Lessons I’ve learnt about my lockdown self…
I quite like having no social commitments.
Sounds really terrible, doesn’t it? But, however much I look forward to seeing my friends – and I do – it’s really peaceful not to look at the week ahead and start making calculations about which London train to catch, when should I wash my hair so it’s not fluffy – which is pretty much never, but there is a fleeting window when it’s marginally less so – what the hell to wear for multiple meet ups in town, taking into account the weather, comfort v smart, can I cram my current weighty tome into my bag and not drag my shoulder off… You can see how complicated it is. Way simpler to wear the same jeans for a week. And have more time to write.
Lunging for the crisps
I haven’t morphed into the female version of Joe Wicks. I thought perhaps I’d get lean and fit now I’m in total control of my diet, have more time to exercise and no chance of a rendezvous that would include too much wine and chips. But, disappointingly, it turns out change doesn’t happen without major effort. And also, what could be nicer, when you’ve just been rendered tearful by the daily bulletin of death and trips to Barnard Castle, than a restoratively chilled glass of something delicious and a large bowl of crisps?
Not a fan of Zoom.
Yeah, yeah, I know it’s better than nothing right now, but you can’t interrupt people. If you do, you lose the end of what they’re saying. And most conversations – mine, at least – are a crisscross of everyone talking loudly over everyone else. It’s such hard work keeping quiet or having to repeat stuff. Although our yoga teacher has set up wonderful Zoom classes. And I only hit the furniture with my long arms and legs, rather than whacking the poor person lying next to me in the face.
I’m not going to make bread.
I had such good intentions. I grabbed the last kilo of flour from the empty supermarket shelves with a cry of triumph, was kindly donated yeast and a bread book by my sister – who makes brilliant bread btw – and… well it all just sat there eyeing me reproachfully. I did read some recipes, honest. But although bread makers tell me it’s so easy, it seems to take ages and need such careful monitoring. I had the feeling me and Don would end up munching through leaden bricks of toast with a brave smile and a wavering belief that anything homemade must be better than shop-bought. So I gave the flour to my sister, in the hope she might donate a loaf this time!
Me and Groucho
My hairdressing skills are legendary. Well, slight exaggeration, Don won’t let me near his Barnet, which seems perverse, especially as I’ve now got the proper scissors and watched loads of YouTube videos – like the bread-makers, they make it look so easy. And I suppose I have no intention of cutting my own. But I’m terribly proud that I’ve successfully trimmed and dyed my eyebrows. I looked a lot like Groucho Marx for a few days, but who’s going to see me anyway?
Having wondered how the hell I would adapt to lockdown, I’m now wondering how I’ll adapt to being allowed out again. Will I be able to wind myself up and embrace the pressures of Real Life? Or have I developed worrying hermit tendencies that will be hard to shake? I’ll let you know.