The strangeness of lockdown has had many of us looking forward to the simplest of things: going for walks, cooking dinner at home or a video call with friends.
For Andrea Belcher, from Surrey, it’s her weekly venture out of the house to put the bins out that has kept her spirits up.
Every week since April last year, she has been donning an elaborate fancy dress costume for the trip – transforming into characters including Marge Simpson, Charlie Chaplin and Darth Vader – and sharing funny videos on social media.
It all started off when star Amanda Holden shared a photo of herself putting the bins out in a ball gown.
couple of my friends were just chatting about it… so we said ‘come on, let’s
all put our bins out in our ballgowns!'” Mrs Belcher told Sky News.
“I thought I was too embarrassed so one dark evening, as soon as everybody I knew was in, I put my bin out in a black, velvet off-the-shoulder ballgown.”
As she “sheepishly” took the bin out, her daughter Evie filmed it and the whole family had laughed – but it seemed to go down well.
The next week she found a Marge Simpson outfit in her dressing up box, and in the following weeks she dressed as Wilma Flintstone and a member of Abba, sharing her exploits on social media.
Before long, people started asking “what are you going to do next week?” and offering up their own fancy dress items.
“Before I knew it, I’d done about 20 weeks,” Mrs Belcher said.
The Surrey mum’s
zany outfits have also included Olaf from Frozen, Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz
(with her dog playing Toto) and a burglar (which involved Mrs Belcher
pretending to nick a bin).
One week, a friend lent her an inflatable T-rex costume and she walked down the path to the Jurassic Park theme tune.
Explaining why she has kept up the videos, Mrs Belcher said it is because “everything is a bit miserable at the moment”. “So it’s nice to have a little bit of silliness, a little bit of craziness, and to make people smile,” she added.