You won’t believe how much this pandemic has aged me!

Usually at this time of year you’ll find me posting my annual Review of the Year in Twinks, a concise rundown of highlights and lowlights on everything that happened in the world of effeminate gay men. So considering not a single twink left their house post March 2020 I realised I had naff all to write about.

But doesn’t January 2020 feel like a lightyear ago? That was back when you could happily cough in public without everyone nearly fainting. The police would call you mad if you phoned them up to tell them your neighbour had another household over. You would have be forgiven for thinking the phrase social distancing was new age speak for avoiding someone on Twitter.

At the start of lockdown (1.0) I imagined that staying indoors and sleeping would make me look more rested, I would feel full of energy and the whole thing would bring about a new lease of life- I couldn’t have been further from the truth. Surely I’m not the only person to think that the pandemic has aged me exponentially?

At my last gig at The Glory before lockdown 1.0 in February 2020. I was just about to sing Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch Me from Rocky Horror, which on reflection probably wasn’t the best song to pick.

Before lockdown I was flip flopping around London from gig to brunch, surviving mainly on a piece of toast and a gin and tonic. Then suddenly in March, all that stopped, Waitrose combusted and you had to phone a crack dealer to get even a whiff of flour.

I realised quite early on in the first lockdown that I probably would never survive an apocalypse. The last three items I bought before the country shut down were; two avocados, a bottle of Prosseco and some Kiehls hand cream. Bear Grylls I was not.

Fast forward a few months and I have turned into a middle aged Mum, writing meal plans and baking bread on weekends. I now have permanently stocked shelves ‘just in case’- you can barely move in my kitchen without knocking over a row of tinned tomatoes.

In the old days if a gig started at 10pm it was considered and early show, now I’m tucked up in bed by 9.30pm, with a morning alarm set so I can get a wash on first thing.

Like everyone else I ditched formal attire completely when life transitioned to the Zoomiverse. But instead of hip ‘activewear’, my wardrobe had suddenly been replaced with Clare Balding’s dreary closet. All elasticated waists and practical fleeces, ashamedly I haven’t looked back since.

Before the pandemic you could often find me lurking the theatre stalls, snootily critiquing the latest regurgitation of Chekov at the National, or some post-dramatic piece at an off-off-off-off-West End theatre that used to be a carpark before someone from Rose Bruford had a vision. Then the pandemic jettisoned me to being middle aged and I now no longer feel the need to be pretentious.

Me, about to do something practical in my fleece.

When hairdressers were briefly allowed to open before lockdown 2.0, I was the first in the queue to get my short back and sides styled in to shape. When my barber had finished, he proudly exclaimed “you look 10 years younger!” – “What, 15?” came my retort. His face shrivelled in horror as he did the quick sum and realised I was still in my mid twenties. God only knows how old he thought I was.

I don’t just look aged, I sound it as well. I wouldn’t be surprised if my neighbours thought a one-man band had moved in. Now when I walk up the stairs my joints click and and pop to their own rhythm thanks to spending 365 days sat in the same seat. You can only imagine how grateful I was when a flyer for Stannah Lifts came through my letter box- it’s just a shame I can no longer bend down to pick it up.

I’m up for doing a colab Stannah if you’re reading!

Then the final evolution into old age happened in December when I had an out of body experience. My arms completely dislocated from my brain and I picked up a copy of Good Housekeeping magazine. I had become a nana just like that, blue rinsed perm, clad in a twin set and pearls thumbing through the Women’s Institute’s bible. I spent most of the month dog-earing mince pie recipes and learning how to make salt dough decorations for the grandchildren I don’t have.

So my only resolution for 2021 is to somehow turn my body clock back a few years and get some of that youthful energy I once had. Though, as I sit here writing this in my wooly fleece I fear it might be too late.

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