Weekend on Lockdown Numero Uno

Toilet roll situation: Same loo roll. Still 19 in stock. Considering creating ‘loo roll’ graph on my bathroom wall to track loo roll progression, but not sure am quite bored enough yet. Maybe next weekend.

Pasta stocks: Finished lasagne. Felt good about making a dent on the pasta suppliers, then dropped a packet of lentils on my head and discovered another packet of spaghetti, so… 

Mum’s top tip of the day: This is quite a niche tip, but nevertheless some stellar advice, I think. After that moment on the phone the other week when I realised we wouldn’t be having our annual easter egg hunt, my very sweet and very thoughtful parents had a massive box of Thorntons Chocolates & Easter eggs delivered to my house. I have so much chocolate that I have actually bought some scales, so I can make the educated decision about whether to keep eating it (before I used the measurement of ‘how tight my jeans were’ but, come on, who’s going to wear jeans when you’re literally banned from seeing anyone? No one). 

Anyway, my mother’s advice this time was around how I could still recreate the Easter Egg Hunt experience whilst on lockdown, by:

  1. Drinking a lot of wine
  2. Hiding the chocolate around my house
  3. Going to bed
  4. Wake up the next day having forgotten where the easter eggs are, and then compete with myself to find them.

Not only is that sheer genius, but it also means that her advice essentially amounts to the fact that I should get black out drunk on my own. 

(Given that this is the third piece of advice my mother has given me that has involved drinking, I think it’s fair to say we have sourced the origin of my subpar relationship with alcohol, so this has also saved me some money in therapy, which is great news all round.)


Weekend starts at approximately twenty past five on Friday, because weekends are one of those things which are defined by working patterns. Am slightly daunted about the prospect of the weekend, because that is a loooooong stretch of time without structure. Work makes things feel a bit normal. This is probably slightly melodramatic because it’s not unheard for me to relish in spending a whole weekend in my house, or at least a whole Saturday. 

Have also come to a startling revelation that it is entirely possible (and in fact probable) to overdose on people when you are not, in fact, allowed to see people. Have spent so much time on the phone, or video chat, or sending messages on Whatsapp, that I am completely exhausted. Find phone calls and video calling much to be much more draining on the introvert stakes that, you know, actually just being in the same room as another person and having a chat, which means I’m reaching my limit earlier than normal. 

Intended to speak to several people, but all I actually want to do is have a glass of wine, watch a film under a blanket and sleep for hours and hours and hours. This is good, because these are all things I am actually permitted to do.

However, first port of call is my Allowed Exercise Outing. 

Am trying to turn this into a Profound Spiritual Experience rather than, you know, the one time that I’m allowed to leave my house and might see a real life human, and not just one through a screen (have actually been enjoying my walks, but… we are on week one and I have kind of run out of different directions to go in the park, so we’ll see how long I actually keep up enjoying it). In order to assist in my PROFOUND SPIRITUAL JOURNEY, I have been listening to my Audio Bible in the Year while walking.

Today I am listening to Leviticus.

It is about defiling skin diseases.

It is graphic and mildly disgusting. 

It is… long. 

Walk goes something like this.WhatsApp Image 2020-03-27 at 18.49.59

Me: Gosh, look how lovely the outside is! Am a changed woman! Will have converted to fully fledged Outdoorsy Type ™ by end of Coronavirus.

Audiobible: if there is a white swelling in the skin that has turned the hair white and there is raw flesh in the swelling, it is a chronic skin disease – – 

Me:  …

Audiobible: The priest is to examine the spot on the skin then —

Me: Look!! A bird!! I love nature!! The world is beautiful! I will revel in the beauty of the world!!

Audiobible: When someone has a burn on their skin and a reddish-white or white spot appears in the raw flesh of the burn

Me: It’s…. Nature is so very, uh, green and –

Audiobible: If a man or woman has a sore on their head or chin, the priest is to examine the sore, and — 

Me: *Checks how many seconds are left in this chapter of Leviticus*

Me: *debates sacking off bible in a year*

Me: *grits teeth*

Audiobible:  Anyone with such a defiling disease must wear torn clothes, let their hair be unkempt, cover the lower part of their face and cry out, ‘Unclean! Unclean!’ As long as they have the disease they remain unclean. They must live alone; they must live outside the camp.

Me: Oh, wait. This is weirdly relatable. I, too, must live outside the camp and am duty bound to live alone.

Older person: *walks towards me on the path , looking like they’re going to get closer than 2ms*

Me: *tears clothes*


(That last part may or may not have actually happened).

