The isolation diaries | part 5

I thought I’d do something a little different this week and share the list of activities I have been jotting down to complete if I get bored at all during the lockdown. It’s in no way a boast about how much I have achieved in this time (trust me, half of the items on here have not been given a second thought) and I understand we are all rightfully dealing with it uniquely.

Rather it’s an opportunity to hopefully inspire anyone feeling a bit stuck for how to fill free hours; a marker to reflect on my ambitions (some of these are pretty ambitious – ‘clean car’ lol who am I kidding?!); and mainly to laugh at my expense at some of the achingly mundane chores I have included and will inevitably procrastinate to the point of hatred. In addition, this post contains a smattering of other ideas and information in case you fancied trying something new.

It’s a luxury to be quarantined in a safe, loving home, and being bored is a very privileged attitude. Nonetheless, I have felt significantly exhausted with the current climate and on occasions been helpless as the little light inside me switched off. In those moments the last thing I want is to confront a looming to-do list, so on Saturday I sacked it off and watched TV for the best part of the day instead. It was so bloody needed and has done wonders for my demeanour as a result.

I binged the recent series ‘Nest’ on BBC Two and was instantly hooked. I rarely start a TV show unless Josh and I decide to watch one together, because I’m not a one episode a day kind of person. I’ll get sucked in and that show will become my life until I have completed it and am left mourning the emptiness it leaves behind (examples include: Gossip Girl, Skins, The End Of The F*cking World, Sex Education, Stranger Things). I’m desperate to start the TV adaptation of Normal People but still haven’t read the book and after all the rave reviews I don’t want to do it a disservice.

The list is ever-growing and I’m more inspired to add more entries than I am to actually do any of them, but it can be credited to a few ongoing projects. My guitar lessons are coming on strong and I set aside a couple of evenings a week to practice, albeit only for half an hour or so as my fingers are weak and my concentration span is shit.

I was mildly hungover on Saturday morning; thoughts were swimming in conflicting currents through my mind and wouldn’t sit stationary. I intended on writing letters to my close friends to show some support and comfort during this weird period, and as a signature sign off wanted to include a disposable picture from a past memory. After hauling out my collection of old photos peace had been restored and I physically felt so much lighter. In lieu of this I am persuaded to get started making a photo album to preserve the delicate moments these images capture.

Since I live in the Brecon Beacons, a Dark Sky Reserve, I thought it was apt to invest more time into appreciating the stars that are so abundantly clear here. I have downloaded the Night Sky app aaand until now it’s sat unopened on my phone, however when the conditions are right I’m hoping to take to the back garden and do a little star gazing. Once Josh and I were stood having a cigarette out there and we both spotted two consecutive shooting stars, which was a real treat and pretty magical.

Not included here is the desire to finally read my stack of coffee table books and magazines that I have half-heartedly attempted and left to wrinkle under candles and coffee mug stains. I have an amazing one on David Bowie’s fashion, which I’ll often flick through to feast on the incredible imagery, but never dedicated myself to assessing the words that go with them. I wonder if I will ever be bored enough to unknot my necklace ties (I think we all know the answer to that).

DRESS & KITTEN HEELS both Boden (previously gifted) | CROP TOP New Look (old) | TROUSERS Zara (very old) | LACY TOP vintage | SHIRT vintage

A red lip (or red outfit, for that matter) never fails to make me feel glamorous, so predictably it’s a colour I have been increasingly selecting as of late. The polka dot dress is last year’s from Boden (kindly gifted) and I adore it. Here I switched it up by undoing the buttons a little further up the leg and think the effect is subtly sultry and sophisticated.

I lost my fondness for cooking for a while; I think the gloom of the lockdown combined with being at home where my mum usually makes dinner stunted my passion somewhat. One night I was asked to make a meal for the four of us (the other three inhabitants of the house being my mum, dad and little brother) and unsure what to choose I reverted back to my good old curry.

This is my classic dish, having debuted it the summer before I went to uni for Meg and Beth, two of my dearest friends. My version has strayed considerably from the original recipe I ripped out of a magazine, as I actually lost the page somewhere along the lines and had to improvise. The key ingredients are supposed to be chickpeas, although being pescatarian I now like using king prawns instead – both are equally delicious.

My favourite aspect of a curry is that you can generally throw in what you like while following a rough method and it will probably turn out okay. I have varied the pastes and can confirm that Madras or Rogan Josh work best to embody a wholesome flavour, and as I’m quite partial to spicy food I like to add two or three chillis. My edition of the recipe is below if you fancy trying it (I’ve included the vegan options).

My brother took me for a beautiful walk up on the Epynt, a mountain range dissecting Mid Wales from our home in the Brecon Beacons. He used to work at a four star country hotel near there and had discovered the spectacular views through his commute.

We took our dog, Jed, who was excitedly jumping up from the boot and is getting so old we had to let him lap up water from our hands tipped out from bottles and carry him up the final hill. The simple stroll I had envisioned was quickly replaced with a hike as we scaled the side of a valley on a slim, rocky path and then had to climb up the grassy hill after losing sight of the route, but it was so worth it for the lashings of spring sun on our backs and the gorgeous views.

Of course I had to document the apparent tan that began to form in addition to my freckle constellations, as it’s an extremely rare occurrence! The linen shirt is about 6 years old from Topshop yet I return to it every summer and manage to find new ways to style it up. In fact, most of the items featured in this ensemble are 3+ years old and I’m continually drawn back to them.

My sister donated the stripy shirt to me (I think it’s H&M), the shorts are ancient Topshop survivors, and the belt was a cheapy buy from Primark that has surprisingly stood the test of time. My beloved moss green vans are timeless, and I slip them on no matter what the season.

Cheers to making it through another week in lockdown. I hope you are safe and healthy. I’d love to hear what everyone is up to and also what you think of the different elements I’ve trialled in this blog!

Lily x

4 thoughts on “The isolation diaries | part 5

  1. Like you, I don’t feel like discarding some of the best clothes I bought in the past 5 years. Whenever I wear them, comments flood in asking where did I purchase them from. Can’t wait to unpack my summer clothe’s suitcase.

    Also, red and mouse brown lip tint suits you a lot 🙂

    Happy Monday!

    Liked by 1 person

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