the busy places a body swerve, still masked up unless I am in the freshest of open-air venues or covid regulated places, still avoiding people close up and yet desperate to maintain some form of social interaction. It’s a hard balance.

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Organising days out and holidays in Scotland is a way to help the hospitality industry, I for one don’t fancy getting on a plane and heading for a heaving hot beach. That would be my personal idea of hell, I know that millions of people want and deserve a holiday, and don’t forget the people who have family abroad and who are desperate to visit them. It's such a scary thing and we have to be mindful not to judge those who chose to go overseas.

To be fair, government advice is flip-flopping and confusing people who are seeking to travel, it's going to be a long road to recovery and we all need guidance, not political point-scoring. Clear, concise advice and updates are imperative to helping the travel sector recover. Nobody needs Facebook rumours and big Danny the part-time covid expert frightening people on a daily basis.

Politics being what they are, some sides want to ask for everything to be opened quicker, but equally want to distance themselves from the responsibility of those consequences. Someone has to take the hard road and suffer the outcry.

I once cried at my mum why I wasn’t allowed to run across the railway line near our childhood home and she explained “It’s dangerous” I replied “But Jean’s mum lets her do it” and my mum told me “Maybe Jean’s mum doesn’t care if she gets hit by a train, is that what you want?” I didn’t tell her Jean’s mum didn’t know she used to cross the railway line, I just wanted the approval of my mad childish behavioru. Everyone wants people to be safe, but no one wants to be the bad guy that tells us ‘We can’t do that.'

Setting concrete dates is also a crazy idea, what if they can’t make it? A whole nation of people standing at their doors waiting for the starter gun going off and letting them out and we forget things in a pandemic can change in a day, goals are a good thing but set dates are there to be broken. A nation of disappointment and front pages of angry people is all we hope to achieve. What is the answer?

As this pandemic with its various variants rages on, we must be optimistic that the vaccines and the rules will help us through. Hospitality, small businesses and local shops have been crippled since March 2020 and they depend on us for their recovery, so shop local, stay local and help out your own community is my mantra. 

The holiday industry is going to take longer to recover and we are all being encouraged to stay at home and vacation this year. All well and good if you live in a sunny state near a beach, I live near Maryhill and its rainy season most months - and that’s in between the snowy season.

Though in a positive twist, recent weather news has predicted that the Glasgow heatwave looks set to continue with warmer than average weather forecast ahead.

The is brilliant because Glasgow has many open green spaces, we can make use of it and this month as my mental health has dipped, I have taken to walking round my neighbourhood more. Sunscreen slapped on, sausage dog in the pram, and a wee picnic in a bag and I am good to go. My mental health and attitude can be propped up just by being in the middle of a wildflower meadow with a wee dog running beside me. Things can be that simple for me.

The sunshine has helped, I can tell you, but I always carry a jumper and a brolly, just in case.

The Maryhill canal has always been a favourite spot of mine for years and during the pandemic, its has undergone great changes.

New pathways and the Hamiltonhill Clay pits project have cleared the dense undergrowth on the opposite side of the canal near the Garscube road part and created paths, bridges, fishing docks, boat pontoons, and a stunning lookout spot at the top. I can’t tell you how beautiful it looks and right in the heart of a busy city. Once up there, you can’t even hear a bit of traffic, it’s all birds, flowers, and wee deer bobbing about, just up the back from Firhill Football ground. Like another world behind a busy road. There is much more planned and with a new bridge in the making further up the canal, you can check it all out on the websites. City gardens and canals are just the thing to get us a bit of head space.

Most of Scotland’s beautiful scenery surrounds the cities that we live in. It doesn’t take long to find a green park or area to get away from the city footfall.

Being encouraged to stay in our own country and enjoy the views and facilities takes a bit of planning and caution to not overcrowd the small beaches and flood the small villages all at once. We can all do it and remember - take your litter home with you.