WHAT I need – in fact, what all of us need – is a good old bedathon. Stop sniggering at the back. I didn’t mean that. I’m referring to a concept that some might term a “duvet day”. Except, in my case, I don’t reckon anything less than 48 hours is going to cut it.
I despise January. That’s not January’s fault. It’s simply that after the warm glow of autumn, a November birthday and the sparkle of Christmas, everything that follows seems lacklustre and bland. Like chewing on cardboard after a banquet of fillet steak and lobster.
It will be a few weeks yet before we begin to feel the benefit of the lengthening daylight hours. The weather is mostly rotten. If it’s not icy, it’s slushy or windy or rainy or bone-chillingly cold and, almost always, the sky is a monotonous grey that makes everything feel flat and one-dimensional.
Which is why I have hatched a plan: freshly laundered sheets and cosy pyjamas, pillows plumped up, movie marathons and box set binges, books and newspapers, tea and biscuits, leftover selection boxes, the dog lying across my feet and everything I need within arm’s reach.
Susan Swarbrick’s Week: From a winter wonderland to an ice-bound hell
This isn’t a John and Yoko-style bed-in peace protest, where I won’t budge until we get a grip on the pandemic (I would be in for a long wait if that were the case). It’s not about taking stock or navel-gazing, but rather hitting pause and forcing myself to switch off. Completely.
If I’m not working, I’m invariably rattling through a never-ending to-do list, trying to distract my brain from the white noise generated by millions of voices – mainly on social media – all parroting half-baked theories on a virus that only a handful of people truly understand.
What I’m striving for here is a form of suspended animation where, even for a weekend, I can give myself a break from all the worst-case scenarios running through my head and the compulsion for doomscrolling on my phone.
I do appreciate that if I had to genuinely self-isolate – which, so far, I have been fortunate and grateful to have avoided – then I might be less enamoured with voluntarily shutting myself in a room.
It’s about how you dress it up. A bedathon/duvet weekend/bed-in has a far more palatable ring to it than self-inflicted solitary confinement. Which makes me sound like a Poundland Greta Garbo.
Susan Swarbrick’s Week: Five important life lessons from my dog
I have no idea how this notion will pan out. I might last a few hours before pulling a coat over my pyjamas to do brisk laps of the garden citing cabin fever.
Admittedly, it’s a way of grasping at some sense of control. When we can’t leave home due to lockdown, then why not level up? A lockdown within lockdown, like stacked Russian dolls.
Perhaps next I’ll build a fort from blankets and cushions – a soft-furnishings bunker – in the living room.
All I know is that I’m craving 1980s John Hughes movies, custard creams and seclusion.
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