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Lockdown Love

26.07.21

By Zara Mckinlay Edinburgh University

After spending a year locked up inside my student flat, my gaze has turned inward and I have started romanticising almost everything in sight. (Definitely not my flatmates though so sorry to disappoint if you thought this was going to be a juicy confession piece!) No, no, my new loves are all the lopsided items that I have become far too fond of, the strange little charms of student life that had previously escaped my notice.

Lockdown has essentially crafted me a pair of rose-tinted glasses to see the world with, transforming my once garishly green kitchen walls into a trendy, kitschy 70s wonderland – with an equally glam set of retro crockery to match. I know all the nooks and crannies of my flat off by heart: the exact spot to sit in on the sofa to avoid the sunken slope, the tiles to stand on by the fridge to avoid the leaky patches, and the sock-stuffed mouse holes in every room.

By nature, I am a very excitable person and tend to hold on desperately to big plans; counting down the days to the next 21st or boozy deadline celebration. Now, I have re-directed that energy into the smaller, more niche things, and instead have begun looking forward to my next ceremonious trip to the new Scotmid to stock up on mini eggs. I pounce at every opportunity for fun, and nothing is out of bounds when it comes to potential new past times.

People watching is now peak entertainment: staring out at the patchwork quilt of Marchmont windows and watching everybody parading about on their daily walks is a daily occurrence.  My flatmates and I eagerly cherry-pick our favourite coats and hats – so far an outrageous lime green fedora takes the biscuit – and give nicknames to familiar faces. I have a particular soft spot for the gym lads opposite us who strategically flex their dumbbells by their bay windows – so charitable of them.

Best of all are the cute titbits of conversation with my neighbours. Waiting for the next morning text is almost like a guessing game, we become almost giddy when the dulcet tones of “umm I hate to be that person but ….” and “ do you really have to move furniture at 3 am on a Monday?” light up on our screens. So heart-warming.

No longer a dreaded chore that is synonymous with the banality of adulthood, cooking dinner each night is now my creative outlet. Instead of glam selfies, my camera roll is loaded with snaps of my latest experiments (my most daring was a 100 garlic clove curry – I know wild), and lovingly curated porridge pics. I have become obsessed with re-creating the restaurant atmosphere at home, and have curated dozens of dinner playlists and figured out exactly how many wine-bottle candles it takes to create the perfect ambience.

All things considered, home comforts have taken on a whole new meaning. They have become firmly woven into the fabric of lockdown life. And while there are many things I would change about this year, I wouldn’t change a single thing about my little flat.

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