COMMENT:

The new normal. All the things that do and do not matter any more now that we are in lockdown.

Every day brings a new surprise as to what does and doesn't matter any more. Here are just a few examples we have noticed:

Friends

Seen so much of them! On Skype and WhatsApp and Zoom and Houseparty! We never used to even use FaceTime, and now we're FaceTiming all the time, for hours on end. We haven't talked so much, and about the things we really need to talk about, in years. If ever. And, let's be honest, there's a subconscious triage thing going on here and the ranking - who we need to talk to and who we're less concerned about - is not what we expected.

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On our list of people we contact, most days, are some old friends we hardly ever saw, and the few friends we haven't got around to speaking to include some of our supposedly favourite people.

Does this have to do with gravitating towards the eternally optimistic ones, or the wise ones, or the practical ones, or is there some other primal instinct at work? Are we going to come out the other side and find that we've recalibrated the Circle of Trust and it looks different to the CoT when we started out? Probably.

And are we going to feel the same way about the people we never connected with in these lockdown weeks? Maybe not.

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Meghan and Harry

The most talked-about couple in the world a few weeks ago ... and now? Photo / Getty Images
The most talked-about couple in the world a few weeks ago ... and now? Photo / Getty Images

The most talked-about couple in the world a few weeks ago, all set to join the billionaires' club and take up their position among the Top Ten Most Amazing People To Have In A Room.

And now?

The world's forgotten about them. We want to be in a room with Rishi Sunak and Professor Chris Whitty. We are never going back.

Celebrities in general

In the space of a couple of weeks, this lot (with the exception of Tom Hanks and Arnie) have managed to reverse their position as revered gods and now they're the new contemptibles. We may look back at the Imagine video, generously created by Gal Gadot and her celebrity pals to cheer up the civilians (Google it if you want to see blind self-regard in its purest form) as the moment we woke up from gawping at the lives of this lot, and got a life.

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Gardens

See above. A lot of people took them seriously before but many (me) took them for granted and were more interested in the size of the kitchen. Not any more. We've all woken up to the luxury of your own patch of outdoors and head out there every so often to stroke the grass and give thanks that we're not in the Just Have To Hang Out The Windows, Mate camp.

As of now, we wouldn't trade our sliver of outside for a five-bedroom penthouse in Belgravia.

Nespresso machine

Make a flat white, put it in a mug, take it outside the back door and stand with your face in the sun, it almost feels like a minibreak in Paris.

Dogs

Some of us considered rushing out to get a life-affirming dog while we still could, but then we decided it was selfish stockpiling in another form, plus unnecessary movement.

That said, people holed up at home with their dogs are - judging from the Instagram pictures - 69 per cent more chilled than those without. The dogs are really happy, too, as they have all their favourite people locked down and fighting over who gets to hug them.

Henceforth, we won't be sniggering about emotional support dogs.

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Bin men

For the record, I always appreciated the bin men, but now I find myself rushing to the window to gaze out at them as they go about their bin duties whistling, with a fag on. Will really notice them from now on, the way we used to notice a very good-looking bloke, top down in a Jensen.

Beetroot in a sealed packet

Lasts forever and so tasty. Also, halloumi. Newly love these guys.