It’s safe to say we’ve not been going far lately. Even with the slight (and premature) relaxation of the lockdown measures, we’ve had to reassess what it means to ‘travel’ somewhere. In an attempt to feel less stuck in one place, I’ve been trying to reframe regular activities into something more exciting. So, in that vein, here are a few places I’ve travelled lately…
My Living Room
It’s a pretty short commute; about eight steps from my bed to my sofa. But just making the effort to actually get up and out of bed, and move to somewhere different means I at least feel like my day has actually started. I should also note that depending on what furniture is out and where I happen to be sitting, my living room can also be at any time a dining room or an office, just for a bit of everyday variety.
When I first looked round my flat, it was the beautiful upstairs loft space which really sold it to me. These days I’m more grateful than ever to have the attic, which at any one time can be a laundry room, a home gym, an office space, a music room, or a storage container (to be honest, it’s usually a combination of any of the above). Climbing the wobbly wooden stairs and into the cool cosiness of the loft can be like going on a solo countryside retreat, even just for an hour or two.
We live pretty close to a large Tesco which has served us extremely well over the last few months. Occasionally we only need a few small bits and it’s easier to drive across town to the Co-Op or, rarely, the small, quiet Sainsbury’s local that served us through our student days. Getting in the car and driving through town to pick up some essentials is a whole adventure in itself these days, and a happy reminder that there is a life beyond the road we live on.
I’m a country girl at heart and not having a garden of any kind has been getting to me quite a lot lately. York’s Knavesmire is a bit of a saving grace in this respect; its wide open green makes for ample breathing space. My favourite part, though, is the Knavesmire Woods, nestled in the south-western corner of the stray. Wandering its bracken-lined tracks is perhaps the truest sense of escape I’ve felt recently.
We walk into York most weeks to check in and see how the city centre is doing without the student bustle and crowds of tourists. It’s strange and somewhat harrowing to see it empty, and our trips aren’t the same without a visit to our favourite shops and cafés – but at the very least it’s a good opportunity for pictures…
I’ll admit that this one’s a little optimistically lighthearted. Going to different rooms in the house or even a different shop once in a while in no way makes up for not being able to see family and friends, or fulfil all the travel plans we had at the start of the year. But for the time being I’m working to be as grateful as I can for the spaces I have, and for the fact that my workplace or the hospital aren’t places I’ve had to travel to during this time.
My deepest gratitude goes out to all those continuing to travel to their places of work during this crisis while so many of us can remain in the comfort of our homes. You deserve so much more than our applause; thank you.