• neil

Day 5 (22 March): One man’s experience of baked beans, knitting and climbing the walls.

Today, having done the washing, dried the clothes, and piled them un-ironed at the back of my bedroom cupboard I suddenly realised there was nothing left on my “To Do” list. We are all going to need To Do lists to keep from going nutty or turning into vegetables. And now…. Mine was running on empty. But, in a flash of inspiration, I thought I could while away the odd hour or two and reach out to my friends. Hence….”The Insulation Report”.

“Clearly”, you say to yourself, “he means the ‘Isolation Report’ ” and perhaps I do. Languages are full of false friends. Insolation and isolation get confused when translated between English and French. To the extent that I am no longer completely sure which one I should be using. This is orders of magnitude less embarrassing than when I informed French colleagues that I try to avoid food containing preservatives. In French this refers to condoms. And everybody I was addressing shared the same aversion. So, let’s have to it. Isolation.

It lets you catch up on world events. And I don’t mean virus related stuff. I’m looking once a day at that. Get the data. Register the data. Change behaviour in conformity with current best practice and regulations. Enough. I mean the other stuff which slipped under the radar such as the death of Kenny Rogers. In general I only find out who these stars were and what they did after they die. I suppose he was the singing cowboy. Or perhaps that was Roy Rogers. Too late now to ask him if he has a horse called Trigger.

My To Do List • Meditation - 30 minutes (Headspace app or other) • Exercise - alternating on a daily basis between walking the dog 1 hour and running with the dog 1 hour • French and Dutch language lessons (30 - 40 minutes each on the Duolingo app) • House maintenance - clean two rooms each day plus a clothes wash once per week. With the arrival of warmer weather add weekly grass cutting • Yoga - 20 to 40 minutes (Daily Yoga App) • Bandage head - 10 minutes (after falling over during yoga) • Chill time (evening) An hour of reading/ a Netflix programme/a glass of red wine

Clearly there is always something else which gets added such as going shopping or preparing roadkill for the freezer. In addition there are the occasional bees in the bonnet. Or there would be if the weather were warm enough and I had a bonnet. Today I ordered a skipping rope. If the lock down becomes stricter I can look at it and think “I’ll start training with that tomorrow”. I also bought a beginners knitting kit. I have heard from an unimpeachable source called Mum that knitting is very therapeutic. So now I have to buy a dictionary as well. I have drawn the line at buying a one thousand piece jigsaw as it would bring out all my locked down OCD and I would spend my time, not putting it together, but counting the pieces just so I could say “Aha! Only 987. The buggers!” Oh, I nearly forget. At the end of each day, just before going to bed, I write my “Satisfactions”. Three things I appreciate about myself and three things I am grateful for in life. I don’t know if it makes me any happier. But it does fill in ten minutes. Keep connected with those you love and if you want a hat like this place your order now!



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