Like everyone, I have my list of things I want to do and places I want to go once normal life resumes.
It involves theatre trips with my pal Amanda, swapping overdue Christmas gifts with Cath and Fiona and gazing at gaily coloured embroidery threads in John Lewis’s haberdashery department.
Top of my list is a trip to the seaside. (Does that make it a ‘bucket-and-spade’ list?) For anyone who, like me, grew up in the English Midlands, the seaside has a special pull – that magical place where you never quite have enough layers to stop you freezing to death and the fish and chips are the best in the world.
Childhood memories flood in when I think of the sparkling sea. My grandfather lived in Scarborough and my dad worked hard all year so we could go to Cornwall every summer.
But wait. I work from home. All I need is a decent broadband connection and I could live by the sea. Imagine that.
It’s so obvious but workwise, things have changed. For those who worked in offices, where the job meant not only getting the work done but also remembering Leanne has oat milk in her tea, extra duties now often entail gruelling home-schooling while fielding emails on the kitchen table.
But it has worked well for many and savvy companies are offering working from home as a permanent alternative.
Reach plc, the newspaper group which publishes the Nottingham Post and Derby Telegraph, is withdrawing from newsrooms around the country, with regional hubs available (one in Nottingham) for face-to-face meetings. The company spoke to its employees and they agree that on the whole, working from home suited them.
Suddenly, the world seems our oyster, or whatever seafood you fancy. A quick search of three-bedroom houses along the coast in Yorkshire reveals that prices are much lower than in my hometown of Nottingham. The most searched property terms last month were ‘Cornwall’ and ‘garage’ – from people with ideas on the perfect spot for a home office.
The influx of residents could breathe fresh life into these coastal towns. In 2018, more than two thirds of houses bought around Padstow were purchased as second homes. What if those homes were instead sold to families who lived there all year round? What a boon.
But hang on. Does Bridlington have the Playhouse or the Theatre Royal? Does Skegness have Robin Hood, Wollaton Hall or Nottingham Castle? Does Filey have a world-class cricket ground and do Notts County play there?
On second thoughts, I’m stoppin’ at ‘ome. And keeping the seaside special.