Things that make life better, things that don’t and things that are possibly proof of Covid brain fog
For exciting tax purposes, I’ve been going through old bank statements, because I really know how to carpe diem. It’s been quite amusing (in a relative, tax-based way) to see my patterns of spending. I don’t want to call myself a creature of habit, but you wouldn’t have to be Mystic Meg to predict my weekly trips to the bookshop (followed by lunch at the Greek restaurant around the corner – halloumi skewers and a glass of prosecco, because, as we already established, I know how to live). There’s the annual holiday to Spain; the regular purchasing of patterned dresses, because you can never have too many; the late-night cab rides home, soundtracked by Magic FM; the ludicrous parties I throw every year for Christmas and my birthday, because while the candles on the cake say 42, when it comes to parties I’m actually eight. This is what I think of as the stuff of life, or at least the stuff of my life, and it is very much the stuff of my bank statements from 2000 to 2019.
And now we look at the statements of 2020, which seem to belong to an entirely different person. Instead of the patterned dresses, my occasional big fashion buy is a pair of new pyjamas, to be worn all day, every day. The late-night cabs are now a Sunday morning taxi to take my children to wave to their grandparents, because they can no longer come over for visits, and we can’t take public transport to see them. One expenditure I don’t miss is the weekly trip to the toy shop for birthday presents for my children’s friends. Instead, some of this money has been funnelled into a subscription to Disney+, the mega mouse’s streaming channel, bought five minutes after lockdown was announced (Mother of the Year Award to the usual address, please).