Loren Cook and Bronwyn Sweeney are a senior creative team from MullenLowe in London. They’ve never been apart for more than two weeks. Seems like they’re coping just fine…
When I was a kid, living in the days before the internet, my dad used to say, “Only boring people get bored” if I ever whinged about having nothing to do on a rainy day. He’d shoo me off to read a book or do a puzzle. Now as an adult with a full-time job, a side hustle, a bougie gym membership, three dating apps and a London social life, reading and puzzles are a luxury I rarely made time for. “I work hard all day, I don’t have time for puzzles!” I used to tell myself, settling into my third hour of Love is Blind.
Living in lockdown, time is no longer a luxury but something I have a lot of. And even though the sun is shining, it reminds me of those rainy days as a kid, looking for something to do.
So my way of beating boredom has been to go back to that time. Having really dodgy wi-fi has really helped recreate the early ‘90s feel. I don’t turn the TV on till the evening and instead have been making my way through actual albums on Spotify or I’ll throw a record on the novelty record player I got at Urban Outfitters years ago to make my room look cool. Jigsaw puzzles calm my mind (here’s the Jigsaw that’s way harder than I thought it would be). I cook actual recipes that use words like marinate, stew and soak (YES three-hour simmering time) I’m reading at bedtime again (short stories are easier to commit to, like A Manual for Cleaning Women by Lucia Berlin). I listen to the radio while I clean my oven. Instead of lazily tagging friends in memes (OK I still do that), I’m taking the time to call people again. This is definitely not what I had in mind when I asked the universe for more time to work on my novel, but now, I really have no excuse.
一个女教师的自述I used to have a recurring nightmare that I was stuck in a small room, with no way out. My teeth would fall out one by one and The Goblin King (David Bowie in Labyrinth) would gently stroke my hair. Actually that last one isn’t a nightmare at all. It’s my goddamn dream.
The reason I bring this up is because being trapped in a small space is now my reality (thanks London rental market). When our forced isolation first began, I was fizzing with excitement, the kind of thrill you get when a friend cancels plans first or you arrive at M&S just as they’re putting the yellow stickers out. I love staying indoors, so I assumed this would be my nirvana. Then, day four hit, I had already completed Netflix, organised my spice cupboard, deep cleaned the bathroom and made 14 banana breads. I have become bored, of being bored of being bored.
So, with my birthday fast approaching, my boyfriend ordered me the Friends Lego set. Turns out Lego is incredibly satisfying, I live to slide an L joint into the perfect nook. I’ve also found a new form of meditation, listening to Stephen Fry narrate Sherlock Holmes on Audible, see ya Headspace. A newfound joy is TikTok, I am, of course, a geriatric voyeur, but that endless loop of people and puppies has hit my sweet spot. Another thing I think we should all remember is to park the guilt. Don’t feel like you should ‘do’ anything. You have the time, immerse yourself in the things you enjoy, even if it’s just making rude setups with your Lego sets. My latest creation? The one where Joey does Gunther.
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