The clocks went back, the lockdowns got strict and the wet weather arrived — how have we reacted?

October 2020, you were a real treat. As if your soaring R rate and new lockdown measures weren’t enough, you decided to send us into November with a week of rain followed by a storm so severe it got its own name.

Greenwich Misery Time

Here in the UK the clocks went back. Usually this only irritates parents whose kids’ precarious sleep routines go out the window and pet owners whose animals can’t understand why dinner is an hour late.

What has 2020 done to your alcohol consumption?

It felt like a lot of us were talking about booze on social media in early lockdown. ‘Quarantini’ is one of the delightful neologisms that 2020 is gifting to the English language (along with ‘maskne’ and everyone’s favourite, ‘social distancing’) and amusement hungry tweeters had a LOT of opinions when the actor Stanley Tucci revealed his negroni recipe.

Early lockdown retail sales figures had the media publishing panicked headlines about how Brits been plunged into an alcoholic haze in a bid to cope with anxiety, isolation and 24/7 child rearing.

The truth, it has since emerged, was…

With the nights drawing in and local lockdowns abounding Brits are looking ahead to the festive season

Illustration by Josefina Schargorodsky

Discussing Christmas during October just isn’t something you do in polite company — unless the world has been turned on its head by a virus, lockdowns, second waves, tiers, Covid alert levels, social bubbles and trying to work out if you’re allowed to visit your mum. Then, apparently, all bets are off.

We all need something to look forward to and right now it looks like, for a lot of people, that something is Christmas. We know that some things aren’t going to be the same.

But we’re adapting, nonetheless.

One part of the Covid financial picture…

Being stuck at home has given us a new interest in cleaning, tidying and homewares

Image found on

Earlier in lockdown we looked at the trend for DIY, with retailers like Wickes and B&Q seeing demand booming. But what about the smaller tweaks we’re making to improve life at home. Cleaning more, decluttering spaces, adding new cushions?

In a survey released this month, Yale — maker of locks and also, helpfully, keys — surveyed 2,000 adults and found that we’re spending 46% more time at home compared with the Old Times average of nine hours a day. …

Great British Bake Off is a tonic for the nation and an inspiration for home cooks

This year, it has to be said, has been short on things to look forward to. So the return of The Great British Bake Off to British television screens in late September has been greeted with the kind of enthusiasm usually seen among castaways getting their first glimpse of a rescue boat.

Is it any wonder that in this year of disease, death and doom we’re desperate for an hour in front of the telly knowing that the worst thing we’ll see is…

Not knowing what we’ll need to wear is the new black

Image found on

Late September, as any clothes lover will tell you, is the best time of the year. The first chilly days signify the start of winter coat hunting season. It’s time to plan a pleasant hour or two casting an eye over the latest boot trends and potential Christmas party looks from the catwalks — before scouring high street stores and websites for versions we can afford.

Ah, 2020. Once again, you have a different plan for us.

Usually a strong month for clothes retailers, a look at some…

Paying attention to more than just our physical health during Covid-19

Illustration by Ellie Zahedi (@elaillu) for My Mind Our Humanity Campaign

A lot of us wondered how to stay happy during lockdown as we contemplated isolation, unemployment and a deadly virus.

Hygiene and looking after our bodies, it goes without saying, have been talked about a LOT during the pandemic. But it seems that the massive changes so many of us have endured this year have resulted in a lot more Brits recognising that looking after their mental health is also vitally important.

In the first three months of lockdown, the Samaritans said that volunteers were reporting that Covid-19…

Furlough and economic uncertainty have more Brits than ever on the hunt for new ways of making a living

From office drones realising how much happier they are without a daily commute to shopkeepers forced into becoming e-commerce experts: 2020 has brought about dramatic changes to nearly everyone’s working life. No wonder so many of us are contemplating our careers — in fact, more Brits searched ‘start business’ this June than at any time in the past 15 years, with the second highest number of searches coming weeks later in August 2020.

Man’s best friend became the sought-after pandemic survival essential

How much is that doggie in the window? Eight-nine per cent more than it was in March if the dog in question is a dachshund puppy, according to the Dogs Trust.

Yes, with offices and schools closed for the foreseeable, Britons seemed to decide en masse that it was time to fulfil that long held dream of becoming a dog owner. …

Pandemic or not, Brits have refused to give up the great summer holiday

Illustrated by Geraldine Sy for Outside Online.

The bank holiday’s gone, summer’s unofficially over and when schools finally open again this month a whole lot of kids are going to be answering the question ‘what did you do on your holidays?’ not with reports of budget airline luggage disasters but with tales of the great outdoors.

Yes, the must-visit holiday destination for Brits this summer is … a camping site, a trend that has grown as would-be travellers, desperate for a change of scenery after spending most of 2020 cooped up, navigate…

The Beyond Collective

Bite-sized people observations from The Beyond Collective, the independent creative group for the Audience Age

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