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RICHARD ORD: Why the ‘new normal’ may soon be terrifying cheese rolls and fur hats

So here I am dressed in a puffer jacket and fur hat (with furry ear-flaps) working at home on my computer. The things you do to help reduce the heating bills!

By Richard Ord
Wednesday, 23rd March 2022, 12:00 am

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Participants tumble after the Double Gloucester cheese as it hurtles down Coopers Hill, Gloucestershire, in the annual Cheese Rolling competition. Photo credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire
Participants tumble after the Double Gloucester cheese as it hurtles down Coopers Hill, Gloucestershire, in the annual Cheese Rolling competition. Photo credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

If that image isn’t bizarre enough for you … I’m sitting on a large inflatable gym ball. Oh, and there’s tinsel around my computer. The gym ball is because I read that sitting on a gym ball is better for your back than a rigid office chair. And since I’ve reached the age when my back goes out more than I do, it was worth a try.

The tinsel is a remnant of Christmas. Yes, I am that lazy. But there’s always something left out when you pack away all the Christmas decorations isn’t there? Still, gives me a head-start for next Christmas.

Covid, Brexit and war are playing a significant part in what is described as our new normal.

Coronavirus paranoia has at least calmed down. While people in public still stifle coughs in the same way characters in horror movies hide zombie bites, at least the confrontations have stopped. Remember those? Everything from the head shakes and over-loud tuts if you didn’t follow the arrows in the supermarket aisles to, as was in my case, being shouted at in the street for running past someone within two metres of his wife.

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Rising food prices and shortages are also taking their toll. I fear for the future of great sporting food events like the Cooper’s Hill Cheese Roll. That’s when hundreds of people race down a steep hill chasing a round of Double Gloucester cheese. I hear it’s set to be a demonstration sport at the Los Angeles Olympics in 2028. As food becomes more scarce and people more desperate, rather than an eccentric British tradition, this terrifying cheese roll may become the norm as supermarkets try to fairly distribute their wheels of rare Dairylea cheese triangles! Survival of the fittest and all that.

Rocketing energy bills are my biggest concern, though my 18-year-old son hasn’t received the memo. He strolls about our place in a t-shirt complaining about the temperature. ‘It’s freezing,’ he moans. My stock reply is: ‘Well change into your shorts.’ He then heads off into the shower for half an hour ‘to warm up’ thereby negating any energy savings I may have made.

I’m mad with him, and he thinks I’m mad. I insist I’m the sanest man in the house. But I guess it’s a little hard to carry that off when you’re bouncing on a gym ball wearing a fur hat (with furry ear-flaps).