When the lockdown restrictions were lifted, my family and I were at great difficulty when picking a place to visit for a day trip. You see, for the last 12 weeks we had been reminiscing our old trips and optimistically researching and planning new ones for the near future. We had so many places on our list. Some of these places had actually been on the list for a few years now but in all honesty, we had never found the time to go.

If being stuck in my house for 3 months has taught me anything, it’s the fact that I should not waste time or procrastinate. Especially with travelling. I used to delay my holidays by a year or two simply because I didn’t have the right people to go with or that because flight tickets were too expensive. Now I believe that’s hardly a reason. So here’s the story of the first day trip I took with my family after lockdown. Like I said before, this was on our list for a very long time, and now our dream had finally come alive.

We were just pulling up to the Lavender fields near London when my first thought was ‘Oh shit, there’s going to be a lot of bees’. I was not wrong. There swarms of bees left, right and centre. As we visited at the start of July, the lavender was only half-bloomed, meaning the fields were a lighter shade of purple rather than the full bloomed you may see in pictures. At first we were trying to take pictures; dodging the multicoloured insect left, right and centre. We soon learned they won’t bother you unless you bother them.

It was so easy to become lost in the fields. It was set up so it was just row after row of lavender bushes for several acres. It was a camphoraceous smell that was woody and pungent. I’ve smelled lavender before in small bunches, but its really quite an experience when there’s an entire field of them in front of you.

The farm we went to used to have a ‘pick your own lavender’ service. However, due to the risk of contamination, it was stopped but it was possible to buy either fresh or dried lavender bunches instead. The gift shop and café also had limited access. Both stores were restricted to guests and instead we had to tell the staff what we wanted and they would get it for us. They had a wide range of lavender products on sale, including jam, chocolate and homemade ice-cream – all of which I tried and tested. Oh, and you also had a constant soft buzzing noise in your ears to take home for free.

Overall, my first day trip after lockdown was just a new breath of fresh air. I loved being at one with nature again, stretching my legs and finally seeing people at ease. Below is a short video of my time at the lavender fields.

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Get the f*** away from me

I, like millions of others, am going to be trapped in my own home for possibly the next few months. I know I’ll be fine – you see, I am the master of self distancing and my bedroom has always been my isolation station. Perhaps this entrapment will make me start hanging out with my family downstairs – Oh wait… no, it hasn’t.

We all should have seen the virus coming. It was written in every fictional book – coincidence or not, it was still a possibility. Margaret Atwood said ‘History doesn’t repeat, it rhymes’, which is true. Here we are, obeying authoritarian orders, locked in our homes with no freedom of movement, rationing our food and slowly turning back into the selfish animals we once were. This whole thing is very dystopian; the incompetency of the current government shining through, mass hysteria, and the collapse of a rising society.

About 6 months ago, I read ‘Station 11’ by Emily St John Mandel. It described the collapse of society overnight. Billions died from a flu, and the remaining lived the rest of their lives in fear. I used to say ‘Station 11’ was exaggerated, but now I think otherwise. Eventually, when we run out of food, we’ll be scavengers. It’ll turn into sin city – stealing, killing, losing a sense of morality because all you are doing is surviving.

If you haven’t stocked up already, do so now. Help the vulnerable around you. Daily televised news from the Prime Minster won’t help you survive. Learn to ration, practice yoga, medicate. The internet will get slower, perhaps we’ll even get power cuts from time to time. Remember, this is a war. Eat cleanly, exercise and don’t lose your sense of morality. Most importantly, don’t lose hope.