To hug or not to hug…

I’m writing this on the day Boris Johnson decreed we could hug again. A little bit of me hoped I would open the shutters to see bleary-eyed commuters spontaneously embracing on the street, but sadly it wasn’t to be.

If I’m honest, I’ve never been an enormous hugger – a combination of innate English reserve and my own timorous diffidence. It’s the sort of social awkwardness that, should a hug become unavoidable, results in the bumping of heads. Nonetheless I’ve started fantasising about hugging people. Not friends and family though, but my work colleagues.

As a writer who spends most of his day at home alone, I’ve joked that lockdown hasn’t made much difference to me. In fact, I’ve seen more of my family and neighbours than I normally would’ve done. The people I haven’t seen anything of at all are my fellow writers, producers and script editors. The last time I saw anyone I work with, other than over Zoom, was fourteen months ago and it could be several more before we sit around a table together again.

I may have chosen a solitary profession, and I may think of myself as reserved and timorous (Tim by name, Tim by nature), but lockdown has made me realise how much I live for the comradery, shared endeavour, and pure joy of working as part of a creative team. The more I think about walking into a script meeting after so long, the more I just want to throw my arms around my colleagues – bumped heads be damned! Or would that be unprofessional?  Tim Stimpson

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