As the coronavirus pandemic continues to run rife in the UK, we’re back in lockdown again. We’ve all been instructed to follow the same rules (more or less) - but how that actually looks from person-to-person is surprisingly unique. With so many different living, working, and personal situations at play, each week Cosmopolitan invites a different reader to share a glimpse into their life over a 24-hour period….
Josie is a 27-year-old journalist who moved from London back to a village just outside of Birmingham where her parents, Denise and Karl, live. Karl is a self-employed shutter fitter so he has been working outside of the family home for the majority of the pandemic, but Josie and Denise both do their jobs from home. Josie enjoys spending so much time with her family, but is now starting to get itchy feet.
8.30am: I wake up abruptly from a stressful dream (I was accused of robbery, rude) and scroll through Twitter to take my mind off it. Lots of people are talking about Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK: Queens on Lockdown, so I decide to watch it, too. The internet on my laptop is playing up so I begrudgingly leave my bed to go downstairs to the TV. I say good morning to my mum, who’s cleaning the bathroom. She likes to do it herself so I have managed to avoid doing that job for a year. It’s going to be a shock to the system when I have to put my marigolds on again - the closest I get to cleaning nowadays is watching Mrs Hinch’s Instagram stories.
My dad has already left to go to work – he’s the hardest working man in the world. Even the fact it’s Sunday doesn’t stop him, and when he’s at home he still finds something to fix or build. He made me a fitted wardrobe for all my clothes when I first moved back from London, and memory boxes when I mentioned in passing that I’d like some. I grab myself a bagel and a cup of tea from the kitchen before parking my bum on the sofa.
9.45am: I loved the show, and really feel for the entertainment industry. I vow to head to as many drag shows as possible when we’re allowed. I really miss going out. I know it may sound superficial but I think it’s so needed, especially when you’re single.
10am: I'm aching because yesterday I went for a five-mile run (with a lot of walking interludes) as I’m meant to be training for a marathon. I was supposed to run it in April 2020 but it’s now been postponed until October 2021, and I’m struggling to motivate myself. The run wasn't pleasant - I ate a chocolate croissant just before so felt very sick, and it was so cold that I lost feeling in my face - so I've decided to reward myself with a lazy Sunday for surviving such a horrific ordeal.
I return to bed and watch Sarah Ashcroft’s weekly vlog. After that, Anastacia Kingsnorth’s 'living alone diary' is suggested and I give it a go because I’m considering trying to move out alone post-pandemic. I’ve surprised myself with how much I’ve enjoyed living with my parents, but I do think it would be good for me to be a little more independent. I’ve really been enjoying watching vloggers, as they're living through the same thing as me. I find myself feeling intensely jealous of fictional characters on TV when they waltz around mask-free.
11am: I have a quick shower and put on a bikini ahead of a dip in our hot tub. My parents got it for my 27th birthday in November, although my mum did specify almost immediately that while I can use it now, I won’t be authorised to take it with me when I eventually move out. Fair enough.
I’m a little grossed out by the fact that I haven’t been able to visit a salon in two months for a wax. I can’t shave my vagina as I once cut myself so horrifically that it scarred me physically and mentally, and when I tried to wax myself I just made a hot mess (quite literally). I know bodily hair is a personal choice but I’m really missing being smooth. Although, luckily/unluckily nobody has seen it for a long time.
11.15am: Mum and I are the ultimate lockdown clichés, sitting in our hot tub with flamingo face masks on from Home Bargains. I would normally have a glass of Prosecco when I get in but A) it's 11.15am, and B) I haven’t drunk alcohol since New Year’s Day, which has been amazing for my mental health. I started taking Citalopram last summer - I’d suffered with bouts of depression and anxiety for years but never wanted to go on medication. The pandemic forced me to stop being so proud.
When I first started taking them, I had the Johnny Nash lyrics, “I can see clearly now the rain has gone, I can see all obstacles in my way” playing on a loop in my brain because that was how it felt. It doesn’t solve your problems, but it puts them into perspective and allows you to deal with them. Giving up alcohol has made the positive effects even stronger. Having said all that, not drinking can be kind of boring. There’s nothing to differentiate between the weekdays and weekends apart from The Masked Singer, and now that’s over so I might have to have a couple of glasses next weekend. Who would have thought Joss Stone revealing herself as The Sausage would be thing that drives me back to wine? It’s very 2021!
11.45am: I get a text from my sister Abbi to say a Hermes delivery man is outside the house. She ordered an ASOS dress for me as she gets free delivery. I hop out the hot tub and run to the front door but they’ve already gone, and instead I’ve got a note to say my parcel has been taken to a street I’ve never heard of. We live on a high street so most of our neighbours are shops, restaurants and pubs, which are obviously not open at the moment.
