It was impossible not to enjoy the period of enforced holiday that the COVID-19 lockdown brought earlier this year. During my 8 years as a criminal barrister, having a work-life balance was a comically distant dream that I would promise myself, ‘as soon as I have finished this case’.
I relished the opportunity to spend days reading, sleeping and eating my body weight in banana bread whilst sniggering at my husband who had to work from home. I was not at all gracious in celebrating my life of leisure. Lockdown gave us all an opportunity to take stock and make wild plans for constraining this painfully addictive job to acceptable office hours. The proof would be in the pudding.
As impending financial ruin started peering at me from around the corner, the courts thankfully reopened and trials started being heard. My promises of shorter working days and a zen-like balance to my life and work were sharply elbowed out of the way as I watched a jury enter the court room for the first time in 6 months. The excitement and adrenaline kicked in and I was greeted by the familiar feeling of truly wanting to fight.
I had missed every aspect of being at court. From donning my wig, gown and a beautifully crisp and carefully made new collarette (thank you very much Ivy and Normanton) to visiting my client in the cells after a long hearing, it feels wonderful to be back.
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