VE day came and went with the good burghers of St Mary Bourne - suitably socially distanced - managing several street parties.

Who could not have been moved by TV coverage reminding us of what Victory in Europe meant for those who had come through years of war and its attendant horrors. It made this 21st century tussle with coronavirus look like a walk in the park (not that you should really have been doing too much of that).

A couple of days later, Boris, looking fit and energetic, told us in semi-Churchillian tones that we would be easing things, but only in England, thanks to that ever-helpful Ms Sturgeon.

As the Prime Minister announced the subtle change from Stay Home to Stay Alert, I wondered how long it would be before someone remembered the graffito of our school days to be viewed in myriad lavatories and bus shelters, “Be alert….Britain needs Lerts.” Mrs C did not disappoint with her almost immediate post on our village Facebook page.

The Prince of Wales, fresh from his poignant leading of the two minutes silence on VE Day, paid tribute to our postal workers, leaving his letter for collection on the bench outside his Scottish home, Birkhall. On VE night the Queen once again hit the right note.

Our postie, the redoubtable Angie, has happily trudged to our door throughout lockdown and very welcome she is.

The corporation dumps (sorry, Household Waste Recycling Centres) have reopened, but on the strict understanding that “operatives” wouldn’t be helping lift heavy rubbish into skips, making me wonder whether I had ever seen that happen anyway. This measure ought to stem the growing tide of fly tipping but somehow, I doubt it.

So where are we now? Well, the general drift is that Boris is promising a three-stage lifting of lockdown depending on where we are on the new Covidometer. On a scale of one to five where five means we’re all doomed we are currently between three and four.

As of yesterday, we can travel as far as we like in a day (as long as we can get home to sleep) to exercise or take in the sights. Social distancing permitting, we can have a game of tennis.

The BBC report led on golf (a good walk spoiled) rather than angling despite it being the country’s biggest participation sport. I guess it’s because golf is supposed to be a better spectator sport than fishing - Lord knows why; I’d rather watch paint dry.

The late Bert Chappell, briefly our head of music at Television South, vented his frustration at the litany of “boring” sports being rattled off by head of sport, Mark Sharman, pointing out that, “sport involves killing things; all the rest is games!”

It’ll be July at least before the hairdressers can exercise their tonsorial skills and the Aziz bonce is looking decidedly shaggy. There’s a perceptible gleam in Mrs A’s eye every time she picks up the scissors, although, after eight weeks of lockdown, I fear she may have more sinister intent.

So, we begin easing out, but the PM is clear it will be a slow process.

If infections start to rise again there will a crunching of gears and easing up will revert to locking down. It’s not, as Boris might have said, the beginning of the end but perhaps the end of the beginning.

Fundamentally it’s all down to “R”, the virus reproduction rate. Keep it below one and all will be well. We just have to hope the epidemiologists know their R’s from their elbow.