Comment: Longing for life after lockdown

A change of scenery would be nice. And some sun. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A change of scenery would be nice. And some sun. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Did someone say groundhog day?

After what feels like about 20 years of living in lockdown, it’s fair to say that most of us have had enough.

We’ve baked (and eaten) all the banana bread, ‘enjoyed’ our families, got to know our neighbours and shelved a lot of life’s usual small talk.

But some form of real life is now resuming, and with restrictions loosening at a fair old rate, it’s time to look back at what’s changed during this very strange period.

For many of us, there’s one obvious physical difference: our newly-expansive waistlines. While gym closures back in March saw some of us forced to find new ways to exercise, others opted to take it easy for a bit and eat all the home-made cake.

I was (very) far from a gym fan to start with, but all the rushing about required by my previously busy life meant I was just about able to get away with it. Now, not so much.

But for some, lockdown has been no barrier to keeping in shape, with home gyms popping up all over Herts - and with exercise classes available via the likes of Zoom, there’s really been no excuse (other than sheer laziness). Richard Burton found out more in this week’s feature.

In any normal year, now would be the time for all that working out to be paying off, with summer holidays just around the corner. Instead, we’re flocking to Rightmove Overseas to imagine what it would be like to get away for a bit – or even forever.

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As lovely as Hertfordshire may be, it’s no substitute for a holiday pad in Spain, France or Portugal - even moreso now the weather’s turned typically English again.

Apparently searches in May were up 33 per cent on 2019, while searches for Ibiza specifically were up 174 per cent (I blame Netflix’s White Lines).

Restrictions may be loosening, but for many of us the changes aren’t significant enough to lift us out of our lockdown-induced rut. Only a holiday - and a longed-for change of scenery - can do that.