For the first time in almost two years, I ventured out of the house without my trusty face mask.

Actually, this is not strictly true. I don’t take it on my dog walks. And there was another time I went to the local brewery last year when I fogot my mask, so had to pull my t-shirt up over my face. Looking like one of the Bash Street Kids is not a sustainable look for prolonged periods.

Anyway, the simple reason is that I forgot it today. But the pack of three sanding masks I bought from a DIY shop in Christchurch, NZ, has served me well. I’ve had to replace the small elastic straps with two socks on either side, providing important levels of comfort and adjustability.

And the mask with the socks straps has attracted some recognition. At the dentist’s the other week, the dental nurse kept laughing at my practical genius and said the sock straps had made her day. In fairness, I don’t know how bad her day had been up until that point. And my appointment was over by 11am, so here day may yet had improved further.

I quite like wearing a mask. I never subscribed to the idea that wearing a face mask infringes on my civil liberties, or is even like trying to keep a fart in your trousers.

In fact, I always wanted to wear one on the tube when I lived in London and had to commute every day, squashed up next to dozens of sweaty strangers. But until a little thing called Covid-19 happened, it was considered socially unacceptable to wear a mask in public on any day that wasn’t 31 October.

But this is not the end for me and my sock-strapped masked. I will continue to wear one in particularly crowded places, or if it’s cold outside. Face masks are the most effective face warmers.

If I used £20 notes instead of socks, then I’d be cash-strapped. Thank you very much. I’ve still got it – comedic abilities, that is, not Covid. Although time will tell for both.

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