So there you have it, folks. Biblical permission to wear torn clothes and let your hair be unclean, which means it’s totally fine to wear my McCain ‘chips’ jumper (I bought it because I found out that they were selling the jumper that guy in the chips advert wore in the advert, and I was like ‘who would buy that??’ And then I realised that I  would buy that) even though it’s full of holes and I don’t have to wash my hair until all of this blows over. Another money saver, that. 

Head back home after graphic images of hairs-in-boils have faded from mind, slightly, and watch ‘Mamma Mia: Here we go again’ which was part of the ‘Apocalypse Survival Kit’ that friend bought round back when friends were allowed to drop things round (aka. Two weeks ago). Find the film weirdly emotional. Build Harry Potter Lego Hagrid’s Hut. Drink wine. Play Ticket to Ride with family. Lose.

Saturday happens. 

Housemates asks me what I’ve been up to today at around 4pm, and honestly have no idea. I know that I definitely drank coffee and debated whether running out of milk was a sufficient reason for going to the shop (I didn’t; I do have cashew nut milk. It’s Exactly The Same in the same way that talking to people only via the telephone is Exactly The Same as seeing them in person. Still, if you ignore the way it congeals in hot drinks it’s basically fine, and I didn’t used to have real milk at home until housemate moved in. This was, of course, because I spent the day drinking work’s milk in my coffee rather than being without milk), but the rest of the day is a restful but uneventful blank.

Definitely spent a lot of time in my conservatory. This is mostly because the longue was taken over by lego a few days ago and my dining chairs aren’t very comfortable. 

I think I did some painting and had a lie in. Received aforementioned delivery of chocolate and also the additional Harry Potter lego that I probably didn’t need to purchase. 

I tried to buy fence paint online. Could not buy fence paint. 

All in all, the COVID lockdown version of a very busy day.

Honestly, I really need the rest. Feel unreasonably tired and not sure that can blame the walks for exhaustion in bones (although during Saturday’s walk it actually rained, so I think the distress of it all probably did award me some Serious Tired Points). It’s probably a mixture of all the talking to people and the emotional whiplash and the excitement of my Lego delivery, which I’ll grant you was a highlight. 

Family suggests I put new lego set into dishwasher to disinfect it (it’s second hand; I ain’t made of money) which sounds like a bad idea all round, so instead I just wipe it down and wash my hands while singing ‘Happy Birthday’ twice. 

Think how my niece would like this, because she’s been declaring it’s people’s birthdays for a while now because she wants to eat cake. I think this is good logical reasoning, but this strategic thinking has not yet been rewarded by cake which, you know, I don’t think is going to encourage her budding career as a cake sales strategist.

Saturday day evening brings remote pub quiz with beloved besties!!! This is, of course, Exactly The Same ™ as going to a real pub quiz. It’s for Juno women’s aid and we all come into it with the same quasi morality that it’s okay to message everyone we know, but it’s not okay to google the answers. The logic is that there’s no limit on team size, so we have expanded team to include:

  • Southern beloved bestie’s girlfriend
  • Southern beloved bestie’s parents 
  • Sheffield beloved bestie’s mum
  • Everyone in my family WhatsApp group.

They are now proud(ish) members of the Menstrual Cycles (next week Sheffield beloved bestie’s mother is going to officially join us; her caveat is that we have to rename ourselves the Menstrual cyclists).

My dad gives us one of the answers and then Mum states that dad Googled it. Wordlessly, we remove answer from our scribbled sheet of answers. We actually get a shout out for this when results are being read, which is a bizarre form of rewarding our questionable moral code. We come second. 

All in all, it’s actually a good Saturday.

Am late “for church” on Sunday, even though it’s a live stream and I don’t have to go anywhere or get dressed. It’s sort of, great, though, and I eat lunch on a video call to one of my friends feeling positive and light. This is, of course Exactly The Same ™ as the usual routine of actually going to church and all getting lunch together afterwards. Exactly. The. Same. Thing ™. 

It’s okay. It’ll get old, but it’s fine. Have downloaded free online settlers of catan and that Houseparties App. Still have a few Lego kits to built (new one was AWESOME!! So cool. No pieces missing, and there are these secret hidden treasure chests and keys and this dial that you can spin and it moves loads of stuff. No regrets). Made a lovely dal for tea that doesn’t involve that many ‘fresh’ ingredients, which should help put off going to the shop for longer. #StayAtHome

We do a remote book club at 3pm about a book that some my church gals read (Hinds Feet on High Places). This is, of course, Exactly The Same ™ as our original plan of cake and tea and hanging out; my cashew nut tea isn’t even that bad and, even though I don’t have cake, this is only because I forgot to get some that Housemate messaged me to is in the freezer and needs eating out of the freezer. Also, if we weren’t doing it from our respective homes during to all being ceremonially unclean, it wouldn’t be okay for my clothes to be torn and my hair to be unkempt, and that’s a real timer saver.

