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“I miss the M&S car park”—How the pandemic supercharged Britain’s nostalgia for the ordinary

I thought I’d mourn my long-awaited holiday to the US that was cancelled, but in fact I’ve barely given it a second thought. What I miss are bus stops; crowded shopping malls, and my favourite branches of Boots

By Lauren Bravo  

When I asked about other people’s "Old Normal” fantasies on Twitter recently, more than a thousand replies rolled in—each more romantic than the next. Photo: Prospect Composite

For the past few months I have had a recurrent fantasy about standing in the queue for the toilets at St Pancras station.

Not the flashier toilets opposite the Eurostar terminal—the dingy ones at the end, down the side of the left luggage counter. I am juggling a cup of burnt coffee and a slightly sweaty breakfast roll. My train ticket is lodged between my teeth as I wrestle a wet umbrella into a tote bag. There’s enough time to catch my train but I’m agitated anyway, in the default way of the urbanite who must always be going somewhere.…

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