Trapped in a Lock Down Beverage Routine

These days of Lock Down Three are passing by in a blur, each one much the same as the last until suddenly it is Friday and bin day! I stumble into wakefulness every morning remembering I am still in the same place and I yearn for the thrill of lying in our campervan thinking about where we are and where we are going next and opening the blinds to check the weather. But even in our Blue Bus we have a routine and my day always begins with a mug of tea. This first cup of tea, a mixture of Assam and Earl Grey, is the best of the day and is usually followed by a second over breakfast.

In non-lockdown times, after those two beverages, my day in drinking could go anywhere, depending on where we are and what we were doing. But after 12 months of mostly being stuck at home I have become someone I never thought I would, I am stuck in a routine [or rut] that, on closer inspection, revolves around drinks.

At home the morning trundles on and we brew coffee at around 10.30 [or, to mix things up, visit Morecambe’s wonderful Stone Jetty Cafe at the weekend], have a glass of water with lunch and sup a post-lunch digestive of peppermint and licorice tea from Teapigs. By about 17.00 we are ready for our day’s last mug of tea and a lockdown routine has become enjoying this with a piece of homemade cake. Later we’ll share a bottle of beer, have a glass of wine, a gin and tonic OR a small glass of Spanish Vermut, unless it is a no-alcohol day [about twice a week] when we have to make do with water. Our last drink of the day is in the evening when I have a soothing Barleycup and my less-susceptible-to-caffeine partner has another coffee. We fit local walks, gardening, reading and TV viewing around all this liquid refreshment.

Will breaking out of this routine when we can travel again be a shock to my hydration system? For a day in the hills or cycling we mostly carry just water, taking plenty of it for regular drinks stops. If it is cold I find it comforting to stick a flask with a hot drink in the rucksack for one of our pauses. If we’re in a town or village, part of the joy of travelling is also discovering something new and different; maybe a decadent hot chocolate in a cafe or a lunchtime local beer sitting outside a bar. Relaxing outside the campervan with a mug of tea or a glass of good red wine can’t be beaten and, more than once, a fellow camper has strolled over and shared a favourite liqueur with us.

I don’t like getting a peek of myself becoming this creature of habit, she isn’t a familiar figure and she doesn’t sit comfortably alongside me. But, it seems, this is what I have become in these Covid-19 times. Niggling in the back of my mind is an anxiety that I might never rediscover my previous spontaneous personality. Will I suffer withdrawal symptoms if I don’t have my morning coffee or afternoon peppermint tea? I don’t think this foreboding about the future is mine alone. I sense that we all feel we have changed in the last 12 months and many of us are not sure how we will occupy the new world. Some of our transformations might be for the good but some of us may emerge more apprehensive and guarded.

Author: Back on the Road Again Blog

I write two blogs, one about my travels in our campervan and living well and frugally and the second about the stories behind the people commemorated in memorial benches.

15 thoughts on “Trapped in a Lock Down Beverage Routine”

  1. Interesting muse on a drinks theme, but with a lot more behind it than just the drinks (snap – we also have a couple of alcohol-free days a week). The sameness of everything, every day a similar routine, and the lack of exciting, additional, external stimulation is something which concerns me. Will we turn out to be bland and boring when we resume what will pass as “normality”? The arts have taken a big hit, and they can be a source of stimulation as well as entertainment. Live theatre – the Greeks understood the importance of this for catharsis – has and is struggling. Those things which lift the spirits, e.g. music, concerts, festivals are all on hold and we can only hope they return. I feel this especially for children, but maybe their imaginations have slightly more stimulation via the ever-present on screen interactive games? I don’t know….. but I am aware that we may be being moulded and shaped in our behaviours by the effects of this pandemic and these lockdowns, so it’s important to “rage against the dying of the night” and stay awake/alert and beware of habits. This thread had me reaching for my book of quotes, collected over many years: “All habits are bad habits……Madness does not come by breaking out, but by giving in; by settling down in some dirty, little, self-repeating circle of ideas; by being tamed.” G. K Chesterton.

