A Year in Chrome bookmarks

At some point in the past few years I became a compulsive bookmarker. Whenever I come across something even vaguely interesting online, I shove it into my bookmarks and never look at it again.

Last week, I went through my bookmarks to find something and it made me realise that I’d accidentally created a comical, at times poignant timeline of 2020.

I have included some highlights below, with comments.

Commission | Popelei

It is the beginning of the first lockdown and I have all the time in the world; I have decided to enter a short story competition. Have I ever written fiction before? No, not once. I have never written fiction before. It doesn’t matter — I will enter this short story competition and, I reckon, probably win it.

(I did enter it. I did not win. I have not written fiction since.)

Jean Butler’s Irish Dance MasterClass Lesson Part1 — YouTube

It is around 2am and I have gone insane; I realise I now live in a basement flat, having recently moved, and somehow this fact leads my brain to the thought “…so I can get into Irish dancing without annoying my neighbours!”. The next day I realise Irish dancing requires a fair bit of equipment, and I give up on Irish dancing.

Air Dry Clay | Hobbycraft

Maybe crafts! Crafts can be a way to fill the time! I used to love clay as a child! Maybe I will love it again! I can be an artist!

(I did not buy the clay.)


Woah, my brain feels bad! I really think I’ve gone mad. I probably need someone to fix my brain pretty soon. Hohoho I feel unhinged, help.

Belly Dance: Beyond Basics — Layers and Isolations (Virtual Only) at Hip Expressions: Read Reviews and Book Classes on ClassPass

Or…maybe belly dancing can help my brain? Exercise is good right? It is unclear why I am looking for a “beyonds the basics” class. I need the basics. This class is also a lunchtime class in Florida, meaning I could take it in the early evening here. I know this because I have spent the day looking at online dance classes in the US, compulsively googling the time difference between all the various states and London. I am not doing very well.

Adult Ballet Classes | Beginner through to Advanced | Clapham, London

In fairness, I did end up doing ballet twice a week for two months during the first lockdown. I never want to do a single plié again for as long as I live.

Slim fit cotton face masks with filter pocket by staysafeUK

I suddenly panic about not looking stylish in a face mask, as most of them are made for men, because everything is simply always made for men. I spend an hour and a half on Etsy looking at different masks for women, like a normal person would.

100 Basic Signs in British Sign Language (BSL) — YouTube

I start feeling guilty about not using my endless lockdown free time in the right way. After watching a two-minute Youtube video of a few BSL signs four times in a row to really learn all the signs the man was teaching, I decide to really get into it the next day — not now, as it is, by this point, around 11pm. I wake up the next morning and have already forgotten all the signs I’d learnt. I give up.

Home Conditioning and Dance ONLINE at The Moxy Movement: Read Reviews and Book Classes on ClassPass

Sports again! Every week a new sport! I never even try this one.

Learn How To Sew, Easy Sewing Class For Beginners! — YouTube

We are getting to the end of the first lockdown and I immediately start worrying about the second lockdown, which I know is coming and will require new hobbies. I buy a sewing machine with money I do not have on Argos and save this page, knowing I will need it when we return to jail.

(The sewing machine is still under my bed, untouched.)

Counselling Directory — Find a Counsellor Near You

No, really, brain bad. Brain real bad. Someone help brain.

15 MIN FULL BODY HIIT WORKOUT — burn lots of calories / No Equipment I Pamela Reif — YouTube

Who needs brain help when you can jump up and down until you want to die! I had never tried HIIT before but this feels like a revelation. My bedroom is too small for me to do some of the moves but I like spending precisely fifteen minutes exercising.


It has now been long enough since the failure that was the short story writing competition for me to decide to enter a children’s novel writing competition. I come up with several ideas for a children’s novel, decide to turn it into a series of children’s short stories, get overwhelmed trying to find a connecting theme between all my short stories, and give up on the entire project.

Peroneal Tendonitis Stretches & Exercises — Ask Doctor Jo — YouTube

I have done too many sports and broken my body. I spend several days doing weird stretches, resentfully.

