Cat-astrophy struck for many separated families over lockdownLewis Andrews for Varsity

Image credits: Pippa Fowles/ Flickr

It could be argued that if the definition of 'Hypocrisy' in the dictionary came with an exemplar photo, you could  justifiably use of one of Boris Johnson. This spring, we discovered that two years ago, in the November of 2020, while we were cosied up (read: government mandated) at home avoiding socialising, Boris Johnson, our 'loveable rouge' of a PM, was partying it up in Number 10, despite disobeying his own governments rules. With the news of his resignation this morning, Varsity decided to reflect on what we were up to when he committed one of his tenure's biggest faux paus. 

It seems you don't need to be warm to have a good timeHannah Gillott for Varsity

Lewis Andrews

Though not a principle concern, my cat and I missed one another over lockdown. The Number Ten cat, the famous Larry, would no doubt have seen many more parties than my dear old Tilly, who here follows the distancing rules by facetiming me during lockdown. Not seeing my cat was a very small sacrifice, indeed, compared to those of others, but such everyday adherence to the rules was clearly too much for some.

While Johnson was partying, many of us were studyingTanya Singh for Varsity

Hannah Gillott

On January 1st 2021, three days before the second national lockdown was announced, all 32 London boroughs were in tier 4 restrictions. This had been announced on 19th December (my younger brother’s birthday) and he had to cancel his plans to celebrate. The rules stated that you could only meet one person of your bubble outside. On January 1st - New Year’s and my best friend’s 18th birthday - four of us (from our slightly-extended-into-the-holidays school bubble) went and sat outside to celebrate with bucks fizz, games, and a little dose of guilt. We wore three layers and jumped on the spot to keep warm as the temperatures dipped towards zero, and watched Alicia Keys ring in the new year on my friend’s computer. 

Tuna pasta bake - not quite as fun as a No.10 partyLotte Brundle for Varsity

Tanya Singh 

Many celebrated in virtual waysCharmaine Au-Yeung for Varsity

Massive parties to commentate all special occasions are common among my family’s social circle. December 2020 however, looked a little bit different. Christmas Eve, usually typified by frantic cleaning and cooking to prepare for guests arriving that evening, was a solemn affair. My brother and I spent the day studying together, with the sound of our favourite Christmas classics ringing quietly in the background to make it slightly more bearable. The evening was more jovial, marked by good movies and even better food. While the presence of the other 40+ friends and relatives was missing that year, the four of us filled that gap with an abundance of laughter, warmth and hope that by next Christmas, ‘unprecedented events’ would give way for the normality we craved.

Lotte Brundle

My family and I spent a lot of time trying to learn to cook together in lockdown. My dad was new to the dating scene at the time, and I was worried that his signature dish: a trusty tuna pasta bake, didn't have what it takes to wow the ladies.  So we set out to learn how to cook a few more dishes together. Although not as good as a Downing Street party, it was a nice way for us to spend time together, although now I'd really eat anything else in order to escape having to open another can of tinned tuna. 

While others used lockdown to hone their cookery skillsJacob Freedland for Varsity

Charmaine Au-Yeung

Cambridge has C-Sunday, whereas St Andrews has May Dip. As a person who's been a student in both towns, I can firmly say that St Andrews does May Day better. A night of bonfires and/or drinking culminates, at the first light of dawn, with an early morning swim in the North Sea. It's very refreshing - at least, it ordinarily is when you're not mandated by the government to stay at home, far, far away from other people and the sea. Thankfully, however, student ingenuity prevailed in the end. A hundred or so of us virtually dipped on Club Penguin instead. We even managed to tip the iceberg with our dancing, it was that lit. And best of all? It wasn't a COVID superspreader event.

Jacob Freedland

I learnt to cook (clapped) chicken katsu curry while I was in lockdown as a fresher. When I finished, it looked like a bomb had gone off in my gyp and for what's worth, I don't think the food merited the damage.