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What We’re Not Reading/Watching/Doing This Lockdown

There’s no self-improvement this time round


PRIMER writers

Clementine Ford has lowered the culinary bar

“This many lockdowns in, something I’m definitely not doing is distracting myself in the kitchen. I spent 2020’s lockdowns cooking beautiful food and trying different recipes. I attempted (and failed) to master bread, scones and even hot cross buns. These produced dismal results but my dinner creations were a lot more impressive!

I just don’t have it in me this time. I’m bulk freezing soup and the same chopped vegetables every night. Last week, I signed up to a food delivery service. I finally understand what people mean when they say they wish they could substitute food for nutritional pills. It’s not that I don’t love to eat – nothing brings me more joy than cooking and dining with friends! But I just can’t handle staring at my kitchen and wondering what to make for another night at home! So food delivery service it is, until we can get some reprieve from this never ending Groundhog Day. Hmmm….I wonder what groundhog tastes like?”

Sherine Youssef is not wearing an elasticated waist

Here’s what I’ve learned: elasticised waistbands are the devil. Last lockdown, I was all about that tracksuit life, rotating between a couple of my comfiest sets, and pairing them with uggs (at home) or sneakers (when I went out for my daily walk).

I think you can guess what happened once lockdown lifted and I slipped on my regular jeans… the Kettle chips and mint choc chip ice-cream were absolutely not worth it. This time around, it’s pants with zippers and buttons, zipped up and buttoned up, because I will not be lulled into a false sense of security again.

Felicity Robinson is not reading any complex books

One of the perks of the job at PRIMER is the succession of new books that land on my desk, a ready-made reading list of new releases that helps me feel all connected to the zeitgeist. The thing is, lockdown has killed my capacity to read anything that has more than five characters or a plot more complex than Bluey.

So, for the first time since I was a child, I’ve resorted to reading books that I’ve already read. At the moment that’s Graham Greene’s Heart of the Matter, which is beautifully miserable and allows me to wallow in guilt and despair (because what I really need is more of that). I’ve also started Dolly Alderton’s Ghosts for when Graham gets a bit too much. It’s about 30-something women going to pubs, and having nice dinners with charming men and… when will this lockdown ennnnndd?

Hannah-Rose Yee is not watching Important Cinema

I am not watching any of the following: depressing documentaries, grisly serial killer thrillers, Important Cinema by Important Filmmakers, any television show that has 20 episodes a season and like… 15 seasons. I know this is going to go on for a while, but I need to hold on to the hope, however futile, that it’s going to end sooner than an entire start-to-finish rewatch of Grey’s Anatomy.

What I am watching are comedies that have 30 minute episodes, like a little treat that just melts on the tongue: Only Murders In The BuildingTed LassoStarstruckThe Chair. And also this great new series called Vigil on Binge, which, yes, has episodes longer than 30 minutes and isn’t a comedy, and yes, is a little dark but is very compelling and is set on a submarine full of liars, which is a reminder that lockdown could always be worse.

Mary Madigan is walking in comfort now

I’ve stopped buying uncomfortable shoes. There’s nothing like a global pandemic to make you realise shoes that you can’t walk to the supermarket in are useless. This doesn’t mean I plan to spend the rest of my life in sketchers. I’ve actually taken to buying quite a few fun and comfortable pairs of shoes online – think Gucci loafers and Adidas sneakers. But I am done being uncomfortable.

I want to be able to walk with purpose and comfort, with no blisters. I think shoes should be multi-purpose; you should be able to frolic in the park and head to a party in a pair. Life is too short for anything else.

Kerry Parnell is not making any more sweet treats

When the pandemic first hit I started producing more chocolate brownies, lemon drizzles and Nutella cookies than Nigella. By the time we got to lockdown #345, this foolish activity had had the inevitable result and luckily was only disguised by the current trend for peasant dresses.

The time, I’m eating, not treating and my aim is to get back into shape by the time smocks go out of style.

 

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