As lockdown loosens its grip on our lives, Team GWG reflects on the lessons it has brought.

Arabella Dymoke, MD

What am I taking away from lockdown after months of venturing no further than my local town once a week? Time has never moved so fast, as the weeks have blurred into months. Yet it has been rewarding in many ways, watching spring give way to summer and revelling in the trees, the flowers and the little birds.

Positive upsides include making my own granola; I'm never ever going to buy another packet. I’ve also made time for myself to do a Pilates class at least three times a week, as well as concertedly looking at the amount of plastic we throw away as a household and I’m finding ways of cutting down.

Ecovibe has been a source for fantastic cleaning materials and products. You can buy with confidence from this company, as they've done the groundwork for you, stocking only the products that really work. For household cleaning, I'm using antibacterial soluble cleaning sachets. Just pop a sachet into one of your own bottles, watch it dissolve into water, then clean away. Ditto, doing the laundry with an eco-friendly detergent strip that you throw into the machine. No big plastic bottles to dispose of.

I'm also trying Wild, the deodorant subscription service. Choose the case and then the fragrance refills, which are compostable and skin-friendly.

On the downside, I've become a plane spotter, downloading the app, FlightRadar24. It's been a joy not seeing the sky full of vapour trails but on the rare occasions I do, I pull out my phone and see where the aeroplane is heading to. I even found myself tracking a private jet as it headed across the Atlantic. What's going on? I clearly have become a bit of a buff and I must stop this as it's downright boring nerdy stuff. The novelty factor will wear off as our skies begin to fill with air traffic.

In short though, I have learned that there is time for everyone and everything. However busy you think you are.

Nancy Alsop, Editor

The gradual easing of lockdown, accompanied with all the uncertainty and doubts, has highlighted a paradoxical truth: that we are both highly adaptable and complete creatures of habit. It may seem like an oxymoron, yet they go hand-in-hand, as demonstrated by these strange days.

I was amazed at the beginning by how quickly we – and most especially my four-year-old – got used to the newly drawn, much smaller parameters of our lives. And yet it also struck how quickly we settled into a routine, the new life forming its own habits quickly and with ease. Now, as we resume a modicum of normal, we find ourselves slightly, oddly attached to this more contained life. Perhaps we have some variant on Stockholm Syndrome – but it will take as much adjustment to come out of this period, as to go into it I think. I actually felt bereft sending my child back to nursery two days-a-week; however, not having a small person clambering on my head as I try to work remains a definite bonus. Plus, we weren’t exactly the world’s most gifted home-schoolers.

As so many others have observed, while there have been extremely hard elements of the whole period, there have also been things to celebrate too. The slowing down. Being with family more (admittedly, a double-edged sword, this one). The appreciation of what’s on our doorsteps, notably provided by nature. The WhatsApp groups and care for one another in our neighbourhoods. The lessening of pollution. Indeed, as we amp our lives once more, I do hope that we will remember the benefits of fewer cars on the road and planes overhead, and really question whether we do actually need to get behind the wheel to make a journey.

But of course, for some, there has been scant opportunity to appreciate all of these things, as they have battled with Covid-19, lost loved ones to it, lost businesses or fought tirelessly on the front line. For them especially, I am glad that we are entering into a phase in which some of our freedoms are returned to us. And I keep everything crossed that those businesses who are struggling as a result will get the support they need. I just hope that the rest of us can hold on to the good lessons we’ve learned along the way. For now, though, the sorely missed pub garden is calling.

Becky Ladenburg, Features Editor

I’ve longed for restrictions to be lifted ever since lockdown was imposed (at least, I’ve longed for the conditions to be right for restrictions to be lifted ever since lockdown was imposed).

Now that we have a modicum of freedom back – one of my two children is at school again, albeit in a weird and truncated way – I am busily regretting all the things I didn’t do in lockdown.

The things I did in lockdown include: reading several brilliant novels; deadheading many roses; dying my own roots; making sure that the children’s schoolwork was, at the very least, done; cooking a tiny bit more inventively than in normal life; drinking an astonishing number of Negronis; going for walks with a limited number of girlfriends.

The things I did not do in lockdown include: working on my mind, body and soul; sticking to my plan of a daily yoga session; clearing out a single drawer or cupboard; creating a blueprint for an even more enriching life after lockdown.

These are the things I realise I am determined to achieve now – when I am not at the hairdresser, the beautician or Westfield.

Lydia Mansi, Lifestyle Editor

When the news came out of the blue last week that those shielding were going to be allowed out for an hour’s exercise each day with their household, I was wholly underprepared. After twelve weeks struggling with confinement, I had ironically just made peace with the house-arrest when the door was flung open and the world was mine for the taking (for 60 mins). I’d even managed to get an elusive regular supermarket delivery slot. Whilst it’s definitely not back to normal, we are ducking out first thing into the woods around our new home, which we moved to on the eve of lockdown so have yet to explore. As the graph trends downwards, so I can feel my fear of being highly vulnerable gradually ease – it has by no means subsided and I’m sure there will be spikes along the way, but it feels good to finally exhale that breath I’ve been holding since March. On our morning dog walks that were a daily habit before, I am definitely more attuned to nature – sensing, smelling, hearing and feeling all that is around me, rather than marching along, podcast plugged in. Lockdown has slowed my pace, without doubt. Rather than a frenetic weekly commute from Devon to London – in and out of meetings, shoots and events – I have had time to really focus on the bigger picture of my business and lay foundations for years to come.

Lucy Abletshauser, Shopping Editor

So, the key is slowly being turned and I am having mixed emotions about it. By and large, we have rather loved our lockdown experience as it has forced us to lead a much slower pace of life. The boys are relishing not having to rush around in the mornings (as well as seeing their mum less, ahem, harassed). They are also enjoying their incredible online home school sessions too. There are, of course, days when they are simply just not in the mood. And that’s fair enough, because neither am I. Ups and downs. We are all having them it seems. Every time I bump into someone in the local park, they say the same. That, and how we have all been struck with an inability to converse normally with human beings in real life! One of the many good things that has come out of this time is my boys’ relationship. They have definitely become closer. They are incredibly different, but this experience has taught them to simply get on with it and get on as, well, there’s nobody else to play with! Don’t get me wrong, there are moments where they want to actively end each other’s lives, but a sense of harmony has descended upon us, by and large.

By Team GWG
June 2020


The Lockdown Diaries Part 3
The Lockdown Diaries Part 2
The Lockdown Diaries

Team GWG

When we pool our expertise...