At the beginning of the year, I moved into a flat with a friend in London. Two days later, the UK entered a lockdown.
I think we can all agree that the last year has been weird. All the shops have been closed, university’s online and ‘real life’ social interaction has been minimal. When things were looking up, I moved in with a friend in January. On cue, Boris Johnson then sent England back into full lockdown. Months later, we’ve all been stuck inside (again) in close proximity to those we live with. It’s been a rollercoaster. Here are some of the things I’ve learnt:
- A good series will save you.
We should be thankful to live in an age when (most of) the world’s media catalogue is at our fingertips. What better way to bond than by binging a series? We’ve recently hurtled our way through Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (on Netflix UK). Not only has this provided us with a life, albeit fictional to chat about outside of our own, the show’s spontaneous songs have allowed us to express ourselves musically at random intervals. The good thing is that the amount of series’ (and genres) available are, seemingly, endless! Have you never watched all nine series of The Office US (also Netflix UK)? Now’s your chance!
- Walks are good and free.
We’re lucky to live in a part of London with an array of parks and about a thousand cafés. I guess it is customary in any big city to always be within a stone’s throw of a coffee shop. Fortunately, they’ve remained open throughout this lockdown. We’ve been doing our daily exercise by walking to the local beauty spots and discovering lots of cool things along the way. We’ve also been stopping for a takeaway latte en route, of course. Without the coffee (of which you could bring your own), it’s all completely free!
- Arts and crafts are your friends…
In our case anyway, but generally any hobby will do. Have you wanted to try candle making? Now’s the time. If you can find some common ground on the things-to-make front, you can create fun memories and 1000 gifts for your mutual friends. I firmly believe that people will emerge out of lockdown with some cool new hobbies. Expect homemade gifts from here on in, folks.
- Personal space is important.
It’s all fun and games to binge a series, paint masterpieces and unfurl your deepest secrets, but sometimes it’s also nice to have some space. It works well for us as we’re both students, so we study during the day and reconvene in the evening.
- No one really talks before midday, and that’s okay.
I am not a morning person. I don’t think my flatmate is either. It works for us to only exchange pleasantries in the morning; we prefer to save the big ticket conversations for the evening (see below).
- There’s always something to talk about, but you don’t have to talk all the time.
When no one’s going anywhere or doing anything, what’s there to talk about? I asked myself this question a lot throughout lockdown, but the bottom line is that there’s always something to talk about – and things often get weird. What better time to discuss the philosophy of life, your flatmate’s favourite London underground station and their dream dinner party guests? Having said that, there are definitely times when you don’t need to talk and the silence is comfortable- and that’s the best part.
Things can get pretty intense. There are bad days. There are exceptionally good days. We’re not on the frontlines fighting the virus first hand, so we’re lucky. For now, I’m making the most of this weird time and looking forward to re-entering the outside world in due course, when things are better.
This article was written on the 21st of March 2021.