Returned from another break

I have sheepishly returned to post another blog passage after an embarrassing absence of over a week. Now to begin excuses. I got caught up with work and other duties but it feels good to be back writing utter nonsense. Since my last post, I have now downloaded House Party, the app to stay connected with friends through locking fake rooms and playing games. As well as keeping up with the gossip of people’s riveting social lives and drinking a bottle of Peroni on the floor while balancing the phone on my bed, I have also discovered that I am terrible at drawing.

Pros from this situation and the last week in isolation are highlighted below;

  • I baked! I never normally bake anything and my first attempt at banana muffins was a success. I sat on a pouffe and stared at the oven proudly watching them rise. I felt like I was on the Bake Off but then remember I don’t have anything else to do.
  • I wrote a song! As expected, this song was inspired by isolation. Though it has been years since my last song, I am pleased that my songwriting topics have developed from incompatible relationships with idiots to staying at home with too many thoughts racing through my head.
  • Exercise. I am walking every day in my lunch break to explore the fields and woodland in the area and running for 20 minutes in the garden after work finishes. I think the restriction of exercise has really motivated me to actually do some.

Below are the cons of the last week in isolation;

  • I am beginning to look more and more like a scarecrow every day. If they decide to host an infamous scarecrow contest in the village, I should just shortlist myself.
  • I keep dreaming about being in Nando’s and I am a vegetarian
  • I am talking to myself more and more every day. I think I am funny.
Baked goods

Isolating in Dorset

I haven’t been too active on my blog recently; I am just processing everything that is going on in the world. Or maybe I am just a procrastinator who starts too many projects and forgets to fulfil them for more than three days? Who knows. I made a big decision yesterday. With news all over the media of an impending lockdown, I decided for my sanity to be picked up and stay with my family and reside in a village between Devon and Dorset.

Everything in the village is a lot slower than London normally so I think my anxiety has definitely decreased. There’s only one pub here so I am doubtful there was a real buzz pre-lockdown. I imagine the biggest drama was the vicar and the baker getting lairy from a couple of Otter Pale Ales. That is the local beer around this area so I’ve heard. There aren’t many otters though.

It’s refreshing to hear the songbirds tweeting and a view of the rolling hills from my window as I work in my room and pretend I do not have tangled hair on the 9am Zoom video meeting. I have also decided to work out every day in the garden for half an hour. I hope to no longer deal with sinister cats with no tails judging my performance. Perhaps just small birds concerned for my welfare?

I appreciate everyone is going through the same thing right now and each day is becoming more surreal. I hope that we can all find an outlet to distract ourselves. Spring has arrived and the sun is out which I hope is lifting people’s spirits. The British weather has really backed us through this situation which is great news and there isn’t a storm whatever we are on in sight!

Solitary walks and becoming jealous of pigeons.

I’m aware I took a hiatus for a day so apologies. To be honest, I was incredibly hungover and was too busy wallowing in self pity and my creative drive had completely evaporated.

Nevertheless, I’m back as bright eyed and bushy tailed as ever. On the Friday me and my housemates (who I’ve been in isolation with for 5 days) ordered a Chinese, drank Prosecco and played a card game which involved looking at pictures on a card and shouting things such as ‘ghost’ and ‘weird green thing’ before the opposition does. Sounds simple right? Wrong. I found out that I am terrible at shouting colourful objects and have a delayed reaction of about two minutes. It was very entertaining though and it felt like a normal evening despite the big news of everything closing down.

Today I went for a nifty self isolation walk. I’m privileged to live in London and have a lovely woodland area on my doorstep. It was eerily quiet and I walked past a couple of creepy signs saying ‘this is the end’ that someone had dramatically added to a lifeboat sign. I’m pleased this social distancing is bringing out creativity in people even if it is terrifying. I actually felt jealous of all the pigeons and ducks who were closely loitering around together. I never thought I would see the day.

My best tip today is appreciate the sunshine in any anti social way you can. Whether it be reading a book in the garden or going for a walk in a quiet area. I feel like my well-being has gone up as I aborted my daily mission of hunting for any eggs and pasta in Tesco Extra.

Day 2 – Technology

From video calls at work to virtual dates

Every morning at 9am I am now expected to video chat with my team at work. No big deal right? Wrong. I run around for ten minutes before the call flustered and aware that I cannot look like a docile gremlin and that I look about 12 years old without mascara. Although chaotic, it really pushes me to actually look like a normal human being which I am grateful for. It is nice to see familiar faces in this situation and it does put me in a good mood to positively start my day. My advice would be to continue getting dressed, putting some makeup on (if you like makeup) and a brush through your hair. It really does add to wellbeing and feeling in control of your day and your objectives.

In non-related work news, I had my first virtual date on Skype! In a world of new age technology, I did not expect this to be a thing but it works. My date was with a man with a beard who I had met on two occasions before social distancing was a thing. After two dates, I felt like I wanted to see him again but obviously it’s very early days.  I was unsure what to expect but I would really recommend to people who are in the early stages on dating. As I drank my wine on a chair and he drank his beer a lot of light-hearted questions were exchanged. He played some bluesey guitar for me which was incredibly calm and relaxing and I told him about a story I was writing. It really was a great way to connect with someone, and though we could not have any physical contact, it means relying completely on conversation. It was also nice to chat about other topics excluding Corona Virus, as I feel like 95% of my chats revolve around this topic. In summary, get yourself on Skype and enjoy the charms of chatting freely with friends or a new date.

Fresh Michelle
Gremlin Michelle

Day One in Isolation

So I am trying to get through this situation as best as I can – through white wine, baby bells and Cuppa Soups. I never knew I would get so excited about the prospect of Minestrone in a mug, but yes, it’s happened. I feel like perhaps this time of isolation and ambiguity is an opportunity for me to write and become in touch with my feelings. This sounds a bit dramatic, but my only other options are to watch the feral cats in the neighbourhood scurry around our garden in glee that we can’t tell them to piss off. Yesterday I tried to tackle my bored behaviour into exercise, so I went into the backyard and borrowed my housemate’s skipping role. I was aware that I looked like a twat. I felt free and at peace for the first time in the day. I could feel my heart rate increase and I was happy to feel anything but sluggishness. Unfortunately, one of the beasts decided to frantically climb onto the fence and watch me with a menacing, insidious glare.  I felt violated and uncomfortable so I went back into isolation.   

Isolation is a way to know ourselves

Franz Kafka