As I eat my lunch, I’m reflecting on what on earth has happened these last few months. After a lot of blood, sweat and tears I had just started a new glossy PR job in London, but one week in, everyone was asked to work from home. Saying rushed goodbyes I whisked myself off to Dorset to escape house arrest, a much more desirable getaway than the claustrophobia I imagined London would become.
Little did I know of the struggles working from home would bring, since I had a great deal to learn in a very short amount of time. A couple of breakdowns and a few hiccups later, I had just started to get to grips with the job when redundancy hit like a tonne of bricks. I almost hoped that, given I had a months notice, they would change their mind or the furlough deadline would be extended, but alas this wasn’t the case.
When I emerged from my WIFI friendly darkened corner after eight weeks of work, I was amazed by the outside world. The rest of my family were in their own bubble; a hubbub of picking and growing vegetables in the garden, cooking feasts or going for long walks. Dad spent most of his time on his Ipad trying to decipher a new future (or nursing his current but certainly not his last).
I’m not sure it will go down well to describe lockdown as being ‘stuck’ with my family, but as most of the population in the world will agree, ‘stuck’ seems to be the most accurate adjective to describe the state of the world. This being said, lockdown could be far worse. At least in Dorset there are rolling hills and the sea only a few miles away.
Family runs have been entertaining. I was nominated to be the family personal trainer, however I think my S.O.S type mind set was far too extreme, after I made a rule before the first ever run there would be absolutely no walking. Behind me came a trail of four panting, pained joggers, all wearing the most inappropriate clothing. Mum bravely sporting a cashmere jumper and Dad’s farmers cap was something to remember, along with other items from my sisters like polka dot fluffy socks and bum bags in which to carry mobiles. Along with cyclists and walkers passing I was unable to contain my laughter at the extraordinary sight following me across country.
One thing I’ve been surprised about during this lockdown is how we Brits have, through Zoom, maintained our notorious reputation for loving a party. A couple of days ago, I was invited to a ‘Ravebox House Party’ on Zoom, something I had no expectations for since the idea seemed as ludicrous as aliens invading the planet. I logged on, and what I saw in front of me was rather confusing; my friend in sunglasses (funny since he was definitely inside in the dark at 10.30pm), shirtless and at the front of the screen, mixing heavy drum and bass with some ‘mad’ visuals behind him.
After an hour of head shaking and awkward dance moves beneath our kitchen “strobe” lights, the novelty eventually wore off. Although it was, I admit, the closest I’ve come to letting my hair down within the last two months, with at least one sprained shoulder and pulled buttock muscles the next morning being evidence of our “night out on the town in our kitchen!”
It has been a time of reflection and rejuvenation, long runs and beach swims. I’m very lucky to have these privileges and can only imagine how others must be feeling. I hope that when this all blows over, everyone will become kinder, more humble and more understanding. I also hope people will become more aware of our environment and the positive impact this lockdown has had on our wildlife. I hope that people will appreciate the freedoms we have and the friends that have been there for us. That first pint back at the pub will say a lot. I guess we will have to cross our fingers and see…