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ESP’s Man About Town talks us through Lockdown 2.0 and looks ahead to 2021, but first he’s desperate for a haircut (again)…


So, we’re nearly through with Lockdown 2 and how are we feeling?

To most of us this time around it’s been a tad easier to navigate. Compared to March, we’ve had the benefit of bubbles, which is a lifeline for so many including yours truly.

But the biggest advantage we had over the original lockdown is experience. Yes, I know we’re fed up and it’s still a tough time but we’ve been here before and this means we can make it to the other side in one piece once again.

I know you can’t get a haircut (I’m already starting to look like a dude from the 70s) go to the gym or have your nails done, but think how satisfied and relieved you’re going to feel when you can again! I’ve always found that looking forward to something makes time go quicker – and picturing it in your mind is even more motivational.

There’s no doubt our general health and wellbeing has taken a bit of a kicking this year. Talking always helps. We all need to talk to one another more and having conversation is reassuring, makes us smile and helps us to count our blessings. Talking to the right people about the right things is one of life’s purest pick-me-ups.

This is why I caught up with our wellbeing columnist Karen Devine for a good natter and some inspiration to help me get through the next few weeks emotionally unscathed. Here’s a snapshot of what she had to say. Read the full article here

What was the main thing you learned or changed over the last few months?

“Spending less on stuff I really do not need (just wanted) using more of what I already have and/or giving them a bit of an upgrade such as the pots in the garden – instead of swapping them I painted them.”

What positive change will you continue with to get you through winter?

“Less TV, I hardly switch it on these days, instead I look for inspirational movies/documentaries on the internet. When I’m not watching those I love to read, preferably a book with pages rather than electronic.”

What have you found heartwarming?

“People finding love during lockdown and those growing closer during these times where they can spend more time together, enjoying each other’s company and getting to know each other all over again.”

What do you now value more?

“Quality time with close friends and family.”

What book/podcast/TV show cheers you up or motivates you?

“I love watching thought leaders who are making a difference in the world, a great movie/documentary to watch is called Thrive (part 2 is now out to buy) – which gives us hope for a new sustainable world to not just live in but ‘thrive in’.”


(Photo: Emma Bothamley for ESP)

The message is don’t turn up but tune in to this year’s Christmas lights switch-on event on December 2 at 7pm.

A 15-minute pre-recorded festive celebration will be streamed by the city council and I have to commend my former colleagues for a sterling effort to keep the Christmas spirit alive at the end of a challenging year.

For me, it’ll be the first time in seven years that I haven’t been part of the organising team or managing the event back stage from the Guild Hall. I’ll miss it but I know the celebration is in good hands and will be appreciated by our residents.

I’m also pleased to see the lights will be switched on by a local unsung hero or group (voted by the people of Peterborough) that went above and beyond in the community during the height of the pandemic.

There’s plenty of opportunities to watch the switch-on event on websites and social media channels of Peterborough City Council, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, Peterborough Community Radio and Peterborough Live.

Merry Christmas everyone!


Why do we torture ourselves even more by listening to sad music when we’re going through a break-up?

Well, the type of music we listen to depends on your star sign. Apparently, each star sign handles the trauma of splitting up differently and according to a survey by the choice of music can vary but the lyrics always strike a chord.

The findings say about my sign, Gemini: Known for turning their breakups into sad dramas, it’s no shock Gemini’s break-up song is ‘All Too Well’ by Taylor Swift.

I have to agree, Taylor’s lyrics are good but if I really want to cry into another ball of Terry’s Chocolate Orange (white chocolate version – yum) I just turn to George Michael’s ‘I Can’t Make You Love Me’ or Sam Smith’s ‘Lay Me Down’. Oh, then there’s Adele…

I reckon I could write the ultimate break-up song. Who wants to read Man About Tune instead?


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