THE summer of 2020. For many it was a time of Covid, of lockdowns, of furlough. But I and a hundred close colleagues will always remember it as our party summer.
As the days lazily rolled on, the sun shining and the streets empty of traffic, there seemed to always be a party blossoming into raucous life on Downing Street.
Whether wine, cheese and a tableful of bottles on May 15th or the full-on 100-person bring-your-own-booze bacchanalia a week later, the champagne was flowing and spirits were high.
Like Jay Gatsby and his gang in the roaring twenties, we had nary a care. While Covid ravaged the country we chinked glasses and mingled in the Eden of Downing Street’s rose garden.
It seemed those days would never end. Even when Cummings was doing his press conference there were 50 people high as kites dancing a Charleston just over the hedge.
Back then nothing could ever go wrong for us. We were young, and free, and full of life and hope. The whole of Britain being locked down simply didn’t matter to us.
But no summer lasts forever. The months advanced, the days got shorter, the rest of the country was allowed to meet six people from a maximum of two households, and the parties lost their delicious savour. We’ll never have that summer again.
No, it was time to put away the rosé, to fold up the garden chairs, to retreat indoors and to begin planning our absolutely f**king massive party winter.