Lockdown Life and Learnings

Well, we’ve been in lockdown for 7 weeks now, or is it 8 weeks? Or is it longer? Who even knows what day it is anymore? I don’t know about anyone else but it’s starting to feel rather normal now. In the first week, I felt so motivated – I would start my day with a workout video, be completely productive for a few hours, take a lunch break, read my book and head out for some fresh air – I had a great structure to my day but as the next week approached, I could feel the motivation slipping away from my body as I watched Sims 4 download on my laptop while I scoffed an entire packet of custard creams. The exercise was no more, it was replaced with snacking and increased screen time. (I did build an incredible house on Sims though.)

It didn’t help that I’d handed my notice in at work a couple of weeks before lockdown so I was essentially working my notice from home. I had a full week of having no routine and it was tricky, I feel the pain for you furloughers. I’m currently staying with my boyfriend as I had already been here a week before lockdown was announced and we just celebrated our one year anniversary, so being in a relatively new relationship, it’s been quite interesting spending increased, intense time together. It’s actually made me realise just how bloody lovely he is. (Not like I didn’t already know, it’s just reiterated it.) I can’t imagine not living with him now?!

Since this is my new life now, I thought I’d write a little* chatty blog post about the things I’ve been doing and what I’ve learnt about myself during this strange time where I’ve spent more time with my own thoughts than with my friends and family. It’s actually been quite liberating to have so much spare time. If I was at my own house, I would definitely be having a huge clear-out in my room but instead, here are a few of the things I’ve been up to:

*Probably won’t be little.

Baking

Yes, I’ve made several banana breads. Stop. Judging. Me. Why people are getting so offended at people all around the UK making banana bread is beyond me! It’s DELICIOUS! Initially, I made some because we forgot that we bought bananas at the weekly shop but on tasting my bake, I was reminded of how tasty it is. Therefore, I began allowing the bananas to go brown so I could bake even more!

I’ve also baked: Blueberry muffins, fruit scones, lemon and poppyseed loaf, chocolate chip cookies, banana and chocolate chip muffins, rocky road and shortbread. I have also gained 5lbs.

Reading

I’ve recently fallen back in love with reading. After my extensive reading lists at university, I had no time to read my beloved chick-lit books. I would feel inescapable guilt if I even touched one of my fiction books rather than a theory book. So I invested in a Kindle to encourage me to read more and it’s definitely working! I’ve always got a book on the go now and spent a few nights reading past midnight because the book has just been too good to put down!

I’ve been reading a variety of crime-thrillers, so many that I actually started thinking I’d make an exceptionally good detective. So, I’m taking a break from that genre to help reinforce that I actually do belong in a Marketing career. I just finished The Flat Share by Beth O’Leary and let me tell you, I was up so late finishing this because I just could not put it down! The characters are just wonderful, the story is extraordinary and I just adored it! The ultimate feel-good read if you need a little break from this crazy world!

Here is a list of a few I’ve finished recently that I would definitely recommend to anyone who loves a good thriller book:

  • Blood Orange – Harriet Tyce

  • The Man She Married – James Alison

  • The Silent Patient – Alex Michaelides

  • The Perfect Child – Lucinda Berry

  • The Blossom Twins – Carol Wyer

Netflix and [genuinely] Chill

One thing that I actually love doing but always feel guilty about is binge-watching tv series! I would happily spend a full weekend in bed or on the sofa, watching episode after episode until I finish it! And since we’ve not been allowed to do anything else, I’ve finally been able to do this without feeling lazy! We’ve watched some ace shows on Netflix and iPlayer while on lockdown and I am not complaining! Here’s a little ranked list of the shows we’ve watched and loved:

  1. Tiger King – I feel like most people in the world have watched this by now. It’s on Netflix if you haven’t seen it. I’ve seen mixed opinions on Tiger King but I thought it was brilliant! While it can be quite upsetting to see how the animals are treated, the whole docu-series is so mad, it doesn’t feel real! Joe Exotic is just something else. Honestly, the first episodes is wild but stick with it!


  2. After Life – This heartbreaking comedy/drama series by Ricky Gervais is just brilliant! We re-watched series 1 in anticipation for the new series and I hadn’t forgotten how hilarious/sad/incredible it is! You’ll be laughing one minute and crying the next. It’s such a feel-good show and even if you’re not the biggest fan of Gervais, I think you’ll still enjoy it!


  3. The Nest – This is on iPlayer and just a forewarning, you will want to live in a big, beautiful house on a Scottish Loch within the first 20 minutes of watching this. It follows a couple struggling to get pregnant. They meet Kaya who basically changes their life in more than one way… It’s an emotional thriller and definitely worth a watch! Again, the house is breathtaking.


  4. Normal People – Based on Sally Rooney’s novel, this show is on iPlayer and I have no words for how delightful it is. Connell and Marianne are too beautiful and their love is so powerful and emotional. This show is so frustrating and I assure you, you will want to throw things at the screen throughout but the story is perfect, the characters are perfect and it’s set in lovely Ireland. There are 12 episodes too, plenty to keep you going!

  5. Killing Eve – If you haven’t watched the first two series of this already, where have you BEEN?! Killing Eve is brilliant and Villanelle (played by the very talented Jodie Comer) is an icon! My boyfriend hadn’t watched and I’d actually only seen a couple of episodes from season 2 so I happily re-watched this in preparation for series 3. I do feel like the third series has been slower but Villanelle has been quick and witty as ever, so definitely still worth a watch!

Appreciating the little things

I’ll finish up with the most important thing of all. Lockdown has really made me appreciate the smaller things that you might usually take for granted.

  • Getting a new bunch of fresh flowers every week is something that I look forward to. We’ve had white roses, bright tulips and some lovely purple and yellow ones that I have absolutely no idea the name of but it makes such a difference to the flat when there’s a bunch of flowers in sight!

  • Spending more time cooking! I’ve loved having so much spare time to plan meals properly and know exactly what I’ll be eating through the week. I’ve been doing Slimming World since last August and although I lost my way in the first few weeks of lockdown, I’ve been back on plan and I’ve really enjoyed finding new recipes and actually having the time to cook them on an evening without feeling rushed or eating too late.

  • Music! I adore music and I miss gigs so MUCH! I’ve had 4 postponed and I’m gutted about it but thankfully, my favourite artists have been doing Instagram live gigs and a few have been releasing some exceptional cover videos! (I’m looking at you, Blossoms.) I think it’s great that musicians and bands have still been keeping their fans engaged with virtual gigs, it’s really helping me fill the gig-sized gap in my life!

  • Having more “me time” is something that frightened me initially. I love having plans, I’m always seeing my friends and I’m missing them all dearly, more than they’ll ever know! But I’m quite pleased with myself at how well I’ve coped. I completed a jigsaw (and framed it!), I’ve come up with a new idea for a novel, I’ve explored some very pretty parts of Leeds that I’ve never seen before on my daily walk, I’ve got to know my boyfriend a lot more and fallen more in love with him each and every day and I’ve just learnt a lot about myself by spending more time alone with my thoughts!
How are you dealing with lockdown? Do you love it? Hate it? Have you learnt something new? What have you achieved with all this new-found time? Let me know!

Until next time,

Amz x

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