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Life Under Lockdown: Keeping It Real

Posted on May 15, 2020 by theimagefile under Coffee Break, Inspiration

Remember the first week of lockdown?? We were up early, homeschooling and cleaning with such enthusiasm we would have made Snow White look like a craic addict. Every corner of your kitchen was cleaned, every child fed with the best banana bread you could muster up, all while having family sessions with Joe Wicks.

Fast forward 6 weeks and we are dressed in our pyjamas pouring gin into our cornflakes and googling “do children really need an education?”…. The thought of emptying the dishwasher again is enough to make our breakfast a double.


Honestly? I have no advice for this. Once my kids hit the 10-year mark, I hand ALL schoolwork over to my husband (I pushed them out, it seems like a fair deal!). What I can tell you is this………… Google classroom appears to teach my children new-found skills, like pissing on the bathroom floor (seriously 4 teenage boys and not one of them can hit the bowl). I know all those ‘perfect’ mothers out there will be producing doctors and brain surgeons during lockdown. But trust me, I am currently housing four world champion Fortnite players, a full-time FIFA consultant, and a Grand theft Auto driving instructor. World……. you are welcome.


Do you remember early on when everyone was buying up loo roll? Yeah, well I had to shop for four teenage boys and the abuse and looks I got from other shoppers forced me to make my own ‘slogan’ t-shirt (Kirsty Alsop would have puked all over it), that read “NOT STOCKPILING. TEENAGE BOYS AT HOME”, I actually think, if I had any decent design skills, I could have sold them on eBay. But, I digress, back to the shopping….. It’s like a war zone out there.

Before I leave the front door I have to make sure:

a) I am dressed

b) it’s the first time I walked out the door that day

c)I am prepared with a list, an empty bladder and clear nose and lungs (we only thought farting in public was unacceptable, my paranoia means that I feel the need to sneeze at the mere sight of the Tesco logo).

Fast forward to the queue……. You have successfully made it out of the street without being reported, you are confident that you are not wearing your pyjamas and you have brushed your teeth (hair and makeup are a thing of the past by now) and your empty bladder, bowels, nose and lungs mean you are ready for battle.

Then you see the queue, it’s at least one pee deep, and you already think you might need to clear your throat, so you breathe into your coat and try a gentle ‘throat tickle’ to clear the airways before you get let loose in the aisles. You think you are going the right way, the need to pee takes over, so you start to speed up and before you know it you are heading the wrong way down a one-way aisle. The siren goes, the staff member approaches and you are shamed to the back of the queue. You try again, but this time the sweating starts and then you are paranoid people will think you have “The Rona”, you’re too scared to delve into your pocket in case you pull out a tissue instead of your list, so you ‘freestyle’ the shopping.

You successfully negate your way to the third aisle, the till is in sight…. you smack your hand to your head (noooooooo, don’t touch your face!!!) as you realise you have forgotten the milk. You stop for a millisecond, which causes uproar amongst the other shoppers. People tutt, swear and steer their trollies past you, as you hear comments like “have you seen her t-shirt”, “she has a tissue AND she’s sweating” and “I heard her cough in the queue”. You look up and see that you are in the alcohol aisle and you think ‘fu*k it, its the universe sending me a message’, so you stockpile the trolley with wine and other alcoholic necessities and hotfoot it out of there.

You can still hear them as you rush to the car and wonder if you can buy a cow on amazon.


Oh my days, our consumption has gone through the roof. We binned the kids’ reward chart and put one up for ourselves.

  • Home schooled without banging your head off the wall – 1 Glass
  • Put on a bra (sports bras count) – 1 Glass
  • Got dressed in anything other than PJS – 1 Glass
  • Brushed your hair/teeth or the floor – 1 Glass (all three and you have earned the bottle my friend)
  • Got a teenager out of bed before 12 – 1 Bottle

It was getting so bad, we decided to lay off it during the week and guess what? On Thursday evening our whole street came out and clapped for us.


I honestly think I am the only person who can run AND be overtaken by a walker!!!! I don’t care, I’m out, I’m free and I’m smart.

