Lockdown List – One Can but Dream

Lockdown is like sequel and prequel to ‘Back To The Future’ all rolled in to one time-hopping black hole. If people aren’t reminiscing about the good times they had pre-quaratine, they’re lusting after the luxuries they’ll have once lockdown is lifted. I fear this emotional rollercoaster of loss and longing will continue for quite a while as we face a new normal for quite some time to come.

We can’t help ourselves though can we? How many conversations have you had with friends and family that are prefixed “I can’t wait for…” We live in a society where we can do what we please, go where we please and have what we please. To have so much of this whipped away, it truly humbles you to our predecessors; those who lived through world wars without click and collect or next day delivery.

Through the isolation and the deprivation, it sparks a little joy to imagine some of the things we took for granted pre-COVID19. In honour of this my lockdown list top three are…

MY TOP THREE DAYDREAMS

One – Holiday

The synth drums, the cowbells – hands up who is not humming Madonna’s 1983 ‘Holiday’ hit in their head (probably all my followers who were not born until the ’90s but go with it). Little known fact – Madonna actually played the cowbell on the track – pointy cone boobs and percussion – there’s no end to this woman’s talents.

The smell of Hawaain Tropic, the taste of Passion Fruit Daquiries, the burnt soles as you sprint round a poolside trying not to slip as you chase a feral, overheated toddler. Yep. Who doesn’t miss holidays?

We’d not yet got round to booking ours for the year so we don’t have the devastation of wasting money and watching the countdown app counting down to the very thing you have been cutting out carbs and buying an essential capsule wardrobe for.

I was so very excited for this year though and had every intention of actually making the flight on time. In fact, it was my mission to head for the skies with Harry without completely fluffing it up. Yes. Last year we missed the flight to Portugal. It was an unfortunate combination of getting there so early we relaxed too much and no one taking charge of opening gates, or closing one for that matter. Let’s just say, as we booked three more seats from a different airport with B.A. rather than Ryan Air for five hours later, it was a very expensive flat white and latte. But I did get some amazing boomerangs of Harry on his Trunki, before he fell off on the marble floor and before we ran with panicked abandon to be greeted by the stern and unrelenting hostesses at Gate 47.

Rest assured we did make it to Portugal without further incident but from London City as opposed to Stansted. I learned a lot of valuable lessons that day. Number one being don’t ever assume your partner is in control when he doesn’t even wear a watch. Number two, time your nappy explosions more appropriately little man or sit in for a three hour flight as Mummy would rather choke than shell out an additional £300.

So my daydream is of poolside cabanas, ice-cold beer with condensation running down the side of the glass, dosing off in the midday sun and that feeling of complete relaxation. Who am I kidding. Holidays with a toddler mean a steady supply of ice-cream, suntan lotion application every thirty minutes and mild-asphixiation from blowing up a plethora of inflatable objects. Yet still I long for our next holiday and that buzz from the airport to the Algarve. Here’s hoping 2021 will bring passport stamps a-plenty.

Two – Eating Out

We ain’t that fancy when it comes to restaurants. The Nobus of the world have been ticked off. The Duck & Waffles have been sampled. From sky-scraping views to exotic locations, we have filled our bellies, hearts and souls.

But nothing compares to Thursday night down the local for two very important reasons. One: I don’t have to cook. Yes. I’ll say that again. Mamma does not have to cook. The very thought fires sparks of joy in me. Two: they are both accepting and welcoming of Harry, his trains, his Hey Duggee clubhouse and Squirrels, his Thomas movie (quietly) on the iPad and his want to crawl, sprint or bounce through the restaurant area. Luckily for the local community, we get there on kitchen opening so we are done and out of there by 6:30pm, leaving discerning diners to their dinner in peace.

Admittedly we tend to eat the same thing every week; I’ll rephrase that, my creature-of-habit husband requests the same thing every week, but it’s become a precursor to our weekend. Pub night signals that Friday wind-down feeling, amply supported by a chilled glass of chardonnay.

My dreams are that of exiting our kitchen, of kicking back, of letting someone else plan the menu, of someone serving me my chicken brioche burger and sweet potato fries and dealing with the washing up. My fears though are the hospitality industry’s ability to bounce back from their closure. I wonder how long it will be, coming from the habitual wiping down of our entire Tesco delivery, before we feel confident enough to eat out again.

I’ll have the lasagna with a shot of CV vaccine please!

Three – Messy play

Picture the scene. It’s 10am. Already we’ve graffitied the floor with poster paint. We’ve ground play doh in to the carpet as it’s hitched a lift in the tread of a shoe. We’ve scattered dyed rice in to crevices that will wait until the house has been meticulously hoovered before expelling it.

Please don’t be confused. Please don’t assume my dream is for messy play. Oh, no no no.

My desire is for Harry to indulge in the messiest of plays, the muckiest of pleasures and the filthiest of fun: just not in my house.

I dream of being able to rock up at the local church hall, drop my pounds in to the pot, grab myself a cuppa and sit back to watch Harry smother himself in goo, gloop and glue. Of course I’m not going to stand by as he sprinkles dried pasta on the floor and I’ll of course scoop up the smattering of sand he deposits on the lino but there’s something quite different about tidying up when it’s not in your kitchen, all over your walls and printed up the patio doors.

It will be so much more fun when he’s able to recreate a mushroom cloud of destruction with other little people. Although Mumma does get stuck in with him at home, there’s always one eye on the kitchen roll ready to soak up the tsunami of chaos he leaves in his wake.

A holiday, pub grub and the local church hall Pram Group. I don’t ask for much. However, we will be patient. We will dream sweet hawaiian-tropic scented dreams. We will continue to eschew the outside world. One day, in the not too distant future, those dreams will be within our grasp. Now do one Covid!

What do you dream of? What is it that you lust for the other side of lockdown? I’m longing to know. Let us dream vicariously through each other. Stay safe! Karen xx

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