The Handbook
The Handbook

The countdown to Lockdown 2 has started. It sounds a bit like we’re waiting for the next big Hollywood blockbuster to hit instead of government regulations… if only. Instead, we’re all sucking up the imminent loss of our new-found freedom. But… not until exactly one second past midnight on Thursday morning.

So pack your bags, get your phone camera at the ready, and grab the nearest person in your household to embark on these last minute adventures before it’s too late.

Stockpile A Non-Essential

Granted, after lockdown you can still stockpile as many loo rolls as you want. And chickpeas. And tinned tomatoes. And basically anything we won’t be able to find on the shelves because it will be in your cupboard. However, you won’t be able to hunt down extravagant things like clothes, mattresses or dentists.

If you’re stuck for ideas on what might take your fancy, we’ve put together a neat shopping list: A puppy (yes, apparently, they are just for Christmas now). A bid at auction; we highly recommend an £80,000 piece of Imperial porcelain at Sotheby’s. A tailored suit on Jermyn Street; Turnbull & Asser is a firm favourite. A new instrument (what else is furlough for if not to learn Chopin’s ‘Etude’ in G-sharp minor on a Steinway?). Finally, add a cuddly toy to the collection and your new lockdown home will look just like Jim Davidson’s The Generation Game.

Treat Yourself To A Tattoo

Get a tattoo. Go on. You’ll regret it immediately, but at least you’ll have the whole of lockdown to come to terms with your idiocy and the fact that you got “Stay Alert” tattooed on your peck only to find you misspelled it.

Looking for some inspiration? Turn to your favourite celebrity for guidance. Like David Beckham who got his wife’s name in Hindi on his left forearm only later realising it had a rogue H in the middle. Or cover both bum cheeks with a less-than subtle rose drawing like Cheryl Cole, who now has to choose every outfit to match it. Or, even better, ink your new partner’s name on your arm before you realise you can definitely not spend four weeks together.

Get A Piercing

Much like the above, but with piercings. Perhaps less regret tied to this one though. Unless you get a corset piercing and forget to buy the ribbon to tie them all together. Or perhaps a Reverse Prince Albert — we’ll leave you to Google that one. Just don’t let your new body studs get infected. We’re not sure if a swollen Vajazzle is deemed as an “essential” reason to go to the hospital.

Book A Trip Anywhere

Buy tickets for the last flight out of the UK. Special offers are coming up left right and centre (the last time we checked a flight to Athens was £16). Just don’t blame us if you can’t get a return journey. On second thoughts, it might be safer to bring your travels a little closer to home, like with a quick trip to a rainy seaside town. Margate is teeming with DFLs (Down From Londoners) these days, so you’ll feel right at home.

Scream At A Theme Park

Instead of the calm before the storm, hit the storm before the calm. Reach Oblivion, find your Nemesis, or enjoy the white-knuckle ride of the creepy-sounding The Smiler at Alton Towers. Thrill seekers everywhere can cram it all in before it all shuts. Chessington World of Adventure is also open for business, where you can spin round a giant cobra or be flipped around in the Jungle Bus. The different locations and backdrops almost make it feel like you’re abroad… almost.

Check In For A Beauty Boost

We all made the error the first time around. Hair was a mess. Roots down to the knees and split ends flaking off hourly. Divorces immediately ensued when at-home haircuts saw husbands lop off their wives’ pony tails, and partners shaved off fringes. People around the country who hadn’t had a chance to refill their Botox started sagging in weird places.

Now we know the drill, we can get painted nails, balayage, lip fillers, and fake tan. You do you, honey. In fact, we’ll go into lockdown looking fairly normal and come out looking like the melted jelly tot that you left in your coat pocket.

Head To The Zoo Two By Two

With a pandemic of such biblical proportions, it might not be too far-fetched to assume that Noah might be along with an ark to scoop up all the animals. Just in case, catch one final glimpse of them at Regent Park’s ZSL London Zoo. Meet the Kalahari Desert’s cutest mammal — the meerkat, hang out with gorillas, or say hi to resident pygmy hippos Thug and Nicky. Sir David Attenborough is backing the zoo to raise funds for the research into animal conservation around the globe.

If even the nation’s favourite David can’t get through to you, maybe the promise of a day with penguins will.

Go Crazy With Mini Golf

Putt in the Park in Battersea is still a-go-go. Expect full adventure. Hit the ball over death-defying waterfalls, bounce it off giant tombstones and challenge yourself like never before. Who are we kidding? It’s hardly Indiana Jones’s last crusade, but it’s better than sitting on the sofa, because that’s exactly what you’ll be doing for the next four weeks.


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