The things I learnt during lockdown

There are two kinds of people in this world - those who look good in hats and those who look like they should be locked up.

I am one of the former (unless we're talking beanies because the only person who can rock a beanie is Taylor Swift and she's 12 … OK, 30).

Hats suit me. At least that's what my completely unbiased mother says, but I suspect it's because she's had to get used to it.

These past few months of COVID-compromised grooming, I've been reaching for backup whenever I've made a public appearance (read: left the house). A bit like Boy George, but with no makeup or top-rating TV show.

The truth is, I probably look a little unhinged, but it's a trade-off I'm willing to make for not stressing about bad hair weeks. 



Kylie Lang working from her kitchen table with her dog Chloe. Picture: Peter Wallis
Kylie Lang working from her kitchen table with her dog Chloe. Picture: Peter Wallis

There are other things I've learned from lockdown and hope to incorporate in my new normal.

Day drinking is overrated. I tried it a few times in April (I was on leave, honest) when those memes started circulating on social media. You know the ones: "We used to call it day drinking; now it's working from home". It was almost an act of defiance.

We will not take lockdown lying down … unless it's after several negronis.

I mean, why wait until you get home from the office when you can't leave the house? And when Friday is Tuesday is any other ending in "day", why can't 6pm be noon?

But somewhere between ham toasties and headache, I realised my favourite meal of the day was dinner and I wanted to be able to enjoy it, with fully-functioning senses.

Nasty people are unnecessary. When social gatherings were shut down, for what seemed like an eternity, I became acutely aware of the people I genuinely missed.

Too much energy is spent on people who don't have your best interests at heart but are masters of pretending otherwise.

Ditto those who only call when they need something, and those who do not, to borrow from the late Kenny Rogers, "decorate" your life.

When it comes to friends, I'd rather have a few cheerful balloons than oodles of streamers that fall down when the sticky tape fails.

High shoes are history. Op-shops are being flooded with donations of stilettos as women

everywhere accept that flats are superior. I know this because I've dropped off at least five bags of bone-crunching cripplers to Vinnies and volunteers nod, knowingly. When you've been pattering around the house in slippers, alternating with sneakers (for public appearances in hats), how can you go back to brutalising your feet? Sorry Mr Blahnik, you're off my Christmas list.

To-do lists are too long. Speaking of lists, I love them, or I did. Pre-COVID, my weekends were jammed with stuff to do and places to be, all scribbled down on paper and ticked off, one by one, with a perverse sense of achievement. But with a forced hand-brake on external activity, I reduced the expectations I put on myself. Now, if I do one good thing on a Saturday, I'm content. Yesterday, it was scrubbing congealed bat droppings off the fence. I can't tell you how proud I was.

Originally published as The things I learnt during lockdown