The latest lockdown easing has felt like a step change. Things are different now. While we all enjoy the new way of living and hope that any variants don’t come along and ruin it for us, I have to mention one thing. Stop it with the hugs.

We are now free to hug people again and the way people have been talking about it, you’d think they were addicts. Spare a thought for those of us who never liked hugging in the first place.

Pre-pandemic I spent so much effort avoiding hugs. I work in the media and that type go in for a hug if you’ve only ever met them once.

Ham & High: Steve Allen will not be taking a trip around the moon anytime soonSteve Allen will not be taking a trip around the moon anytime soon (Image: Steve Allen)

I’ve never been keen. It’s a bit too close for comfort. I’m also quite tall, so if a short person goes in for a hug it feels like my foundations are under attack. I am also far from being slim, which I think I hide well under a baggy shirt. I don’t want someone reaching around and grabbing hold of my back fat.

Often I could avoid a hug but if I had to do the odd one I could go to my mental happy place and leave my body behind to go through the ordeal. Now I am out of practice. We non-huggers have had the best 15 months but it means we won’t be ready to cope with all the grabby people.

If you, like me, don’t enjoy this post-lockdown hugging, let me teach you some self-defence. If someone goes in for a hug, turn side-on. You need to minimise the area facing them and put your hand out for a shake.

Good luck out there.