A Bridget Jones Lockdown Diary

Olivia Lavigne takes us through a chaotic university day in true Bridget Jones fashion.

Olivia Lavigne

"Was the ice-cream necessary? A question for another time."Nadya Miryanova

Tasks accomplished today: collected book, had lunch, workout (?!) umm ... made interesting discovery about coffee?

No of times phone left in fridge and milk on side: 0 (what a day!)

No of times “UK Hun” rehearsed: lost count at 712. Ready to start musical theatre.

11th March: Week? Good question. Check week. Maybe also year to stay on the safe side.

8.00am: Bright, too bright. If I keep my eyes shut, I don’t have to deal with that right now. Hold on. Too … bright? No alarm? (Just internal alarm now.) Brace yourself, look at the clock. 10.30. No, no, no. I hear this is how people get high blood pressure.

8.00am – 10.30am: Right, it’s fine. Missed this lecture, we’ll survive. Might as well take time to get ready for the day, now. Maybe a long shower to wake up?

11.30am: Shower, teeth, clothes. Makeup? No, no time, but had breakfast. Didn’t even lock myself out of my room today. Gold star morning and just in time to collect a book from the library.

11.36am: Two steps from the door and already feeling invigorated by the fresh (freezing) air on my face. Air on my face? Ugh mask!

11.37am: I run back up and grab my mask. Extra brownie points for having accomplished my dose of lockdown exercise so soon after getting up. A put-together, sporty Cambridge student, unconquerable and unstoppable. On second thoughts, might even do a little jog for a full workout (understand: going to be late for that library slot).

1pm: Back now. Figured I should get food while I was out. Was the ice-cream necessary? A question for another time. I look at the tiny bottle on my desk. My ADHD meds! Grab my water bottle from the nightstand. Empty. While I’m at it I might as well take the mugs to the kitchen. I make it downstairs with my “Leaning Tower of Pisa” intact, finish washing up, fill the water bottle and tidy the counters. I spot the pot noodles on the side. Kinda hungry now I think about it.

1.15pm: Nagging feeling as I watch the noodle water boil. Can’t put my finger on it. I glare at the pan, requesting an answer. Something about water? The water, the bottle ... the meds! Ok, ok we’ve got this. Can’t forget them if I repeat “the meds”. The meds, the meds, the meds. Funky rhythm, reminds me of that song … what was it? Feels very 2015. Maybe if I Google the year and dum dum dum I’ll find it? I stare at my room. Why did I come up here again? Oh yes, the meds. Success! Wait no, the water. Fed up now, put the pills in my mouth and run to the kitchen for water.

2pm: Done no work yet. Should I read for the essay? Or finish a job application? Or start drafting that section of the dissertation? Did I email that supervisor back? Ok, write a list. If I start with task one and work my way through, there’s no way this can go wrong, right?

3pm: Wrong. Flicking through tabs for all three tasks for the last hour. Only thought I can produce is bing bang bong, sing sang song. I decide I’m not above pleading with my brain: it’s a silent zone, not a concert hall in here. No avail – it probably can’t hear me over the racket it’s making. Decide to push on anyways.

3.05pm: I am not, in fact, UK, hun. Actually rather irritated now. A break might help. I could hoover? (I’m really fun at parties.)

3.15pm: Hurrah! On a roll. An extra couple minutes tidying won’t hurt and then I can get back to work properly.

4.30pm: In the middle of my now newly dust- and clutter-free space, my eyes land on the (very shiny) clock. Past 4pm? What, how, when?? I really should get back to work.

6pm: Sun has set, I’m feeling drowsy. I decide to have coffee.

6.30pm: Note to self: coffee was a grave mistake. Certain this is the closest a human has come to seeing their heartbeat. Wonder if I could add that to my CV. Much to think about. I’ll make dinner, that’ll give me time to settle down.


Mountain View

How I've acclimatised to lockdown island

9pm: Dinner was nice and I no longer feel like my heart is trying to escape my ribcage. There’s still time for a couple of hours of work. I look at my laptop screen trying to string words into meaning. Rudely, the fridge interrupts my focus with a rather convincing impersonation of a plane taking off. “Something to say, have we?” I ask it. Ah, we’re back to the talking-to-inanimate-objects part of lockdown apparently.

9.20pm: I glance at my bed. No, mustn’t. Look at the laptop screen, Olivia. Bed. Laptop. Bed. Eh, it’s too late for this. Tomorrow is another day.