Nick’s Lockdown Thoughts – “We’ll be back”

Winter 20/21… even weirder than summer 2020! Who’d have thought that was even possible?


Normally the run up to Christmas is fairly busy with Bottom Bunk Club bookings and multiple sole use bookings, often involving 3 to 5-course Christmas dinners for up 30 plus people, interspersed with painting and decorating and managing any hostel improvement project we have going… add in a bit of holiday and it’s as full on as any other time, albeit a little different.


Not this past winter, obviously, with lockdowns 3 and 4 or was it 4.0 and 4.1? Who knows?!

We limped through autumn, were left with little or no business in November or December and found ourselves having no choice but to cancel Christmas and New Year bookings. Many conversations took on The Terminator’s persona… “We’ll be back”!


Nick’s daughter, with a glorious winter view.

I managed to salvage some personal time around Christmas and got to enjoy a few stunning winter mountain days with my daughter, a lovely Christmas dinner with her, my partner and elderly next-door neighbour under then permitted COVID guidelines.


My supply of various objects and materials that I plan to ‘art’ has grown considerably and includes porcelain dolls heads, a pot of Stuart Semple’s Black 3.0 (the blackest black paint you can get), piano keys, wooden hands and fishing wire. The list of completed projects is short… My Lego Technik collection has grown by 50%. A plan to read a poem a day has fallen by the wayside, but the book of obituaries is nearly finished.


The pace of life slowed after Christmas but with the arrival of the various COVID vaccines came a chance to change that. A little additional study and training on top of my long-held mountain rescue skills and I was able to qualify as a vaccinator. As a result, I’m now working typically 12 hours per week at a vaccination centre and adding 60-70 per session to an ever-growing number. My grand total has just exceeded 1000. It’s great to be doing something positive: people are typically very grateful to receive their vaccine in the knowledge that we may finally be coming to the end of this crisis. Some have really gone to town in dressing for the occasion, having barely left their homes in a year. With the hostel forced to remain closed until mid-May, I intend to carry on with this as long as my workload back here permits.

Nick’s new skill as a vaccine provider.


I was also delighted that my daughter, through her work at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, was able to contribute to several COVID related projects, one of which made the front cover of the Daily Star with the headline “Boffins say it’s safe to touch your balls”! #prouddad !

Daily Star headline on Nick’s daughter’s scientific research.


I do hope you’re all keeping safe and sane, and you are ready to venture out as soon as you are allowed. Unfortunately, restrictions on shared accommodation mean that we can’t open for UK staycations at present, however we are looking forward to welcoming you back from 17th May, along with those who have recently discovered our beautiful county.


We’ll be back…