A winter lockdown feels like a different beast to a summer one doesn’t it? Yet, things never really got back to normal after the first one. As time goes on, the things we used to love doing seem like a distant memory. I’ve been thinking about all the things we love and miss that we’ll appreciate so much more when lockdown ends. Here are my top ten, what are yours?
Friends and family
I think spending time with friends and family is the main thing most of us are missing. It will definitely be the first thing we do when we’re allowed. I am lucky that my mum is in a bubble with us and we were able to see the rest of the family just before lockdown. But I will always appreciate being able to just pop round to see them.
We’ve been very lucky to avoid Covid ourselves so it has been possible for me to carry on running every day. I have also managed to fit in cold water swims or dips to keep my open water acclimatisation during the winter. But I miss group exercise. I miss turning up for a swim with a big group of people, competing in a triathlon myself or watching the children do one. I even miss the group boot camp class I used to do at the gym. I never thought that would be something I’d appreciate.
The children and I are all looking forward to the day they can go back to school. Of course, they can’t wait to see their friends and teachers. And I can’t wait to be able to get on with my work without constant interruptions.
Face to face working
Before lockdown, I would have said that my work was quite isolating. It’s rare for me to meet anybody face to face and when I do, it tends to involve large meeting venues and hundreds of people. Now though, I not only miss the big events but I miss sitting in front of a computer and working alongside my friend. It will be so much more convenient when I can have face to face meetings with clients to get things done as well.
I’ve never been a planner, it’s not in my nature. Last year though, my husband convinced me to book some holidays in advance. We were heading up to Scotland for a couple of weeks in our camper van, so we booked ferries to get to and from the Orkneys. We booked campsites and hotels. Separately, we booked flights and hotels so we could go to France for a press trip plus a few days showing the girls around Nantes, where I lived for a year. You can imagine how that all went. But I wasn’t gutted about missing out on the things we’d booked. It’s the spontaneous things I miss. Picking the children up on a Friday evening and going camping for a couple of nights. Turning up at someone’s house for a cup of tea. Deciding that it was the perfect day for swimming or going to the pub.
We have always taken the girls on lots of fun days out in the West Midlands. Not always anything spectacularly exciting, sometimes we’d just head to a National Trust property, go to a local park or take the SUP to the river. I always knew the girls were lucky to do so much but I don’t think I appreciated it as much as I should have done. I will now.
Once every couple of weeks, we used to go somewhere for a meal. Usually somewhere local, occasionally somewhere a bit smarter. I’d also go for lunch or a coffee with friends to break up my working day. It seems like such an odd thing to be unable to do and we’re looking forward to some form of normality in that respect. I also really feel for those restauranteurs who are unable to open.
In the couple of years prior to the pandemic, I would go to Malvern Theatres at least once a month. Either as a family or with my husband or a friend. I was already incredibly grateful to be able to do that and especially thankful to live near to such a brilliant theatre. It will seem more of a treat than ever when the theatre reopens.
Going to people’s houses
This is something I didn’t realise I’d miss. I don’t really have friends whose houses I go to but it’s nice to have the option. Popping round to see my dad for a coffee or sharing lunch with my sister while our dogs played in the garden. Taking the girls to see their friends and passing an hour with a coffee while the children played.
It’s a few years since I’ve been abroad, so I can’t blame Covid for my lack of foreign holidays recently. But we were always away in our camper van. If things are back to normal by the summer, I intend to make up for lost time. We’ll spend a few weeks on a UK break and get back to having regular short trips away in the van all year round. I might even take a few days away on my own or with a friend to discover some new swimming spots.