Let’s Talk About Lockdown Learns

Nick Knight’s Isolation Day 57

As we near the end of the first Lockdown (my science-y friends assure me there is likely to be at least one more, especially if you are London dwelling), what have we learnt from being cooped up with our loved ones for 74 days? I know this number for sure because I follow @nick_knight on insta and he’s counted, rather beautifully, with photos every day (above is day 57) he’s been in lockdown.

It’s hard to concentrate on anything

I’ve been trying to write a blog post here for weeks, and found it hard to both concentrate and find anything worth saying. There’s been a lot to process in the last week or so, from Dominic Cummings trying to take us for idiots with his ludicrous explanation of his rule breaking to the recent tragic and disgraceful murder of George Floyd in the US.

Add on to that the too-early deaths of many of our friends and family due to Covid-19 and the quiet hum of fear in our everyday lives from the virus, it’s hard to get your head around the context in which to write something. Even reading is tough, I’ve been trying to get through Hilary Mantel’s The Mirror And The Light and it’s hard to keep my train of thought, possibly because….

Fergus Garrett from the Great Dixter lecture

The virtual world is NOISEY: it’s the new Going Out

It took about three days in a state of shocked, quiet panic at the beginning of Lockdown before Zoom and Houseparty rocked up and everything went VERY VIRTUALLY NOISEY. Jeez, how many InstaLIVE’s can a girl listen too at once? I have friends who did back-to-back zoom meetings in the first few weeks from 8.00 to 8.00 and were more exhausted than any normal office-based working day.

Of course some of this is fabulous, I’ve listened to Fergus Garrett talk about Great Dixter at a lecture I’d’ve never have gotten to IRL, I’ve attended the Digital Scent Festival (@Scent_festival) in Los Angeles, listening to young perfumers and distillers talk about the importance of scent in wellbeing and attended daily fashion history lessons with @amberbutchart. I now have my daily morning coffee break with Sandi Toksvig (We Will Get Passed This podcast) who increasingly feels like my new BF and I’ve loved eavesdropping on a chummy chats between florists such as @RobbieHoney and @ShaneConnollyandco.

There’s definitely an Access All Areas feeling about digital communication that’s going on at the mo. If it carries on at this pitch, we really will be questioning why we need to leave the house ever again.

from @cnliziqi

I quite like the slower pace of life

Anyone else half disappointed that we have to go back to normal? I am aware (SO aware) of how lucky I’ve been to have a bit of living space and a garden during lockdown, and I’ve kinda loved being in my bubble. All that concern about who I need to see, places I need to go, jobs I have to do all just stopped.

As a freelancer, work has been the same (almost, I miss the IRL perfume world), we’ve been healthy and we’ve not troubled ourselves with the stress of making sour dough or banana bread. I like it here. Yes I miss my friends and fam, but not a lot else. Going forward, how many of you will be jumping back onto the frenetic bandwagon and how many will be looking for a gentler pace of life?

You can never have too many face masks : weird new beauty rituals

No, not THAT type of mask….Sales of skincare have gone through the roof during lockdown, it seems we are all soothing and calming ourselves via our beauty rituals. We’re swapping burying our heads in the sand with covering our faces with gloop.

I used the time to use up the large stash of face mask I never had time to use before. Most masks require you to leave them on for a bit for them to work, and I never seemed to be in the right place to use them. Now I stick one on before virtual yoga, or while binge watching anything on Netflix. How many is too many, do you think?

FYI, I’ve tried a lot and my favourite by a long shot is the bee yu, Manuka honey and bee venom regenerating and firming face mask for my older skin. Find it here, it’s spendy but good and currently on sale.

Li Ziqi and her beautiful films

ASMR is the hot Lockdown therapy

If you are feeling stressed and unbalanced by lockdown can I refer you to a wonderful instagram account at @cnliziqi, which was pointed out to me by my lovely friends over at The Perfume Society . The writer Suzy Nightingale has linked the calming feeling you get watching one of Li Ziqi’s exquisite little films about her idyllic life in the countryside around Pingwu in Mianyang, Sichuan, to the growing popularity of ASMR (Auto Sensory Meridian Response) during lockdown.

They are a total joy to watch, but I’m warning you, you can lose an hour or two just scrolling through them. Although I guess, since time is not so scarce at the moment, who cares?


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  • Jerry says:

    I can relate to almost all of your learnings. ASMR has been a life-saver for me during the time. As for skincare, I am kind of obsessed. Just ordered a bunch of moisturizers online. I would have been bankrupt if I was paying full price. But fortunately, I got a cool coupon from ClothingRIC that slashed the price. I am looking into some natural remedies as well.

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  • Thank you for describing my current state. In fact, I’m even a little disappointed that I have to return to regular work days after quarantine. Of course, I do not like that there is a big risk of catching the disease, but I like that I can work remotely and I do not have to spend time commuting to and from work. Also, I have already adjusted my life and coped with everything perfectly, which also pleases me. But what will please me more, of course, is that the risk of coronavirus disease will disappear.

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