May 14, 2020

Allowed OUT – Series 1

We ask some familiar faces and local folk what they can't wait to do after lockdown...

Life after lockdown, it’s what we are all thinking about. It could be weeks, it could be months, if even then – but at some point we will be able to leave our homes for more than essential duties and exercise.

So, we’ve been thinking about some of the things we can’t wait to do when we’re allowed out, as well as a few of the local places we are itching to visit. Because even though they are right on our doorstep, let’s face it, they couldn’t feel further away right now.

If there’s one thing we’ve learnt, it’s that we won’t take these things for granted again…

Fatima Truscott

I’m not going to lie but eating a Big Mac is high up on my list of things to do once lockdown is over. Apologies if you were expecting something more deeply profound but I guess if anything, what a global pandemic makes one realise is that life is about the simple pleasure, innit?

Being a ’77 baby, I’m of the acid-wash generation that welcomed in Ronald, Grimace and Hamburglar with open double-denim arms. We’d celebrate our birthday parties in that place – remember those days? In fact, that very Maccy Ds on Epsom High Street played quite the pivotal role in my younger days. From being the special treat after mid-morning mass on a Sunday with my Mum and brother as we’d both sit awkwardly in our Sunday best as Mum would insist on wiping down the tables before we ate, to the official meeting place on a sunny Saturday afternoon as a teen. I’ve lost count of the times I’d watched in awe as my best friend would perform her party trick of eating a Big Mac in just two bites after bagging the best seats upstairs, by the window, to people-watch and giggle as we spied nose pickers sat on the top deck of the buses down below. 

Fast forward to present day and I am now THAT embarrassing Mum who does the same wipe-down ritual with my own two kids. Isn’t life funny like that? Perhaps that’s why, after such a long period of isolation, where self-reflecting and reminiscing have become more commonplace as we’re collectively living much slower lives, that I’ve found myself wishing hopefully for a Covid-free future; one where we can all come together once more, in our fancy best clothes and create more memories of sharing together those happy, happy meals.

ps: Bagsy I get the seats upstairs!

Fatima Truscott is a journalist & stylist. Find her on Instagram @the_ft_times

Lewis Stephens

I wish it would be a tough choice between a game of football at Priest Hill, a wander through the 400-year-old market, or maybe returning to host my podcast ‘Why Aren’t You Normal Epsom’. As much as I hoped these things could compete, I think I have no choice really…it’s the pubs.

Pubs. The cornerstone of British culture. Whatever tipple you desire, be it a bottle of beer or a small spritzer. A social playing field where sharp tongues shred atmospheres and divvies between inebriated ears. A place of debate and debauchery, insight and idiocy. Topics usually given no thought to suddenly explode with an intensity that would be frowned upon in cafes. The disappointed parent of the online forum.

Whether you live in squalor or as a scholar there is a local. Is it The Assembly rooms? With the clientele subjective to the hour. Faraday? With its modern energy.  McCafferty’s? A residence reminding us of the past.

However, glasses collect dust as cleaners are quarantined, a harsh reminder of the frailty of our nature when denied nurture. No more evening sips at sundown due to lockdown, no more Sunday evening drink preparing for Mondays think. Imagine the conversation the last time you walked out the (Br)exit. The sad imagery of empty rooms drying my desperate to be dampened desires.

Alas, light at the end of the bar. I open the door and the humdrum chatter meets my ears. The smell of damp bar mats fills my nostrils. I gaze upon a table full of loved ones, amber glows from their beverage reflect onto faces under the summer sun. I feel both hands on the bar as my taste buds welcome freedom. Soon to enjoyed once more.

Roll on the sense of community. Let’s reclaim that responsibility, lets accept the duty I am certain we strive to achieve. For all those reasons above, yes, it must be. Pubs.

Lewis is the founder and host of community support podcast, Why Aren’t You Normal Epsom.

Kim Hawley

What I miss the most isn’t a physical thing. Mine is quite simply that I miss life’s routine. Ordinarily, my husband goes to work, my daughter goes to school and I, when I’m not writing, do all the other things in between. That’s how we function. My husband has now taken to walking the dog which, initially, even threw the dog into confusion. I was not aware my husband knew we had a dog until now. Additionally, having been thrown out of his own routine, my husband has found a plethora of jobs that needed doing around the homestead which is outstanding, but, as a consequence, is in and out of the backdoor unremittingly thus giving our daughter the perfect opportunity to break concentration and this lapse is all that it takes to lose her altogether. Having said that, my daughter, it turns out is quite simply a terrible pupil or I’m an horrendous teacher. She has been playing fast and loose with my timetable and, has squeezed the lifeblood out of my patience reserves. I have tried to send her to another class but she is unwilling. As a consequence of all of this I now partake in long solo walks around Epsom and Ewell in order to bring a little equilibrium back to my soul. This is, it turns out, is an unmitigated joy. With life’s now slower pace, an absence of traffic and with this glorious weather I have had the privilege of actually seeing things in our wonderful town that I would previously have missed, sites I have never before encountered and history, until now, unrealised. #silverlinings 

Read more from Kim on her blog here.

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