Premium Online Butcher | Online Butcher’s Shop of the Year 2018 | field&flower

I read a lot of stories about the environment in lockdown and one day decide I should do something; do my bit to save the planet. I am not willing to give up on meat because I love eating meat, but maybe I can buy less meat and from more sustainable sources. An entire evening spent exploring the various meat delivery services makes me realise they were created with large families or very rich people in mind. I decide to cycle more instead.

Skin analysis + Signature Facial (75 mins) at Lacquered + Stripped: Read Reviews and Book Classes on ClassPass

My skin is horrible because I’m miserable, and now it matters because I can see people again. I go get my first ever facial, partially because I am so touch-deprived I feel ready to pay so someone touches my face for an hour. I do not regret it.

6 of the Best Hikes Near London | Travel by Train | Trainline | Trainline

It is warm, it is sunny, it is the summer, and I feel like I will die if I don’t see nature soon. I have spent my entire life in cities and I am baffled at best by the countryside, but something suddenly awoke in me and now I need trees. I end up going to Hampstead Heath instead.

10 Best Mattress Toppers 2020 | The Strategist | New York Magazine

September arrives and with it, my bone-deep fear that we’re about to get jailed again. What can I do to make a lockdown winter better? Somehow I spend several hours looking at every single mattress topper available online, only to end up buying a random one from Argos.

Yamaha PSS-F30 Home Keyboard with Mini Keys

Music! That’s one thing I forgot to try in the first lockdown! It doesn’t matter that I desperately tried to play every single instrument as a child and teen longing to be in a band and was awful at every single one. Now I will learn to play, as an emotionally scarred adult and without a teacher. It’s going to be so good. Maybe I will finally get to be in a band.

(I watch a 20-minute review of the keyboard on YouTube. I do not buy it.)

Womens Family Christmas Checked Pyjama Set | M&S Collection | M&S

It is getting cold. I am accepting the fact that I am no longer in my late twenties but in fact somewhere nearing 50, and for the first time in my life I am getting myself psychologically ready to buy some — ugh. — proper pyjamas.

Jo & Joe CASHMERE Ladies Velour Full Slippers Grey | HouseofSlippers

Well it was a slippery slope, really. If you’re going to buy proper pyjamas, why not get slippers as well? I mean it’s fine, it’s not like I’m going to be receiving guests in here. Guests! Can you remember them? Hahahaha. Guests. At least my feet will be toasty.

Sistema Microwave Rice Cooker, 2.6 L — Red/Clear: Amazon.co.uk: Kitchen & Home

I am so tired of my own cooking I could scream. Would a rice cooker help? Maybe a rice cooker would help. I can make new things. Learn to make new things. Unclear why I decided to settle on a kitchen tool that turns a long process into a quicker one though. I do really have all the time in the world currently on my hands.

Melatonin, 300 mcg 100 vegetarian capsules | Life Extension Europe

Hah! Sleep! Remember her? Because I don’t, oh god I don’t, imagine feeling rested at any given point, how nice that must be.

82 London Restaurants With Outdoor Heat Lamps — London — The Infatuation

It’s Tier 2, baby! Time to put on seven layers and order precisely two small plates and an entire bottle of wine per person!

Bamboo Portable Folding Legs Laptop Notebook Table Bed Sofa Tray | in Earls Court, London | Gumtree

I have been working from my couch for nine months. “Do you not have a dinner table?”, my friends ask when I tell them this, but then I have to explain that while I do have a dinner table and several chairs, I also cannot work sitting down if lying on my couch is an option. My living room is so small that I can just about touch my couch if I lean back on my chair — not that I would know since I never sit on it. Anyway. I decide to buy one of those cute breakfast trays and use it as a little lap desk, so I can continue working from my couch but without hunching over my laptop like a goblin.

Sports Massage (30 min) at Be Health Chinese Medical Centre: Read Reviews and Book Classes on ClassPass

I appear to have destroyed my back by hunching over my laptop like a goblin for nine months. Please god let me have this before we get back into Tier 3.



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