The early bird catches the worm, they say, and for us (my wife and I) the worm has been a long time coming.

Nearly three years, in fact. That’s about a thousand days.

Back in the summer of 2019, we enjoyed that year’s Lechlade Festival so much that we decided to go for the special offer of advance booking for the following year, which the organisers called ‘early bird tickets’.

Of course, neither they, us, nor anybody else could have foreseen that there wouldn’t actually be a festival in 2020, nor even in 2021, and it wouldn’t finally come around again until this Friday.

Fortunately, what would have been the main attraction in 2019, The Boomtown Rats, are still ‘the top of the bill’ - a seemingly antiquated phrase, judging by the fact that both our son and our daughter think it is hilarious.

They are also amused by the fact that although we have tickets for all three days of the festival, we won’t be camping there, but rather travelling the short distance from Swindon to Lechlade and back each day.

According to them, it’s not a proper music festival unless you are up to your eyes in mud, and faced with awkward toilet, washing and general hygiene challenges.

Thankfully, none of those apply to our Lechlade experience.

If I sound excited by the prospect of getting back to the festival, it is because it seems like a big turning point for us after the pandemic, and the big catch-up is truly on.

It finally seems that all the things we used to take for granted in 2019 are now back on the agenda again.

At last.

Many of us are even daring to think that the pandemic is behind us.

But say it quietly.

Just when we thought we might have dodged it, thanks to two years of following the rules and being both careful and lucky, my wife brought it home from her ukulele group, and I unsurprisingly got it, too, two days later.

Despite being triple-vaccinated and in fairly rude health until then, for two or three days we unexpectedly struggled, with symptoms more akin to flu than a mere cold, and we took a couple of weeks to fully shake off its effects.

And as far as Covid-19 is concerned, we are still the lucky ones, while finally getting the virus seems to have been something of a green light to getting back to the normality we were craving.

Being able to use three-year-old festival tickets, and being in a position to book holidays once again, mean we are busily planning like it is 2019.

But even more important to us, and perhaps even better therapy in the post-pandemic world, we have decided that the greater relief is not so much doing the things that are planned, but rather the unplanned.

Early bird tickets are fine, but as a wise man once said: live for today; today is all there is.