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    1. Thank you Joyce. You have expressed how I am feeling so well and the quotes are perfect. I hope by recognising how I am feeling I won’t be tamed but who knows. I already find when I read books where people attend a party I start wondering when the police will break it up for breaking lock down! We have tried to retain some creative stimulation and variety to our lives. We have ‘attended’ some BBC Radio 4 broadcasts as part of a Zoom audience and did the same with some Lancaster Literature Festival events. The worrying thing is that I quite enjoy being able to take part in these shows and talks from the comfort of my own living room and when they asked about this at the Now Show recording last week lots of people were keen for virtual attendance to continue. But tai chi classes over Zoom will never be the same!

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  2. I remember once seeing an escaped battery chicken which did not flee, but stood in the huge outside world looking dazed and confused. It was recaptured easily and returned to the ‘safety’ of the battery where the poor creature probably felt more secure. I feel a bit like the battery chicken! I am worried that months and months of routine and ‘safety’ have drawn in my horizons and dulled my passion for travel. I just hope it comes back when we start to travel again, particularly since we have now invested in a 6-wheel truck!
    You always really hit the spot with your musings. And I have drunk gallons of tea!

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    1. Thank you. That poor chicken! I hate to think of any animals locked up. I think the joy of travelling is still in you (and hopefully in me too). It’s just been buried this last few months but it will re-emerge maybe slowly. At first, on 12 April, we might be like that chicken, wondering how to cope with freedom. Hopefully no one will be waiting to lock us down again and we’ll be able to slowly spread our wings. Of course we have a teapot in our campervan so will take the home comforts with us!

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      1. I think you’re right. It’s comforting to know that it’s not just me who feels that their horizons have shrunk in lockdown.
        Running out of PG Tips is a major crisis on our travels! We love to sample other cultures, but the one home comfort we have to have is packets of tea!

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  3. Well observed. Perhaps during a pandemic, successive lockdowns, and the continual worry about BoJo’s decisions we need something stable to hang on to, and if that is a beverage routine then why not?

    So much security and stability has been ripped from under out feet that it makes total sense to try and establish something that can be controlled?

    I confess I was the chicken last summer – even though going away in the campervan was allowed I did not.

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    1. Thank you Jayne and you’ve made a great point. I hadn’t thought of this but I am trying to deal with so much anxiety about when / if Lock Down Four happens maybe the routine is just what I need at the moment. Everyone has to make their own decisions about what they do. It isn’t really about bravery. Our holidays should be times of enjoyment and if you’re not comfortable you’re not going to relax and enjoy it. That said, I do hope you feel able to get out and about soon.

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      1. I think a lot of us are trying not to think about Lockdown 4, but with medical ‘experts’ and scientists telling us there will be another ‘wave’ later in 2021 it would be naive not to assume that’s how BoJo is going to jump.

        I am not surprised you are feeling anxious; so much is made of the devastation across the hospitality industry but very little of how the outdoor community has been knee-capped. Yesterday was a case in point – my car was superbly valeted by a lovely local man who normally works in Keswick as a climbing/outdoor instructor, but is setting up this service because he just cannot work his normal job anymore. I will blog about it later. Take care. x

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  4. Sorry – I am a pest here today {grin}. Thanks for your comment at mine.

    Have not tracked down a ‘contact’ box on this site, so cannot think of any other way to let you know that your profile on my blog comment points to your very old, retired blog, not to here. You are a “no reply” blogger so there’s no email address associated with your profile either.

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    1. I love getting comments on my blog, as you say it lets you know you’re not talking to yourself! I think that is a Blogspot thing, because your blog is on Blogspot it automatically signs me in as the writer of my old blog. I’ll see if I can change the ‘no reply’ thing though.

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