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It’s unfortunate that it took a global pandemic to make me take my foot off the gas, but it’s the first real break I’ve had in months.
When the lockdown was first announced in March, the thought of limited social contact, not going into university or work and not being able to visit a pub for months was unfathomable.
The reality was actually quite pleasant.
Besides the fact that I haven’t had proper social contact with most of my friends, besides regular Zoom calls and letters in the post, the past few months have actually been quite enjoyable and have allowed me to press pause on what is essentially, a very hectic life. I remained in Lancaster for a month or so after the lockdown was announced because a) I still had a lot of work to do and b) I was not ready to say goodbye to this beautiful city yet, especially as abruptly as the pandemic had made every other goodbye.
And by heck did I have a good time (once all my work was done of course).
Every day I was having a lie-in (which after a year of three 9ams a week was a dream), I was doing Joe Wicks workouts (or yoga if I was feeling fruity) and going for my lovely state-mandated walk (sometimes for a couple of hours, whoops). This gave me a proper chance to explore Lancaster. I walked the City Loop, I extended my usual 20-minute round trip down by Lancaster Canal to walk around Fairfield Nature Reserve and then carried on to Lancaster Priory and the Castle. I explored St George’s Quay and Dallas Road – all the while getting some excellent pictures I might add.
When I wasn’t exploring the city, I was doing what I should have been doing more of all year – relaxing.
Getting a Dominos takeaway and watching a film with my flatmates, ploughing through the National Theatre archives, calling my mates back home for a natter or binge-watching shows I’d been meaning to watch for months. (I watched the whole of New Girl, Downton Abbey and The Big Bang Theory in lockdown!)
Oh my goodness. To have the extended reading time I’ve been craving all year is marvellous. Since lockdown began, I have read about twenty books and I am currently in the middle of re-reading the Harry Potter series, as well as my recent discovery of Stephen King’s novels.
The point of all my rambles is that whilst this pandemic has been devastating in so many ways, I like to find the positives in things.
And whilst right now, I’d love nothing more than to be in Lancaster, sat outside The Waterwitch with a glass of cider and celebrating with my friends post-exam, the alternative is not wholly unpleasant. This event has given myself (and I imagine others) a chance to reconnect with a life before work and school and commitments. And that’s pretty great.
Naturally, this article is just my experience of lockdown and I am aware that not everyone will share the same opinions or the same experiences. What the world is living through now is devastating and I would never want to takeaway from the severity of the situation. I understand that where I have been fortunate enough to take a break, others have not. This article and my experiences are just a way of giving merit to rest during these difficult times.