Opinion | Locking down with your flatmates is far more fun than going home

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By Tallula White, Third Year, English

Did you lock down in Bristol this semester? Well, so did I, along with the rest of my five-man flat. I don’t know about anyone else, but lockdown one was somewhat intense. Not due to the fact that there was and still is a global pandemic going on, but because it was my mother, my stepfather and I. Just the three of us, and not the way Bill Withers intended.

I live in the rural countryside, so when shops, pubs and everything else was shut down, I really had to face the derelict lifestyle.

I know that nationwide, rural villages and cities alike were shut down. But anything would have been better than the daily routine that awaited me, being awoken at 5am by the “idyllic” cacophony of the rooster setting off the hens, alerting the world that morning really had broken.  Or even the sounds of weening lambs baa-ing for their mothers, day-in and day-out. I knew no peace.

'Other smaller activities consisted of rude art, a pub crawl from room to room and wholesome colouring sessions listening to our favourite playlists' / Jack Crockford

Most people my age could have walked to see their nearest friends and had a socially distanced cup of tea at least, to escape this. Unfortunately none of my friends were within walking distance. So this wasn’t even an option for me. Now, don’t get me wrong I love my family, but without my siblings the first lockdown became extremely monotonous, as I’m sure it did for a lot of other people too.

None of us were in Bristol for the first lockdown. So, this lockdown, our flat decided to stay in Bristol -  I thought it would be a nice change of scenery and company from the chickens and sheep. Also, what could be better than planning out our November with activities to do with the ones you live with and love? That’s right: Nothing.

Organised fun was the best outcome of this lockdown. We arranged a pizza and paint night, where we ordered pizza, ate it and then proceed to execute our best artistic skills onto the pizza boxes, because who can afford to buy canvases?

I have a positive feeling that this lockdown will allow us all to have a recalibration

Week two entailed ‘Come Dine With Me’, where we each cooked a three-course meal and filmed our reactions to menu reveals and the presentation of each dish as well as the entertainment of each night.

Although, a tip for anyone who might undertake this activity with their flatmates would be to leave at least two days between each night - one becomes uncomfortably full after day two of eating three coursers.

We also thought we would track our flats’ flexibility progress. Personal aims include doing the splits, being able to touch one’s toes and being able to comfortably sit cross-legged on the floor. Every evening is group stretch time. I must confess that it is not as peaceful as a yoga class with the sound of the boys shouting as their hamstrings are too tight, but on the bright side: lower back pain is a thing of the past.

Other smaller activities consisted of rude art, a pub crawl from room to room and wholesome colouring sessions listening to our favourite playlists.

All Bristol students offered asymptomatic coronavirus testing from 30 November
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As heartbroken I am that the pubs and restaurants won’t be open and socialising with other houses is still illegal, I managed to spend some quality time with my housemates.

Everyone is always so busy that it made this lockdown a time to genuinely appreciate your flatmates rather than just seeing them at awkwardly timed meals or just as they’re leaving for classes. It was also a time to ensure those who don’t quite pull their weight, finally deep clean the shower and loos.

I was lucky enough to be able to stay in Bristol and experience this wonderful city during a national lockdown. I have a positive feeling that this lockdown will allow us all to have a recalibration, focusing on who is important to us and what they bring to our lives.

Featured Image: Epigram / Georgiana Scott


How did you find the second lockdown? Let us know!

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