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Laura Craik on falling into the lockdown conversational abyss, haute hoodies and the trials of separation by social media

Whoever coined the phrase ‘only the boring are bored’ had never experienced life in full lockdown. It may be a new month, but there is no new conversation. ‘Sorry I don’t have anything interesting to say,’ says every text from every friend who once gleefully forwarded Keanu memes. The memes have run out, the TV has run out and the milk has run out. In the biscuit tin of life, only the Garibaldis remain.

It’s just a shame all the bored people can’t come round to my house. There’s never a dull moment. Only last night, we had a long conversation about which brand and size of bin bag optimally fits the kitchen bin. Alas, this scintillating discourse was cut short by my daughter reminding my husband that it was Shopping Night, an intrepid odyssey that sees them drive to a supermarket in an obscure north London location.

The Colindale Asda, the Wembley Lidl and the Edgware Aldi have so far been explored. Judging by the conversation that ensues when they return, these trips are every bit as exciting as you’d imagine.

As all elite raconteurs will tell you, interesting conversation is sparked by interesting experiences. In the absence of those, we have to make do with walks. Those bored of ploughing the same weary, dogshit-pocked furrow every day could do as I do, and talk at great length about which path has the easiest gradient to jog up and which time of day yields the highest number of elderly people shouting about the 2m rule.

“The memes have run out, the TV has run out, the milk has run out. In the biscuit tin of life, only the Garibaldis remain”

By the time that day’s companion and I arrive at the coffee shop, our spirits sapped by the inanities of each other’s chat, we are desperate for new subjects to discuss. A couple of weeks ago, the coffee shop started using new lids. Red ones. I had a lot to talk about at dinner that night, I can tell you.

Sometimes, the non-stop excitement is overwhelming, so I lie on the bedroom floor and look up at the halogen lights, wondering how long it will be until I have to change one. And then I pour a massive whisky and watch Schitt’s Creek again, and again.

Aisles of silly: is a supermarket trip your weekly highlight?

Hood value judgement

Scraping ketchup off plates into the composting bin, the last lockdown uniform anyone needs is a dry-clean only hoodie covered in crystals priced at £1,390. But if you do, Valentino is your label.

The haute hoodie is a trend for spring, be it sequinned at Gucci (£1,100), fleecy at Miu Miu (£1,145) or frayed and embroidered at Givenchy (£815, which, on the bright side, doesn’t cost four figures. On the down side, it doesn’t include sleeves). Can’t quite stretch to buying one this month? Truly, the best hoodies in the best colours in the best cotton are by Fruit of the Loom — a snip at £12, and widely available. You’re welcome.

Don’t be a twitter splitter

Anyone who can remain married for 20 years deserves a medal: alas, even the strongest unions have faltered thanks to Covid. Alice Evans and Ioan Gruffudd are the latest celebrity couple to split, with a clearly distressed Alice posting on Twitter (later deleted) that she felt like she was being ‘gaslit’ and ‘mentally tortured’.

However strong the urge to be heard, vent pain or ease loneliness, don’t do it: social media is not your friend and its consequences are permanent. At primary school, kids are taught to imagine whatever they write online blown up poster-sized in their school’s entrance hall: the lesson being that if they wouldn’t want everyone to read it, they shouldn’t post it. Would that adults had been taught the same.

Stewart as Princess



Like maskne but worse, according to a leading US derm. Marvellous.