Because we consumed the entire alcohol aisle from Tescos in three days, I decided it was time to stock up AND exercise. But this time I took my bike, I had a backpack, a saddlebag and I resembled a very fat, old, Dora the Explorer (think of Dora’s granny with alcohol addiction). I go to a different supermarket, a smaller one, with fewer people and I buy all the stuff I forgot the other day and a few extra bottles of prosecco (cause I exercised and therefore I deserve it). Then, taking full advantage of my hour, I cycle the ‘long’ way home.

As I enter the street I spot my neighbour painting her fence (is this even allowed???). I stop for a socially distanced chat, we talk of our efforts to keep our children alive, while also hiding a secret drinking habit and trying to keep up with the food consumption of what feels like an entire nation and then she spots the bottles of wine. She suggests that maybe we should have a wee glass and we decide that in the interest of ‘social distancing’ we should have a bottle each and we can leave anything we have leftover for cooking (does anyone even do that?).

An hour later, I have 200 missed calls from ‘the house” and my neighbour and I have single-handedly sorted out the COVID crisis (while socially distancing and completing the fence painting!!).


We will all remember 2020 as the ‘zoom’ party year. There are so many advantages to zoom

  • The drink is cheap
  • You only have to dress your top half (bear that in mind later when you head to the toilet in Spongebob pyjama bottoms)
  • You don’t get thrown out at closing
  • You can head to another ‘party’ without having to order a taxi

Unfortunately, as with everything in life, there are downsides,

  • You don’t get thrown out at closing
  • You have unlimited access to drink AND a computer. You open amazon, Facebook and Instagram and let all hell break loose and spend the next week dreading the backlash and fearing the delivery driver (hair dye from China and home gyms should have a virtual “breathalyser before purchase”)


I laughed at people on Tiktok, why would grown adults want to make complete tits of themselves? Day two of lockdown and I was all over that shit…….. throw in a glass of Friday night wine and I’m convinced I am Beyonce.

Everyone thinks it’s a great idea until there is a difference in opinion in the choreography, by which time it’s too late as you have invested at least an hour in it and you are determined to get it right. Dad keeps making a cock-up, the boys have deemed it ‘boring’ and you go on a head-to-head battle with a ten-year-old ‘pro’ who has more flexibility in her little finger than you have in your entire, ancient body. You know you are going to lose and to be honest, you don’t care, you know you got the moves.

Unfortunately ‘playback’ does not deliver the goods and you look like a middle-aged crazy woman who hasn’t seen a hair or make up brush in forever and the harsh reality that you look nothing like Cheryl Cole sends you back to the wine bottle.


Would it be possible to make it more than 2 metres? At least until the hairdressers and beauticians open?

That hair dye from China did not just cover the grey for 5 mins, it turned my hair red and as well as colouring every towel, sink and door handle in the house, my neck and ears got a splash too. 

My eyebrows, sorry ‘eyebrow’ is slowly creeping down my face and I feel I will resemble Chewbacca in the next week or two and my skincare has been trimmed down to a quick face wash in the shower followed by a towel dry, which turned my face red….. So all in all a good 2-mile social distance should cure the problem!!

I have to confess to actually enjoying lockdown. I have got to do so many things I would never have the time to do otherwise (having prosecco with my cornflakes being one of them). We have got to watch a sunrise AND a sunset (only had wine at sunset I swear). I get to wear my gym gear ALL day long, I got introduced to Carole Baskin, who, let’s be honest has made me feel almost sane. We go to bed safe at night knowing that our teenagers are under our roof, training to become world champions and knowing that they are saving the world lying in their beds doing nothing.

All joking aside, I cannot wait to get out of lockdown, see my family and get back to some form of normality. I have already missed a lot of weddings and cannot wait to get back out photographing all my lovely clients. My family are refusing point-blank to have any form of photo taken and the dog is now my only hope, but even he goes running to the cupboard when he sees me coming.

Keep well, keep safe and keep on smiling…………… xx