What I’m going to do first when lockdown is lifted is…

Am I really the only one out there who hasn’t embarked on an online course in Cordon Bleu cooking during lockdown? Or maybe you’ve been busy painting the most wonderful watercolours? Or practising Ashanti yoga in the garden? Oh, come on… don’t tell me you’re another one who has taken the opportunity to brush up on your ‘O’ level Italian in anticipation of that longed for summer holiday in Tuscany? Or maybe you spent your time learning a whole new foreign language from scratch whilst I’ve been basically sitting on my bottom watching far too much TV and twiddling my thumbs waiting for the Government to take pity on me and lift lockdown?

I have achieved extraordinarily little given the fact that I’ve had so much extra time to fill. Although, if I do say so myself, the garden is looking uncharacteristically tidy and my wardrobe has been Marie Kondo’d. As a result I have several bags of ‘stuff’ waiting for the charity shops to re-open. And I’m fairly sure the cat will miss me being around so much since I seem to come in very handy as a door opener/closer/a cosy lap to sit on whenever he feels like it.

The house is weirdly tidy too. Let’s face it what else has there been to do other than slowly morph into a 1950’s housewife? Oh yes, all that frantic acquiring of new skills. That is what I was supposed to be doing, wasn’t it? Ah well, all that tedious self-improvement stuff is too late now that I’m on the point of being released from the drudgery of domesticity and back into the real world. Or at least a pale semblance of the real world and I’m beginning to wonder, “What am I going to do first when lockdown is lifted?”

Well obviously what I am going to do first is to throw a huge party for all our relatives. We haven’t seen each other for months now. We’ll have high tea in the garden with streamers and bunting and fairy cakes. We’ll hug and kiss (oh no wait, we can’t do that yet, can we?) In fact, I can’t even allow them to use the loo whilst they’re here which (speaking practically) rather kiboshes the whole thrilling idea. And they can’t stay overnight, can they? But hold on, which relatives would we invite since at the moment we’re restricted to just one other household? No, that idea would never work. Best put it on the back burner. So, what I’m going to do first when lockdown is lifted is…

Invite our friends Sue and John around for coffee and cake in the garden. No breaking of lockdown rules there. And given that they live nearby they can be sure to go before coming, if you see what I mean. But wait a moment, what if Liz and Nick or Sarah and Peter or Anna and David hear that we’ve had other friends here before inviting them? Offence may be taken where none was intended. No, that could be difficult and I absolutely would not want to endanger long-standing friendships. I’ll shelve that idea for now and so what I’m going to do first when lockdown is lifted is…

Pile the endless bags of clothes and all the other items which I have spent hours and hours of lockdown time sorting out into my car and donate them to the charity shops. My winter wardrobe was first to get the Marie Kondo treatment at the end of March. Then came Spring and Summer clothes as April and May both turned into scorchers. Whatever didn’t meet the benchmark of “sparking joy” was ruthlessly discarded. The whole process certainly sparked joy in my husband who simply cannot understand why I need 20 identical pairs of jeans. The bags of unwanted stuff are beginning to take over the hallway. But the Charity Shops won’t re-open for ages a friend tells me because new safety rules say they have to leave all donations untouched for at least 72 hours to kill off the dreaded CV. Oh well, it was a nice thought. So in that case what I’m going to do first when lockdown is lifted is…

Go shopping for all those unessential items. Not just for the necessities but for a few luxuries too. After so many weeks of patient, socially distant queuing like the responsible citizen I am, how wonderful it will be to go on a girly splurge shop with nothing to inhibit me other than dark mutterings about bringing home more pairs of jeans from my husband. I’m afraid I can’t quite get my head around internet shopping. When it comes to clothes I need to see the colour, feel the fabric and certainly try on footwear. The thought of schlepping down to the post office to send back unwanted items doesn’t fill me with joy either. And that means joining yet another queue. So I‘ll go shopping again in the old-fashioned way. Except I won’t be able to, will I? Queues wherever I go, no changing rooms, no coffee stops other than takeaways and worst of all no loos available. That won’t do at all I’m afraid. But hey, who am I kidding here?

What I’m going to do first when lockdown is lifted is make an emergency appointment at the hairdressers. Swiftly followed by the facialist and the manicurist… so I’m sorted. And that is what I’m going to do first when lockdown is lifted.

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