Life in Lockdown - keeping ourselves away from the television.

After 5 weeks in lockdown, it is safe to say that our houses are as clean as they will ever be, we’ve eaten our weight in banana bread (and some), not only are we socially distancing from one another, but also from our fridges, and keeping ourselves confined to our homes is getting harder. 2020 has not gone to plan!

Trying to avoid going down a black hole and watching utter rubbish on the television every night? We hear you! It is all very well having so much time to Netflix and chill, but let us be completely honest, there is only so much that can be watched before our eyes boggle and our minds turn into a marshmallow.

So, in a bid to stop ourselves from turning into complete couch potatoes (excluding our one walk/run/cycle a day), we have been trawling the internet over the past few weeks for ideas. Here is what we have been up to...

Easy Listening;

Amazon Audible is offering a one-month free trial at the moment which includes access to two new books of your choice in the first month, it is £7.99 thereafter if you want to keep it going, or you can just cancel if it’s not for you. Alongside the purchase of the books there are hundreds of free podcasts and short stories to listen to, so sign up make a cup of tea and enjoy an hour in the garden, or better still, run yourself a bubble bath, light some candles and put one on in the background for a little bit of ‘me’ time. We currently have Becoming by Michelle Obama and Lady In Waiting by Anne Glenconner on the go - both come highly recommended!


Getting Creative;

Something I personally have wanted to do for a very long time, but just never seem to have found the time for, is learn the art of modern calligraphy. There seem to be snippets of free lessons online, but nothing overly in-depth. So, I have now purchased an online course, this particular one does come with a £35.00 price tag (but quite honestly it is worth it, and I will usually have spent that on at least one meal out during the week). With this, you receive four online videos (via email) which will give you an introduction to modern calligraphy and your toolkit, warm-up drills, the alphabet and joining letters. You will also receive through the post a calligraphy nib, pen and inkpot, a practice pad and calligraphy tutorial worksheets. Hours of practice lay ahead!

Calligraphy with Lou


Parlez vous Francais?

Fancy brushing up on your GCSE French? duolingo offers free 7-day language courses (there is a small monthly charge starting from £6.59 a month after this, but you can easily cancel should you wish to). Choose from French, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Arabic and many more. This app is brilliant, you can set yourself a daily time limit starting with as little as 5 minutes, great for perfecting the basics in time for your next holiday.


Missing takeaways?

There are so many cooking shows and classes out there, but one of our particular favourites is hosted by Gizzi Erskine and Professor Green (@gizzandgreens on Instagram) who post an Insta live at 7 pm every Monday featuring a ‘fakeaway’ dish, so far these have included a take on Wagamama’s Chicken Katsu Curry, Sweet and Sour Chicken and a Big Mac. On the Sunday before, they publish the ingredients so that you can purchase them in advance and cook along with them on the night!


The Show Must Go On!

On Thursday evenings, Andrew Lloyd Webber is giving us all the chance to experience a West End show for free in the comfort of our living rooms. So, put on your best leggings, grab a choc ice and sit down at 7pm to join in on the show. You can have a look at upcoming shows by following this link; The Show Must Go On

All shows are available for a 48 hour period so if this exact time doesn’t suit you, you don’t have to miss out.


Feeling a little green-fingered?

I once killed a cactus, and then a mint plant, in fact my home has many times looked like some kind of plant massacre has been carried out. Two years ago a colleague gave me an orchid as a gift, I accepted it graciously, but I was confident that she had issued it a death sentence and it was headed for my plant graveyard (the brown bin to everyone else). It really was time to address my plant-killing ways and learn how to keep one alive. I would definitely not describe myself as green-fingered, that is until I visited The Royal Horticultural Society website. They do have many tips and tricks to help even the most plant adverse of us. With lots of ideas for plants and veg, it is well worth a look.

PS The orchid is not only still alive but has grown, and I now have a budding vegetable garden in the making!

The Royal Horticultural Society


Feel good...twice over;

Having lived in Edinburgh for 10 years in the past, I attended many different fitness classes all over the city. Tribe Edinburgh was one of my favourites and I was delighted to see that they are releasing three classes online every day throughout lockdown with tips on how to have the best online yoga experience, prenatal classes and vinyasa. The classes are free, but they have set up a just giving page so after your class, should you wish to, you can make a small donation to help them raise £10,000 which they will use to help fund future classes in their studio’s for key workers. So, you can feel doubly good about your exercise! Tribe Yoga Online


Travel the world;

Did you know that Google Arts and Culture allows you to take virtual tours of hundreds of museums and galleries? Spend the morning wandering around the MOMA in New York, stop by the Imperial War Museum in London after lunch, and then head over to Amsterdam for a tour of Anne Frank’s House in the evening! Where will you start? Google Arts and Culture


Raise a glass to the no pub quiz night;

Get a group of friends and family together for a quiz night. Nominate someone from the group to be the quizmaster, it will be their job to pull together the questions and answers prior to your agreed quiz time, there are many sites to help with this. Download the zoom app (if you don’t already have it) and agree a time you will all log on to enjoy a little face to face action with your loved ones. Just remind them that any cheaters will be banished forever!


Back to basics;

Scrabble, Charades, Monopoly – there’s a reason they are known as classics!

Have you got any ideas and activities you would like to share with us?

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