Arthritis diary Better times Suddenly, a wander around the shops, a quiet pint, an impromptu meeting with friends, became things we craved Freedom and flexibility are on our minds, writes BBC presenter Julian Worricker As I write, were still frustrated by the continuing restrictions, but clinging on to the hope that better times are just around the corner. As you read this, I hope that has become the new reality. We sure do deserve better, happier, freer times. The freedom to do and say as we please within the boundaries of the law, obviously is something we often take for granted, and weve probably become more aware of that since March last year, when some of those freedoms were taken away from us. You may well have been advised to shield, as I was, and the way that advice was framed inevitably brought into sharp relief the things we couldnt do any more. Suddenly, a wander around the shops, a quiet pint, an impromptu meeting with friends, became things we craved, when in the past wed not given them a great deal of thought. I suspect many of you will have a list of things youre going to pack into the second half of 2021, simply because youve not been able to do them for a year and soon you can. I know I will. So freedom and flexibility will be uppermost in peoples minds in the coming months, and thats especially true for those of us with arthritis. As we emerge from periods of shielding or self-isolation, lets hope that the warm, sunny weather means we can take full advantage of all those freedoms I talked about. Some of you will have musculoskeletal conditions that respond favourably to summer sunshine, so you may have plans for a lot of outdoor exercise. My psoriatic arthritis doesnt noticeably change with the seasons, although that doesnt stop people frequently assuming it does. That said, when the mood improves, the arthritis usually follows suit. I mention freedom because, for many of us, were only as free as our joints will allow. Freedom of movement isnt just a talking point among those of you still debating the rights and wrongs of Brexit (thats my one and only mention of that subject, I promise), its a factor in our plans for a typical day. Im fortunate in that my arthritis is thanks to my anti-TNF drugs officially in remission and, therefore, I can be pretty confident that its not going to inhibit me at any point in the foreseeable future. But I know others who will wake up, test some key joints and the levels of pain theyre experiencing, and adjust their plans accordingly. Hopes for an Julian Worricker active day can be dashed; aspirations are suddenly limited. is a BBC TV and So, as we cast our minds forward to summer and beyond, radio presenter and lets hope for more freedom. Freedom to do as we please, to journalist, and has return to the things weve missed, and plenty of freedom of psoriatic arthritis. movement, too.