REALLY, this should be the perfect summer for me. One that comes with a perfectly good pandemic-approved excuse to stay inside.

Truth is, I’m not good with heat. Once the thermometer nudges into the high twenties I start to feel uncomfortable. Over 30C, thankfully not that common around here, and I start feeling sick. When it comes to another “dreaded sunny day,” I’m with Morrissey. (NB, just to be clear, that doesn’t extend to his support for far-right parties called For Britain).

It’s perhaps notable that the only time I’ve been down the town (do people still say that?) in these last few months was the day last week when the rain was torrential.

So, any excuse to stay at home and watch old black and white movies on the telly you would think I would welcome. And I do up to a point. This has been the summer of William Powell and Myrna Loy, good books (Scabby Queen by Kirstin Innes, Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart and M John Harrison’s The Sunken Land Begins to Rise Again are all worth your time and attention) and Lianne La Havas’s single Bittersweet on repeat.

And yet every time I look up, it’s obvious how abnormal this season is. I’ve been in Glasgow once since March. I’ve not visited Edinburgh since lockdown. Normally I’d be spending August at Fringe shows and in Charlotte Square for the book festival (or at least thinking that that’s what I should be doing). This August I’ve not got much further than Sainsbury’s in Linlithgow (an exotic out-of-town excursion for those of us living in Falkirk).

The strangeness of this summer is hard to ignore. And of course, it is right that it should feel strange. The danger is if we try to pretend otherwise, that we try to live through this August as if it was just like any other and imagine we can crowd into the streets, fill the beaches, ignore social distancing, pretend that sunshine (or alcohol) is somehow anti-viral.

There’s an understandable desire for things to go back to the way they were. We all feel it, whatever that normal may be (what I’d give for an afternoon movie at the Filmhouse right now). But this is a singular summer. Scotland can be quite proud of its attempts to control Covid-19. But as we can see around the world the virus remains persistent. It is showing no sign of getting bored. It doesn’t feel any need to ignore us. The worst thing we could do is decide that we can now ignore it in return just because the sun is out.