Day One

Outside my window
Outside my window

Today is the first day of a new reality. Pre-empting the government’s advice, we have decided to self-isolate. We are in the right demographic for higher risk and Mike has some health issues, besides being male, which would make get the corona virus more dangerous for him.

So here we are, he in his office, working on his data base and me in mine, slightly late with my weekly blog which I try to post on a Sunday. At the moment this all feels quite normal, but instead of going out this afternoon to my Monday session with the drama group I volunteer with I’ll be still at home.

There’s no point in Mike staying in while I carry on with seeing people, taking part in my usual activities, travelling on buses and trains, fighting my way through the queues at supermarkets etc. etc. Of course I would wash my hands and make sure I don’t touch my face and do my best to keep away from anyone with a cough, but I could, if I were very, very unlucky come into contact with someone who might be infectious without even knowing they were ill. In any event it’s better all round if we’re both doing the same thing and we’ll be giving each other moral support.

Of course this self-isolation has its challenges−and its good points.

Not going out seems fine for a day or two, but the prospect for any length of time is a bit daunting. If I think about it too much I can almost feel the walls closing in. So I don’t think about it, or at least focus on having more time to do the garden, which is crying out for attention. Then there is the possibility of going for clandestine walks around the Oval when no one else is about. The image of skulking along the road, looking over my shoulder for any human being I might encounter and hurrying away if I do is already making me smile. Should I keep my hat pulled low over my eyes? Wear dark glasses and a scarf over my mouth? Dare I go out in daylight hours, or should I choose my time when the moon is up and the vixen is calling?

Yes we do live in the middle of the city, but somewhere around here there is a foxes’ den and in the spring, around about mid-night we often see a vixen sitting in the middle of the road making plain that she’s on Vulpine Tinder.

Lack of socialising won’t be fun, but there is social media, phones, Skype etc and I might end up talking to family and friends far more often than I do.

The up-side of staying at home is that there will be loads and loads of time to write. In four months!! I reckon I could write a couple of book…well maybe, or maybe not. I don’t work that fast, so I might have to limit myself to an edit of the latest WIP and a few short stories. I could also review some of my children’s books, like the Dragonfire Trilogy, that could do with a re-vamp.

I could also finally, finally try out the “How to Draw” book I bought about two years ago. I could sort out my wardrobe and my in-tray. I could delete the hundreds of e-mails I’m keeping for no good reason, tidy my office and deep clean the house−park that one, life’s too short.

What I will be doing is to read more books and make an effort to review them; catch up on all the films we’ve got waiting to be seen, or programmes I’ve recorded or want to watch on i-player. Then there is music to listen to and before I forget it’s time to get those seeds sown.

It will be interesting to see how much I’ll actually get done and whether my life will change in any significant way having gone through this process. Whatever happens, I’m going to keep up my Pandemic Diary, so you’ll be able to monitor my progress.







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