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Crochet, pickles, hula hooping – are we keeping up the lockdown hobbies once we’re allowed outside?

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No one could have anticipated the chaos that Covid-19 would bring: facemasks, quarantine, loss, grief, government U-turns, conspiracy theories and the word ‘unprecedented’ cropping up everywhere. As we entered the first lockdown a year ago in March, blissfully ignorant about just how long this situation would continue for, many of us found solace in taking up new hobbies and activities.

I, for one, attempted to brush up on my languages – French and Swahili, my mother’s native tongue. Unfortunately, after a full day of working from home, the last thing I want to do is an activity that resembles even more work. Instead, I tried my hand at hula-hooping with Play Tone, an organisation that ran alternative fitness classes pre-pandemic, and pivoted to virtual lessons over lockdown. The ‘Hoop Tone’ classes gave me a reason to spend some time in the garden. I had a little hooping break over winter –  it was too cold to practise outside and my mum didn’t want me hula-hooping indoors for fear of me destroying the house.

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Now that spring is here and I’ve moved into my own flat, I’m back at it, often hula-hooping in the middle of my living room. It’s a fun, stimulating activity that temporarily takes my mind off life’s stresses. When restrictions are finally lifted this summer, I’d like to think that I’ll be out hooping in the local park at any given opportunity, but I wonder if I’ll abandon this new talent when I have the option to shop, dine, socialise and dance once the world opens up again. 

I caught up with a few people who took up new hobbies last year, to find out what motivated them to do so and how it’s impacted them. Now that we seem to have a clear route out of lockdown, will any of us be continuing these hobbies post-June 21st? Or have we already left them in 2020?

Amy Penn, 28 – pickling


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