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  • Lawrence Bailey

Life in lockdown: a voyage of discovery

I don’t know about you, but I’m going slightly stir-crazy in my attempt at self-isolation.

Despite the fact that I’ve worked from home for yonks, the moment I was obliged to stay indoors, I started pacing round the house like it’s Alcatraz. I’m wearing out the carpets and driving the cats to distraction.

Another thing is the obsession I’ve developed with checking the fridge-freezer contents, just in case something might have gone missing in the last half-hour.

Mind you, there’s a plus side to this imposed seclusion.

I mean, let’s be honest, we all know people that we’ve been trying to socially distance ourselves from for years. Now we finally have the perfect excuse.

And it’s purely a happy coincidence that my once-a-day exercise circuit takes me right past the local off-license.

I admit that I’m fortunate in that my business is basically ticking over with a couple of long-standing projects. It could be a lot worse.

Otherwise I fill the enforced downtime with the task of shredding around five years’ worth of old files. If kerbside recycling ends anytime soon then I’ll be open to offers for a lifetime supply of hamster bedding.

I’m not classed as vulnerable health-wise, although my other half still insists I’m a ‘special case’. (I think she’s being nice, but you can never tell).

She’s a key worker herself and putting in some punishing hours, including weekends. As such, the days tend to be a bit long, although life in solitary hasn’t been entirely without incident.

When I decided to give the patio an early annual blasting, it only took me thirty seconds to bust our new pride-and-joy super-jet-wash thingy.

Undeterred, I dug out the predecessor - which luckily hadn’t yet gone to the recycling depot. Shortly afterwards, as I lay sprawled among the busted flower pots, I recalled that we’d bought a replacement because of my tendency to get tangled in the old one’s power cable.

Away from the drama, life in lockdown is a voyage of discovery.

What I mean is that I’ve found parts of our back garden I swear I’ve never seen before. Also, our conservatory is now apparently a home-gym. I know this because I visit the place occasionally to do a bit of dusting and take an equipment inventory.

I’m signed up for a spot of volunteering but I’ve yet to receive a call. So, like everyone else I use social media as a means of keeping in touch.

There’s a lot of dark humour out there online. It’s not quite as insensitive as “What did you think of the play, Mrs Lincoln?”, but it’s in the same ball-park.

Maybe it’s me but I’m reassured to see this kind of resilience right now. It shows a sense of balance that will hopefully ensure we keep doing the right thing and follow the guidelines

I’ve always enjoyed the prospect of good company and I’d very much like to keep things that way. So stay safe, stay home and good luck.

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