Five virtual date ideas to make you glad you're single

ARE you pining for romance among the socially-distanced? Try these virtual date ideas then be glad you’re alone until 2021: 

Film night

Watching a movie is the perfect way to spend time with someone without any awkward interaction, which is really brought home when you’re on your own in your flat trying to ostentatiously enjoy Roma in tense silence and occasional throat-clearings.

Dinner date

This is where you realise their kitchen skills include making a cheese toastie and eating said cheese toastie. Meanwhile you’ve got dressed up and slaved away over a red onion and goats’ cheese risotto to eat alone. Pretend the internet connection failed and have a wank.


Like a dinner date only more embarrassing and in public. People in the park will think you’ve totally lost it as you toast a glass of wine to a phone that’s propped against a bag of Kettle Chips, and kids playing football will rightfully use the back of your head as target practice.

Watch a concert

Chucking on the Glastonbury highlights sounds like an easy win on paper, but after a few minutes the sight of thousands of people crammed together partying in a field will reduce you to a sobbing, envious mess wishing you hadn’t done that MDMA.

Double date

Double the people means double the misery as you all try to talk over each other and the date collapses into an incomprehensible cacophony. There’s also the risk your date will realise they’re punching below their weight and split off into a virtual threesome with the other couple.

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Why compulsory face mask rules are like Christmas for jobsworths like me

by local busybody Norman Steele

I LOVE rules. Especially confusing ones. So the new rules about face masks are Christmas come early for folk like me who get off on telling you what to do.

It’s open season on the public for petty sticklers. I’ve been out here hectoring people about proper face mask protocols from the stroke of midnight. And the whole day’s ahead.

I’ll probably hit up the service stations for an early fix of self-righteousness, then with any luck I’ll catch some NHS workers during their special little shopping hour, that not enough of them use.

Expect to hear me say ‘I’d expect better from you of all people’ and audibly shake my head in disapproval as I make a nurse’s morning unnecessarily difficult.

Eateries will of course be a hotspot for pedantry. The second you lower your fask mask to take a bite of your Big Mac I’ll be there, tapping on the glass in while maintaining a safe distance and giving you a stern and largely inaudible lecture.

I’ve even got a clipboard to take your name and address and forward it on to the necessary authorities. Don’t pretend you’ve got breathing difficulties either, I will make it my business to track down your medical records.

No, I’m not allowed to dish out £100 fines but you don’t know that. I could be part of the track-and-trace teams. I might know police. Just because I’m a self-appointed arbiter of justice doesn’t mean there won’t be consequences.

Funny thing is I don’t think face masks offer one iota of protection. But perversely that makes my power trip all the more satisfying. I hope this pandemic never, ever ends.