As we approach the end of the third lockdown, and a tough year for so many, I find myself reminiscing about the things that kept me going and put a smile on my face. They may seem simple or superficial but these were my silver linings and the treats I looked forward to every day. 


COOKIES: You can never make and eat too many chocolate chip cookies

Okay, maybe that’s a lie. But baking was one of the most joyous activities my mother and I did during 2020. I found the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe on Tasty, and then an even more perfect one by Ravneet Gill (I will link it because it is revolutionary). After experiencing the catharsis of baking and relishing the crispy yet gooiness of these cookies, we decided that this needed to be shared with those that needed this feeling the most: the frontline workers, the NHS nurses. It became a weekly ritual every Wednesday. We made trays upon trays of cookies, rice crispy treats and brownies, which were awaiting their final destination of brown takeout boxes and see-through tupperware. Of course I had to add my personal touch of adorning them with glitter, stickers, drawings and motivational notes to the nurses. Then they were sent off to local hospitals, where nurses and doctors could share the pure deliciousness of these cookies in their breaks in between being heroes and saving lives. 


BATHS: Baths are one of the most pleasurable joys of life 

Having a bath was always a time in lockdown where I found a place for quiet contemplation and shut out the world around me  -you’d think that that’s the whole point of lockdown! Bathing is a ‘do not disturb’ to the whole world, where I go into a meditative state. The great thing about having baths is that you can actually do whatever you want. I often listen to my music on a speaker which reverberates the sound around the whole bathroom with soothing tunes, and I even have my own bath playlist filled with mellifluous songs of tranquility. Sometimes I take to a podcast, or reading a book whilst I soak; it’s all fun and games until the book soaks too. Sometimes, if I’m feeling thirsty for some entertainment, I will perch my computer on the side of the bath and watch a bit of Netflix or maybe even some YouTube. When I became aware of ‘bath-scaping’, which is ‘styling your bath area to create a haven of relaxation that is both stylish and functional’, according to Good Homes, I was very intrigued. And now there are multi-scented products which I have saturated the bathroom with. From lavender salts, to rose bubble bath, to geranium soak and eucalyptus oils - you’d think I was a botanist. Yes, the smells are superficial, but what intrigues me more is that these scents can take you to a myriad of different places, when you’re simply in your bath on a Thursday evening. 


WALKS: The skill of putting one foot in front of the other

Before COVID, walking was certainly not my thing. I found it boring and an unnecessary form of exercise. But then there was nothing else to do all day, so walking was the only option, and that is when I fell in love with it. Initially it was my family forcing me out of the house, but by the end I was practically itching to leave for the daily walk. There were always two options, park or urban. The park was wonderful for the few months of spring, where the swans skimmed the surface of the lakes, the grass was lush as ever and I met many statues. But as soon as summer hit, I practically knew every leaf in the vicinity, and every person that walked by (there were always the daily perambulators). Then we took to the urban route, where the scent of coffee filled the air rather than the rural scent of mud, books lay earnestly in the windows of bookstores and shoppers queued up for hours outside the local trendy grocer. There was always something new on the urban route. I even began walking with my friends instead of going round to each others’ houses, which wasn’t allowed. Not only were we being active, but we could also catch up or even revise for exams together. 


Walking, eating and bathing - my happy making treats. Although it has been a year with so many flaws, I hope that we can all find something that put a smile on our faces during an incredibly tough time and that can be a memory forever.