"The reason why so many of us have taken up journaling in these unprecedented times is because of the rather egotistical thought that perhaps someone, anyone, will care to read it in the future."May Hawkings

It turns out that hoarding a collection of “pretty-notebooks-that-you-know-you’ll-never-use-but-will-buy-just-in-case” has been a blessing in the current climate of self-isolation. Thank you, past me, for forecasting my sudden desire to record every mundane moment of self-isolation as if I didn’t have plenty of other work to be getting on with. ‘LOCKDOWN DIARIES’ I scribbled on the first page as soon as BoJo cancelled our Easter plans and left us all feeling very apocalyptic. Of course, when I write ‘as soon as’, I am referring to the time after it had taken me to select which of my many empty notebooks would have the privilege of being opened and perhaps even used. “The start of my journalistic career!” I eagerly thought, as I began furiously scribbling my miserable state of affairs as though not being able to leave the house actually made a significant difference to my every day. Now that I read over some of my many diary entries, I seriously wonder why anyone would want to read a chaotic account of a sleep-deprived student who bakes instead of studies, just because it’s so calming (flour rations, who?).

"Perhaps our Covid chronicles will one day become historical artefacts, but it’s probably a safer bet for us to get our degrees first."

To be quite honest though, I’ve had an overwhelming surge of creativity since being stuck at my desk for the best part of each day. Apparently, when you’re desperately trying to avoid starting yet another grammar exercise for tomorrow’s supervision, your inner creativity really jumps out. By creativity, of course, I’m not referring to harnessing the hit of inspiration required to create a masterpiece of art or a thought-provoking philosophical article. Alas, that is not quite the case. By creativity, I am simply referring to frantic scrawls in my lockdown journal, and the rather abstract drawings that accompany each endearing narrative.

So, what it is about journaling that makes me feel so alive? Why, when I have 1001 more pressing tasks to be getting on with, do I procrastinate by writing a diary entry that is exactly the same as every other day? Aside from the fact all the days (and therefore my diary entries) are quite painfully identical, the reason why so many of us have taken up journaling in these unprecedented times is because of the rather egotistical thought that perhaps someone, anyone, will care to read it in the future.


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Mountain View

Documenting life in lockdown: Week One

But Anne Frank wrote a famous dairy,” I hear you shout as you finish writing today’s enthralling entry in your personalised moleskin notebook. Yes, yes, I know Anne Frank kept a diary, but unlike us, she was forced into hiding under the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. We, on the other hand, are being told to binge boxsets and bake to our heart’s content. While you may feel victimised by the dwindling flour stocks (not to be dramatic, but my plain flour supply is running alarmingly low) or perhaps the fact that your vision is beginning to blur from all those nights spent watching Netflix, I don’t think we can quite compare our housebound ordeals. Perhaps our Covid chronicles will one day become historical artefacts, but it’s probably a safer bet for us to get our degrees first.

I, for one, will keep up my lockdown diaries in a desperate bid to find some sort of clarity in this chaos. At least future me will (hopefully) look back at these entries with a sense of nostalgia. That won’t stop me from providing excessive detail about my life though, in the possibility that one day, my great-grandchildren will open up a dusty trunk in the loft to uncover a llama patterned notebook detailing my pandemic ordeal. They’ll read my thrilling (and rather enthusiastic) entry about watching Shrek with my family and most likely toss the notebook back into said trunk as they head downstairs to catch an episode of the latest coronavirus historical drama. Well, at least I tried.

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