(Now have much more time to… sit and contemplate existence). 

Go for my walk, have bath with Christmas pudding themed bath bomb (bulk buy post Christmas) , decided to save Dal because I walked past chicken shop on my way home from walk and really wanted fried chicken ( am a vegetarian, so instead had chips and quorn chicken nuggets from my freezer; Exactly The Same ™ and also, another freezer meal, #StayAtHome ), and then play Cards Against Humanity online over video chat with the church lot until bedtime.

This is Exactly The Same ™ as doing this in person, except:

  • online version is SUPER confused by eight people playing and a bit laggy, leading to fifty percent of the conversation being WHO MOVED THAT CARD and WHO STOLE MY CARD. We eventually enact strict rules about who is  allowed to move cards at any given time. Personally, don’t find that super strict rules is necessarily the best way to maximise the fun, but it was necessary
  • Eight people on video chat is certifiable chaos and if it wasn’t all very funny it would probably be very stressful
  • We’ve never actually played cards against humanity in real life.

All in all, my weekend was genuinely fun and actually relaxing, and , if my vague memories of Saturday morning are actually correct, I did some life admin. I guess all in all this amounts to Exactly the Same ™ as what I usually look for in a weekend, so… we’ll take it.

I’ll leave you with my experiences on my Sunday walk. 

Me: am an inspiration, going for a walk when it is has been hailing this very morn! Need to work out who will play me in the film about my transformational journey to Outdoorsy Type ™ ! Love nature. Love being so cold that my legs are numb. Love walking.

Audio bible: When any man has an unusual bodily discharge…

Me: I. Wow. This is actually worse than the skin diseases.

Audio bible: If the man with the discharge spits on anyone who is clean, they must wash their clothes and bathe with water…

Me: well yes, I suppose that you would want to wash your clothes and bathe in water if…

Audio bible: anyone the man with a discharge touches without rinsing his hands with water must wash their clothes and bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening.

Me: wash your damn hands people! Topical.

Audio bible: When a man is cleansed from his discharge, he is to count off seven days for his ceremonial cleansing…

Me: right, Helen, this is god’s word and this is a Profound Spiritual Experience. It’s okay that you can’t feel your face. It’s a Beautiful Thing that you’ve done this part of the walk every day for the past week. Revel in nature!! Admire the squirrels)! Be grateful and inspired!! Love the trees! Be transformed by the transformative nature of spending quality time with the beauty of the earth (especially as quality time with actual people is banned). 

Audio bible: when a man has an emission of semen… 

Me: …

Me: ffs.

Top five things about lockdown:

  1. Redid budget as new council tax bill arrived, and was able to take out money for: travel costs, going out for coffee, going out for drinks, meals out, forgetting to bring lunch to work fund, meals out and leisure. This is, of course, a “Good Thing.” Have used excess funds to increase weekly wine budget (and take out budget). 
  2. Profoundly unaffected by the clocks going back/ forward. So unaffected that I can’t remember which way they went. What does it matter? Time is meaningless, anyway.
  3. Deep emotional connection formed with plants. So worried for their welfare when it started hailing that I bought all my plant friends who live in pots inside to keep em safe and we hung out in my conservatory together and that was nice. 
  4. Watched that video about the guy thanking the baked potato approximately seventy seven times and will now be able to sing ‘thank you baked potato’ every time I eat a baked potato 
  5. Everyone’s increasing levels of insanity are interesting to watch, in a car crash sort of way 

Worst 5 things about lockdown:

  1. I write dystopian novels and while this is prime material, feels callous to use this to feed fiction writing. Maybe  I’ll give it a year or something. 
  2. The best way to make sure I have all zee things I need for the week is to make a fully comprehensive food plan and, basically, I don’t want to. I’m not very good at them because I’m very easily swayed by food envy and have no self control (eg. Making dal and then eating fake chicken instead). Every time my next door neighbour cooks curry, it smells so good I order a take out. 
  3. Realisation that lateness is so engrained in who I am as a person that it actually doesn’t matter if planned social activity just involves turning on computer.  This weekend I was late for: pub quiz, church, book club and cards against humanity. Absolutely zero ways I can justify this. 
  4. Was struck during church about the gritty reality that this disease is going to kill a lot of people and decimate the livelihoods of thousands of businesses owners who are never going to recover. Haven’t been watching the news much, so forced myself to read some after to face up the fact that this thing is big, and serious, and scary, and the fact that I’m safe in my house pales into insignificance compared to the pain of families who will lose someone and people in unhappy and dangerous homes and people on the breadline who were struggling anyway. Feel sad and powerless and worried about people that I care about.
  5. Can’t by flour in the supermarket 

(I’m going to be honest with you here, folks, it’s not really Exactly The Same).

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