#LockdownHabits, Skills Exchange and he who shall not be named - 01/045/2020

Clarke's comment

As we settle into our sixth week of lockdown, many of us are developing new routines, rediscovering old skills and adjusting to an entirely new pace of life. Whilst everyone's experience is different, what is clear is that we will all enter the post-Covid world with a new perspective.

To focus on the positives, many of us without young children at home will have had more time to think, to make plans, to reflect and perhaps gain a bit of perspective. 'Mindfulness' is one of those new terms which always seemed slightly annoying, but which probably defines the way many people are experiencing the lockdown.

Last week I asked my friends what the oddest habits they'd developed were. I was heartened to discover that I was not the only one becoming slightly eccentric. Comments included:

"I haven't worn a bra in five weeks and I'm not sure I can ever go back."

"I watched the seven 'original' Police Academy movies. So bad they are good."

"I have two collared shirts sitting next to my work station at home. I put them on before work meetings where I’m required to be on camera. I haven’t washed them in five weeks."

"I’ve made acetone.. completely homemade. And I made malt liquor using my saliva as a starter of fermentation and got drunk on it... really bad idea."

Any blushes of recognition here? Feel free to share your anonymous #LockdownHabits for next week's briefing.

Also, the Renew Skills Exchange is up and running (see below) and we already have some excellent free skills offered, including life-coaching, meditation and guitar and maths tuition. Please keep your offers coming and let's see if we can't make a real success of this.

In the outside world we have learned that D**inic C***ings did indeed attend the SAGE meetings and, in fact, was reported to be an active participant.

This, whilst not surprising, is scandalous and gives the lie to the oft-repeated 'We are led by the science'. It is becoming obvious that all major decisions are now being made by a small coterie of Brexiteers, which cannot bode well for the health of our democracy.

Similarly, it appears that No.10 is now pursuing the Trumpian tactic of attempting to undermine our independent media, albeit in a rather embarrassing manner. The claim that 'faith in the media has collapsed' was swiftly and thoroughly debunked by an IpsosMORI poll on Wednesday. Still, these attempts to evade oversight must be called out for what they are, a deeply worrying shift to a populist narrative.

I trust everyone is staying healthy and active, please join our weekly zoom calls, pub quiz and Facebook Live events and tell us your lockdown experiences.

Renew Skills Exchange

The Renew Skills Exchange page is live!


This is a space for Renewers to exchange skills, whether you want to learn guitar or you're desperate to walk the Welsh countryside when this is over and you need some tips, you can find it here.


This is something we want to continue to grow, so rack your brains and think of how you might help out your fellow supporter and e-mail [email protected] with the skill you'd be prepared to share. We will share these on the website. If you want to take someone up on their skill, contact us, and we can put you in touch with them.


Here are a few examples of various skills you might offer:


  • Language learning
  • Music lessons
  • Careers advice
  • Painting (oil as well as living room)
  • IT help (turn it off and on again)
  • Legal tips
  • Accounting help
  • Property sales and rental advice
  • How to sell vanilla pods
  • DIY/Decorating (online and IRL)
  • Gardening (as above)
  • Cookery
  • Travel tips
  • Life-hacks
  • Shopping tips
  • Holiday homes
  • Vehicle or equipment borrowing
  • Money-saving tips
  • Business admin
  • Photography lessons
  • Online research
  • Insurance tips
  • Driving lessons
  • Dating advice

(Virtual) Events

Facebook Live, Tuesdays, 7 pm:

Your weekly update on all things Renew, hosted by Renew HQ and our members! Get to know our Renewers and ask us your burning questions. If you want to host one of these events, or you have any questions, email David.

Catch-up on any you've missed on our Facebook page.

Zoom, Thursdays:

Every week we host an informal, open Zoom chat in order to check-in and catch-up with our supporters. Next week Dan James is hosting one of his infamous Zoom quizzes. For the meeting ID and password, make sure to check our Twitter and Facebook pages.

Are our events at a bad time for you? Let us know when is best!

Digital Democracy

Remember: our 2020 strategy on Digital Democracy is open to everyone, including non-members, you just need to log in via your Facebook or Twitter account.

Members, as usual, have exclusive access to the full Digital Democracy platform.

Please keep submitting your policy suggestions!

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