In this episode we reflect on a confusing couple of weeks and try to make sense of events that almost don’t make any sense at all.
During February and March we were house hunting. My memories of those confused weeks are thin — I’d just arrived from the other side of the world, and as much as I search for a linear and coherent story, none exists. I remember having to shake off claustrophobic thoughts before going into potential homes for house interviews; the intricate combinations of smell and light and sound; and the time before physical distancing. Our precautions came with caveats and weight: we didn’t shake hands, we used hand sanitiser, we Zoomed if we could. I flinched at every cough. As potential housemates, we discussed move-in dates, rent and bills, all without hashing out what ‘our house’ might look like if we, strangers, were plunged into indefinite 24/7 lockdown, except that’s one thing we needed to discuss. We all spoke as if coronavirus was happening to characters in other people’s dreams. But Shona and I had a hard move-out date, the lockdown’s bottlenecks had created myriad uncertainties, and the weeks were slipping away, so we increased our budget; began looking further afield, despite loving Leytonstone; and, somewhat reluctantly, decided no housemates. We also sent a ‘hail Mary’ email to Shona’s colleagues (when all bets are off …). A friend of a friend had a flat in south London. Four days later, moving day, March 24, Day 1 of lockdown: the removalists arrived three hours late, then we took an uneasy Tube trip across town to a part of London we’d never visited, holding an unsigned contract with landlords we’d never met, to move into a flat we’d never seen.
Opening & Closing Credits by Unregistered Master Builder
Touching Moments by Ketsa (Free Music Archive)
Markus J Buehler Viral Counterpoint of the Coronavirus Spike Protein (2019-nCoV)
Twitter & Instagram: @LDNbylockdown