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The first thing I bought in lockdown in Melbourne was a pair of shoes. Strappy, white, summery high heels, they arrived the week after I started working from home, a couple of days after the state borders started closing across Australia six months ago. I have never worn them.
Since that first lockdown purchase, many parcels have arrived at my house. I bought 12 giant balls of yarn for the thousand knitting projects I had planned (I have finished precisely one). I bought 20kg of bread flour from an upmarket wholesaler when everyone else started making sourdough and cleaning out the supermarket shelves. For the first time in my life I clicked through on a Facebook ad – and actually purchased. I bought boots I’ve worn twice (to the supermarket), and silk pants I wore out once – to the hairdresser, in that brief interregnum between lockdown one and two. I ordered colour-depositing hair conditioner when she told me that my follow-up appointment would be at least three months later than we’d planned.
Sometimes, the impulse verges on the ridiculous. I decided to start gardening and joined a gardening club, buying seeds and fertiliser, huge trellises and stakes, baby citrus trees, and even fake cabbage moths on sticks online. I really think I hit the peak when I forked out a few hundred dollars on a greenhouse for the increasingly crowded balcony (it has not yet arrived).
I’m not alone. A Melbourne colleague sends me her list of purchases. It begins: “A tracksuit”, followed by “a matching tracksuit for my boyfriend”. Many of her purchases are similarly practical but some of them stick out: “An embroidery kit that I still have not opened. A Christmas present for my mother. Birthday presents for my sister and nephew, both of whom have birthdays in December. A new toiletries case, against the day I can ever travel.”
I don’t believe our lockdown purchases can be entirely attributed to necessity or crass consumerism. They are, at turns, products of boredom or impulse, but perhaps they are also manifestations of yearning – for the return of “normal times”which still feel such a long way off.
This week I received an email from Australia Post – no doubt due to one of the many, many things I have now on order – saying that networks are increasingly clogged and some days, more than 80% of parcels circulating around Australia are heading to Victoria.
Most of my purchases over recent weeks have not yet arrived. I don’t even remember what many of them were. Or perhaps I’m choosing to forget, hoping for a moment of surprise in the relentless repetition of lockdown days when something I forgot about finally turns up at my door.
If you’re in Melbourne, share your experience of lockdown purchases in the comments below.
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Tell us about purchases you have made during lockdown in Melbourne | Melbourne