Alex in Lockdownland.

Right. Lads. How are we.

Much like HBO’s “Game of Thrones”, I am beyond fond of a prolonged hiatus, but unlike HBO’s “Game of Thrones” it is not because I want to have as much time and money to perfect the final season, but rather because it turns out that I am categorically lazy during a global pandemic and motivation was not included with my purchase of hand sanitiser and a reusable cloth mask.

To be very honest, the only reason that I’ve unveiled the motivation to write this post is because I genuinely have very little to do with my days right now. That, and the fact that I couldn’t let the lockdown title pun pass me by.

But, I am back. Back in London and back on my bullshit*.

I think it’s overtly safe to say that this potentially has been the strangest time that anyone of our generation has lived through (well this and that time in secondary school where I decided that a full-blown fringe was the look for me), and it’s a time where it’s extremely hard to find the motivation to do what you feel like you should be doing. I mean, I truly thought that by this point of the pandemic I’d have written the next “Fleabag” which would have been suitable for both stage and screen adaptations, but instead all I did with the majority of my evenings was get drunk on Zoom with the image of the Love Island diary room as my chosen backdrop.**

To be at the stage where you’re beginning to come out of Lockdownland has truly hit with a mixture of emotions that honestly I have zero clue how to deal with as I never deal with emotions in a normal situation and just embrace it by having a tear-filled breakdown. The usual, like.

After a very cushty four months back home in Cork, living in the idealistic bubble that consists of not having to partake in the everyday adult responsibilities that I usually do, I am now back to my responsibility-filled life with no idea of where or what I’m actually at. Over the last few months, my lack of routine slowly but surely became a routine, with little scheduled things such as walks, reading and begging a parent to drive me to town so that I could get an oat milk latte from Cork Coffee Roasters becoming a part of my day to day life. Although there was nothing substantial professionally to my everyday life, it was quite easy to find a bit of peace in the fact that everyone else was pretty much in the same boat and that there was no reason to feel any pang of guilt for not being professionally productive with my days.

Over the last few days, I’ve started to see a few posts of people dictating all of the productive activities that they got up to over lockdown, and while I am all about the productivity, I’m all about embracing the laziness too. I started a TEFL course in April and can confirm that after a few days it was swiftly cast aside so that I could spend my time watching “New Girl” from the beginning and it made me happier and more content than anything else could have.***

Now, we’re in this very strange midway point where things are relatively getting back to pre-COVID vibes and seeing people get back to semi-normal lives when you have no hint of routine is a little bit difficult and slightly tolling on the old mind. It also feels very odd seeing everyone back home having an absolute HOOLIE heading on staycations and downing a carbonara with the girlies on Princes Street. In my head, it feels as if the big fun Cork vibes only started the second that I left, and now I’m just stuck watching this fun unfold on everyone’s Instagram stories (that is when I go to a café to get WiFi as Vodafone won’t activate mine until August 3rd and have cut off my data – great times to be fair.)

Outside of the newfound FOMO, overall I was pretty excited to be returning to London for numerous reasons – one of which being the entirety of my summer wardrobe because essentially all I brought back to Cork was three pairs of jeans and my Cher t-shirt.****

Now, set the scene, picture the excitement – coming back to the 30 degree piercing heat of London city, and the abundance of sundresses and jumpsuits that you had folded away in your wardrobe. Absolutely buzzing. Get that London look girlo. Now, imagine my disdain when I realised upon trying everything on, that the clothes I was so desperate to get back into aren’t necessarily sitting on me in the same way as they did last summer. Huh.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve gained weight over the last few months, but this was wholly confirmed upon being reunited with my wardrobe, and to my surprise I wasn’t taken aback or devastated at this revelation, but instead I was actually quite rational. It’s so SO important to be kind to yourself at a time like this and I was quick to remind myself that last summer I was in the gym a solid 3-4 times a week and hadn’t spent the first few weeks of the summer inside baking Roz Purcell’s Guinness bread of a Sunday morning like I had this year because we’re currently in THE MIDST OF A GLOBAL PANDEMIC.

To be frank, as disheartening as it can be to unveil a newfound weight gain, I think the key to these (don’t say it, don’t say it, DON’T say it) unprecedented times is comfort and just being content, and truthfully I was very content with Roz’s Guinness bread, Roz’s soda bread, Roz’s banana bread.*****

It’s the strangest time, so do what you can to make yourself happy – binge listen to the I’m Grand Mam girlies while out for a stroll, rewatch “Normal People”******* for the third time, bake the brownies, order the 3in1, just have a hoolie where you can.

If you need me, you’ll find me doing all of the above until someone tells me to stop. Especially rewatching “Normal People”. For the third time.********* I’m not obsessed. I swear. Maybe a little. Paul Mescal please DM me.

Much love and respect to ya pals,

Al x

*A phrase coined by my favourites – the I’m Grand Mam girlies and I’m all about it x

**I’m such a scream what can I say.

***I am now back on the TEFL buzz and am eagerly trying to catch up. Can’t wait to teach English as a second language in the style of Ms Jessica Day.

****Packing for a last minute country fled is more difficult than you’d anticipate.

*****There was a lot of bread.

*******I wouldn’t have actually done this, we just bought it and we’re poor. Adrienne and Benji can stay for now.

********If Paul Mescal running around a field clad in GAA shorts and a silver chain doesn’t bring you joy then I honestly don’t know what else to offer you tbh.

**********There’s just something about rewatching it that makes you want to go for a coffee with an ex just to sit across from them and say “well *insert full name here*” in the same elongated and punching manner that Marianne has when she says “Connell Waldron”. But please don’t include this activity in the above list. Stick to the brownies.

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