Things are not quite back to normal – no external holidaymakers for a while – but New Zealand is now very close to that. There is still some track-and-tracing (though the plethora of apps probably means that never got consistently off the ground) and some bottles of hand sanitiser at shop doorways, but there have been no new cases for three weeks, and there is now no-one in hospital.
I am still hoping to work from home more frequently if only to avoid the joys of commuting – I often feel perfectly happy to work, but feel too ill to catch the train – this is now less of an issue. Yet the many who were predicting that the ‘new normal’ would see a revolution in the way people worked are already having second thoughts about it happening on their watch. But if the ‘back to normal’ train I caught on Thursday is anything to go by, there remains considerable reluctance to go back to the old way. We can but see.
Meanwhile I have agreed to undertake collaborative work this weekend, which leaves me with little time to write a lot (especially as I have scarcely started today’s Listener yet). Another Inquisitor has gone up – this one has been overtaken by events to some extent, but unusually it has two solution grids. I can’t now recall how The Independent coped with that novelty when it appeared. There’s a blog, too, at fifteensquared, which I will link to from the solution page.
There is a Times puzzle from me on Monday 15 June. I had expected to announce an Enigmatic Variations puzzle for 21 June, but a last-minute change in scheduling has seen that deferred a week. But still worth announcing as I don’t quite know when I’ll get the blog up in a fortnight.