The Shock of the New Normal.
I’m used to being asked to be someone’s Valentine, but when a meme asked me “Will you be my quarantine?” last week, I was touched. Until now, the closest I’d ever come to quarantine was a weekend at Soho Farmhouse.
Now, along with most of the world, I’m stuck in lockdown and writing from my kitchen in London. The news is very saddening, and I wish everyone who is suffering a speedy recovery, but Miss BBB is here to share the Lockdown Lite, not the Lockdown Heavy, which takes some pizazz for a long-term social butterfly and prolific networker, who has now joined the lonely ranks of home-worker. I figure butterflies are all about transformation though, so I am trying to treat this as a ‘chrysalis’ phase; preparing to open my wings and flutter again when this era is over.
My birthday at the end of March was the first big test. I like to celebrate in style in a great restaurant surrounded by my lovely friends and this year it even fell on a Saturday, which should mean an all-day, all-night birthday with a guaranteed lie-in and full recovery day. What to do? Desperate to get out, a trapped butterfly is bound to damage its wings.
Fortunately, the restaurant sector is delivering a master class in adaptability, which is deeply impressing this entrepreneur. First of all, it was Zuma to the rescue. Miso cod, sesame spinach and a bottle of sake (why not?) delivered right to my door. Well, within a safe two metres. That was just for starters. The next delivery came in the form of the Cheese Truck – I had ordered a Lockdown Lottery bag of 1 kg of the best British Cheese going.
Why risk a lottery? Well, I’m a girl who thrives on spontaneity and there’s not much of that in lockdown, so surprise me! They did and it was great.
So in some ways, it was like any other birthday — I drank too much wine and ended up stumbling into bed. “Where have you been?” my live-in boyfriend asked, understandably confused since we’d been in lockdown together all week.
“At a party,” I merrily slurred. “What? A party? Where?” “On the sofa, it was a sofa party!” I’d had a merry houseparty with my besties. One in Australia, one in Monaco, one in Wimbledon and one in Norfolk. I have to say, we’ve embraced this new technology like over-enthusiastic teenagers, and we’ve embraced wine deliveries like an old friend coming for dinner.
We can do this people! Even if the world has turned to crap (no wonder the shops immediately ran out of loo roll!).
I’m here to help – so to kick things off here are some tips for tackling the shock of the new normal. #domesticgoddess
- Carrie Bradshaw wrote her Sex and the City column on a Mac at home. Note: whether it’s emails, conference calls, or video Zooms, communication is always better when you’re wearing marabou.
- Declutter – Marie Kondo your house and organise your closet. Find clothes to wear in combinations you never thought of before. Trial them at home so all your new ideas can be sashayed back into the office, assuming there will still be such a thing.
- Keep life civilised: Open your curtains, get dressed, wear perfume, try new playlists on Spotify. Thirty-six hours in the same pyjamas promises a fate worse than the virus.
- Don’t eat from the fridge. Plan your meals, embrace your inner Master Chef and eat like a queen.
- Dance – be it TikTok, live instructors or YouTube tutorial learn something new. It’s time to tango!
- Host a virtual quiz or wine tasting.
- Plan a Friend trip – having missed them, plan to visit them.
- Help others, it’s good for the soul.
- Drink wine.
- Drink more wine.
Having a ritual to end your day is as important as one to start it. I suggest wine, cooking, Netflix, camomile tea and bed. At weekends shake it up with delivery food, new wines and perhaps a new cocktail, followed by Netflix, camomile tea and bed!
As we settle into the new world of social distancing, we need to focus on priorities. Instead of moaning about the state of our nails and home-hair, we’d do better to remember the keyworkers on the frontline and be thankful. We will get through this thanks to their sacrifices and dedication. After COVID-19, we can hope that society will continue to pull together and look out for the world as a whole.