Lizzie Bray: My lesson from Lockdown:‘let’s look for the silver linings’

Elizabeth Bray, columnist for the Torbay WeeklyElizabeth Bray, columnist for the Torbay Weekly

With the world currently in, at what seems to be, the longest post office queue of the century and although the sun has been shining bright at least of late (this was written before impending and threatened thunder storms), I still find myself selfishly thinking of summers that were.

I find myself repeating the same conversations with my friends about how much we wish to be sat on the patio of the Visto Lounge, with a watermelon ice-tea, bathing in the rays.

Or even, spending the day at Elberry Cove and convincing myself the water is in-fact warm enough to swim in.

Or even, walking through picture-postcard Cockington Village and pretending I could afford to buy and live in a beautiful thatched cottage there one day.

I find myself reminiscing the month of July, like last year, when I was an activity leader for The Devon School of English.

I lived in Dorset for an entire month, with my closest friend. We shared a room together for the entirety of those four weeks: completely out of choice and no one would believe me when I say we co-existed harmoniously – not one squabble!

I visited some incredibly scenic places too, although I should not be admitting I had time to enjoy the view when guiding over 60 foreign students through Bath City…I had my eyes on them the whole time, Bret. Honest! Now, think of the most wholesome, movie-montage-worthy summer camp: this is the best way to describe it. Although due to this unique period, I was not able to return this year, nor has anyone, for that matter, been able to return to their usual summer activities. It seems almost trivial to care about these sorts of things but, more so, it is not silly to crave mundanity.

The English Riviera is awesome, to use the local tagline and Torbay Weekly ethos and theme, Naturally Inspiring.

Living in the Bay, we are surrounded by opportunity and wrapped in an unbelievably picturesque coastline.

Admittingly, especially for the age ranges of secondary school kids, a lot of young people complain about the lack of activity down here.

I can confidently state this as I used to have the same mindset at those ages. Granted, both Torquay and Paignton high streets are overdue for some love and attention - and I gather that may happen in the not too distant future with lots of exciting projects planned - and the growing dependency on social media has made the concept of ‘FOMO’(that’s Fear of Missing Out, by the way) a daily occurrence, lockdown has at least taught us one thing: strip it back to the basics.

Truthfully, lockdown has shown me a newfound appreciation for Torbay. Whilst many people across the country, albeit the world, are hibernating in their city apartments, with concrete jungles and enjoying a CO2 breeze, we have the luxury of spending the day at Elberry Cove and convincing ourselves the water is in-fact warm enough to swim in.

We have the pleasure and luxury of being able to walk through picturesque Cockington Village and pretending we could afford one of the thatched cottages with the rose garden.

Thinking of the time where I used to nag and whine about Torbay having nothing for my friends and I to do, I realise I was simply not looking, not thinking stripping back to the basics was good enough. Lockdown has exposed everything superficial in our little word and has placed us in some fresh air: it has forced us to realise that all we need is company and a beach, or a waking trail, or to quietly boat watch from our window.

We can learn from Lockdown if we really want to.

And one of those things just may be ‘let’s continue to always see these silver linings’

It is something I have learned.....