I shouldn’t even be getting parcels; I was meant to be on a shopping ban in 2021 after I splurged in December - I treated myself to a Louis Vuitton bag so I could out live my Paris Hilton dreams. I want to save for a house deposit (who doesn’t?!), however yesterday I relapsed in a big way. I ordered a pair of Nike trainers for £90, spent £83 on Pretty Little Thing buying items I’d seen Francesca Allen from Love Island wearing, and £90 on Glamify, which is my favourite place for loungewear. I return to the hot tub with Cherry Bakewells from the kitchen, so it wasn’t a completely wasted trip.
12.30pm: I get out the hot tub, have another shower and put on my best joggers and jumper. Mum thinks the house my parcel has been dropped to belongs to the sister of a famous rock star, so I've got to look my best just in case. Everywhere you go here recently someone has a story about where and when they’ve seen this 'rock star', but I'm yet to witness him.
12.45pm: The house didn't belong to a rock star or family, but instead to a lovely man called Terry who saw the delivery person struggling to get an answer at our door and offered to take it with him. Imagine if somebody had just claimed to be a neighbour and then run off with my parcel?! Luckily that didn’t happen, and my polkadot maxi dress is safe. I thank Terry and head home again.
1.10pm: I make myself a Quorn nugget sandwich for lunch. I'm not a very good cook at all, so I’ve been enjoying my mum’s meals. In London I lived off jacket potatoes, pasta and free canapés at press events. I’ve tried to shadow my mum a little in the kitchen while living here, but haven't learnt much besides the skill of cutting an onion into a circle shape, which I put into action today.
2pm: I help my mum in the kitchen while she prepares a three-course dinner. I think this is the first time we’ve ever had three courses at home; not even on Christmas day does she do anything this extravagant, but it's Valentine's Day so she must have felt inspired. She peels the potatoes because I'm "very slow" - she’s right, to be fair. I’m in charge of parsnips, which are surprisingly tough to cut and I'm nervous about drawing blood. Me and my mum have always been close, but we’re literally Lorelai and Rory Gilmore level now. I get insanely anxious that people wouldn’t like me if they were to know everything about me, so one day I just confessed every single bad thing I’d ever done to see if she’d still love me. She does!
3pm: Today I’m avoiding Instagram because it’s not a fun place to be on Valentine’s Day when you’re single. But I briefly go on because yesterday I did a question box on there asking for recommendations of romantic films to watch today. My favourite suggestions are Sweet Home Alabama (but I watched that last week) and The Notebook, which feels slightly too intense for today. We decide on a friend’s idea of Notting Hill, as my mum confesses she’s never seen it. This needs to be immediately rectified. I’m shocked to see Marissa from The OC there – I don’t remember her being in it. We have to pause the film quite a lot to put different things in the oven.
4.45pm: My dad comes back home armed with flowers for both me and mum, which is cute. I did say to him the other day that if he gets mum flowers, then maybe I should have some too, and clearly he's listened. Having to ask my dad for flowers on Valentine’s Day is a bit of a new low, but I enjoy them all the same.
5.10pm: We sit at the dining table rather than the kitchen island to be more fancy for our three-course-meal. We have tomato soup to start, and then a Sunday dinner with lamb for my parents and a veggie pie for me. Only I eat the parsnips. My mum gets out a bottle of red wine; I’ve always wanted to be the kind of person who could have a glass of red with their dinner so I decide to ignore my alcohol ban and have a little try. Unfortunately I still hate it, so have a glass of white wine instead because now I've broken my sober streak anyway.
6.10pm: We return to the living room for the ending of Notting Hill. I feel very full and can’t manage all of my jam roly poly. I'm bloated almost to the point of pain.
6.45pm: I need to be horizontal so I head upstairs, change into my PJs, and do my skincare routine, which is basically just using a little bit of everything I’ve got on my dressing table. On a Sunday night I always look over my plan for the next week and ensure I have three workouts scheduled, some fun planned (during a pandemic, fun consists of buying overpriced hot beverages from chain coffee shops and going for a walk) and I write down any life admin I need to get done. A therapist once told me you should, "follow the plan, not your mood," so I always try to stick to whatever is in my diary and I’ve found it really helps.
9pm: I go back to the living room as Film4 is playing Love, Simon. I literally wrote this in my paper diary a week ago because I was determined not to forget. I can’t get on board with digital calendars for my personal life, although using a paper one in lockdown has meant I’ve spent a lot of time and money on Tipp-ex.
11.15pm: I head to bed and text my sister while watching Celebs Go Dating: The Mansion. Abbi lives 20 minutes away from my parents’ house and so we’ve luckily been able to meet up for walks. I’ve actually probably seen her more in the pandemic than I did beforehand, which is ironic. She turns 30 next week and I’m sad she can’t celebrate the way we had planned with a big party. But the only way to get through the current circumstances is to think that better days are coming, and when they do, we’ll have a newfound appreciation for every little thing.
Follow Josie on Instagram.
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