Braving post-Covid London calls for grit and lipstick

After two long years, a trip to the capital calls for military planning and a makeup overhaul

The last time I filled in for Eva Wiseman for a stretch everything was closing down, hazard tape on swings, bars shuttering, Welsh goats plotting their takeover. The picture accompanying this column was taken on 16 March 2020 in an echoing, empty office, the photographer trying to catch me not looking terrified. Afterwards, I trekked across febrile, empty-shelved London, trying to buy bread and tissues. The city felt as strange as it did on 7/7, with that same sense of not knowing what or where was safe.

I went back to London yesterday. “Covid is over on this train,” I messaged a friend crossly on the way, glasses fogged, face humid from my FFP2. “It’s the roaring 20s, we’re all Charlestoning in the sodding aisles.”

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