I’m An Artful Dodger

We are about to reach the first anniversary of the UK Covid-19 lockdown. As a result, there have been a lot of articles recapping the events of the last year (as if we had forgotten). Generally these are fairly similar in mentioning zoom quizzes, banana bread, graphs on TV and outdoor clapping. I did an internet search to try and find who the clapping was for and found the answer was ‘clap for the NHS’, ‘clap for carers’, ‘clap for key workers’ and also ‘clap for heroes’, each vaguer than the one before. No wonder we got bored of it all.

There is also a lot of coverage featuring people who have learned new things about themselves. Some are more resourceful than they thought while some are better in their own company. I have seen several reports of people ditching their city lives for more space in the countryside. Other people have discovered new skills or taken up new hobbies. For me, a number of discoveries have been made.

Firstly, I can’t be bothered with art. I have spent years going round art galleries pretending to understand, feeling there must be something faulty with me as I don’t get it. The galleries themselves are echoey and often overcrowded, the prices are expensive and it takes me longer to get there than I spend inside. I fully appreciate that other people love going to see art but I am now happy to admit that it is all wasted on me and I am fine with that. On a similar note, I am also going to stop trying to understand Shakespeare. Just typing that feels like a weight lifted.

This was also the year I finally realised that living on meal deals from supermarkets is a terrible way to live. While it is true that I am still awful at cooking, making my own sandwiches (rather than buying them every day) is cheaper, easier and tastier. It is slightly embarrassing that it has taken a global pandemic to teach me that. I am also no longer terrified of chip & pin cards and have not used a cash point in months although my new phone (the one that took me days to sort out), remains unused, sitting on my shelf next to the old one, so some things remain consistently unchanged.

Next, I always thought I was the kind of person who enjoyed working. Actually, this year with its enforced ‘stay at home’ has shown me, that I work to live rather than the other way round. I have started dreaming of retiring very early and buying lottery tickets to make it happen. I was very excited last week when I got an email to say I had a winning ticket. Upon logging in, I found all I had got was a free entry for the next draw, which in turn got me nothing. Still, maybe one day…

Although, even if I do miraculously win enough to retire, I still won’t be spending it on pre-made sandwiches in art galleries.

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