THERE is time for steely resilience. There is a moment when only bravery in the face of devastating disappointment is enough to sustain the will to live.

I summoned both when the Scottish Ballet performance of the Nutcracker was cancelled because of the Great Miasma. I then booked a high tea. I like to think my Possil forebears would be proud.

This necessity to snatch a cup of tea and a scone from the very jaws of adversity and insert them into the very jaws of my phizog is one of the lessons I have gleaned from the pandemic.

Well that, and not sharing a hankie and pushing for a national holiday annually on May 15, the only day that Boris did not have a party in his garden at No.10. Geez, there must be a glass mountain of empties in Downing Street that is being eyed by Sir Edmund Hillary from beyond the grave.

There have, though, been reminders of the reality of life. The first is that capitalism, bless its black-hearted soul, will remain constant through any plague.

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My foolhardy attempts to wish for an end to the pandemic included a predisposition, one might say an obsession, to book tickets in advance. For example, I booked tickets for a Sopranos tour when Paulie Walnuts was just a mere seed.

My money was taken from my account with an alacrity that suggested that Usain Bolt was an intern. Several years on – and one doesn’t jest here, or indeed anywhere else in this column – the money has not been returned. The event has now been cancelled. Whacked. It now sleeps with the fishes.

The credit card that parlayed the deal is now a piece of redundant plastic, taken to the nearest coup and now doing its best to contribute to the extinction of the planet.

My dosh thus lies in some sort of limbo. It seems the massed brains of American Express cannot find a way to return it to me, though I have suggested Paulie Walnuts makes a call.

Vast chunks of my considerable fortune are lying in other accounts. For example, I have booked more musicals than Cameron Mackintosh and at similar expense. But nary a chorus, not a peep. The money goes out. It has still to come back in.

You would have thought, dear reader, that one would have learned a lesson from all of this but I am nothing if not resolutely resilient and appreciably stupid.

So I filched out another card and had another tilt. A special birthday was approaching (not mine, for me at my age every birthday is special and slightly surprising) and I decided to buy a chunk of the away end at the ballet.

It may surprise some but I have never been to the ballet. It reminds me of a conversation that I had with Ben Ainslie, Olympic yachtsman, on the shore at Largs after I had enjoyed a shot in a wee dinghy.

“I loved that,” I told him. “I wish I could have done it as a kid.’

Ben, lovely chap, asked why I had not indulged in a bit of sailing as a wean and I replied that the entry requirements for Possil & Milton Yachting Club were extraordinarily stringent. He sympathised and asked if he could intervene even at this late stage. There was no way back from this.

With the embarrassment akin to the one person in No 10 that hasn’t been to a lockdown garden party, I dissuaded him from using his considerable influence to change the mores and practices of the north Glasgow sailing fraternity.

But back to the ballet. Or not. The constant trait of my increasing years is that I want to do things I haven’t done such as a turn of Wagner’s Ring, a peek of Goya in the Prado, a day without rain at Somerset Park and the writing of an intelligible column.

All have been achieved, bar the last.

The ballet seemed like a good shout. I enlisted three generations of MacDonald girls and ponied up for tickets at a cost that would buy Manchester United a replacement for Ronaldo and left change for a refurbished space shuttle.

When the ballet was called off, I was so surprised I nearly didn’t book tickets for most of the concerts at Celtic Connections. But, of course, I did.

Anyway, special birthdays have the tendency to come around despite the malevolent mutations of Covid. So I decided to book again. Nae ballet, then high tea,

A place was reserved that was as posh as the love child of an assignation between William Rees-Mogg and Barbara Cartland and considerably more beautiful.

It was also reassuringly expensive and the excess of saccharine in the purvey suited the taste of this old gent who was brought up on the treat of a piece of sugar.

The champers was swallowed, the scones with a dollop of clotted veins were devoured and the credit card was brandished to pay for something that had in fact been delivered.

We all burped out into a Glasgow city centre that Covid had left stripped of shoppers and rain had conspired to make suitably sombre. But we were oddly uplifted.

There had been no singing or dancing but there had been fun. And the lesson that it could still be found in the worst of days. And not just in a garden in Downing Street.