Marie Louise McConville: Online shopping during lockdown has left my bank balance drained

I just love seeing packages piled up on the doorstep
Marie Louise McConville

Oh dear, how did this happen?

At first I thought there had been some kind of mistake but nope, the evidence is as clear as day.

At the beginning of the lockdown last March, life seemed a bit dark and the future was certainly unknown but there were some positives to be had, like money.

Like most people, I got thinking about the money I could save not going into work every day, between diesel, lunchtime visits to Primark and snacks out of the café up the street. I was sure I would be quids in.

And, the first months, I really noticed a difference because suddenly, at the end of each month I wasn't absolutely broke.

Whilst I wasn't exactly rolling in it, I did notice that I had a little left over and it was a nice feeling.

But I don't know what happened next.

This week, while doing a bit of a clear out in our room, I found no fewer than five new handbags bought during lockdown.

I have not used one of them and all are still in their packaging.

Clearly, I had forgotten all about them.

I sat down on the bed and held my head in dismay - why did I buy all of these handbags?

When on earth am I going to use them?

In the same storage chest I also found a new hair brush, which, according to the advert was meant to refresh my scalp in the shower - it didn't.

Next was a box containing a shampoo and conditioner which I was told by countless celebrities would transform my hair - nope - and don't even get me started on the new moisturiser I bought myself because my skin was getting so dry from being indoors so much. Useless.

There were also the fancy plates I bought - when on earth am I ever going to use them? - and the new spanx-style shorts so I don't look so awful in a dress.

I should point out, I'm not sure if I will ever wear a dress again as I live in jeans now.

Oh, let's not forget the ruby ring and earrings set I just "had to have" - never worn and let's be honest, they don't exactly go with lounge-wear.

Suffice to say, my room is full of foolish lockdown purchases.

Obviously, I have been at home, working on the computer and during lunch breaks, unable to turn to a colleague for a chat about Love Island, I have soothed myself with some online shopping.

I love nothing more than pulling into the driveway and seeing little packages piled up on the doorstep.

One thing I know for sure is, I clearly have no self discipline.

I just hope someone, somewhere has learned some lessons from this lockdown because according to my bank account, I have learned absolutely zero, much like my current balance.


Is it just me or have TV bosses totally lost the reality show plot?

Did anyone else tune in to watch Channel 4's newest offering, Strangers Making Babies this week?

The programme features a group of single, would-be parents looking for a platonic partner to have a baby with, without the complication of finding love first.

The four-part documentary will see the singletons guided by fertility specialist Dr Marie Wren and matchmaking expert Gillian McCallum.

While it feels like reality TV is being pushed to its limits here, I understand that strong desire to be a parent.

I'm really torn on this one.


Hollywood is pulling out all the stops for this year's Oscars after announcing to nominees that it will be an `in-person' event.

In a letter, the show's producers said they have gone to "great lengths to provide a safe and enjoyable evening for all of you in person".

Those who have been nominated at the awards, which are due to take place in Los Angeles next month, have been told that for anyone "unable to attend because of scheduling or continued uneasiness about travelling", Zoom will "not be an option".

It added: "We are going to great lengths to provide a safe and enjoyable evening for all of you in person, as well as for all the millions of film fans around the world, and we feel the virtual thing will diminish those efforts."

All of this sounds pretty good but the bit I love the most is that producers have also asked nominees not to be casually dressed - oh dear.

"We're aiming for a fusion of inspirational and aspirational, which in actual words means formal is totally cool if you want to go there, but casual is really not".

Well, now I'm really excited for the ceremony knowing that my favourite stars will be there.

My money is on the wonderful Olivia Colman, who has been nominated in the Best Actress in a Supporting Role category for The Father.

Can't wait.

**Competitions will return in the coming weeks

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