Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Staying at home: a guide to enjoying isolation

I know when to go out
And when to stay in
Get things done
– David Bowie, Modern Love

Apart from the imminent collapse of capitalism, the cancellation of Eastenders and the possible salvation of the environment, it’s hard to find much positivity around the coronavirus. Luckily, if you’re self-isolating or on lockdown, here’s some handy hints on staying in and having fun. I am never, ever bored at home – only at work. Home is the most exciting place, ever – it's also where the heart is; it's your refuge and safe place.

Imagine, if you like, it’s that wonderful time after Christmas and between New Year, when people are away, streets are empty, there's no work, you've stocked up on food for the holidays, the kids are at home...

Start a hobby
I am always working on a project of some sort – I’ve been doing a photography one for the past year, now in the post-production stage so I do it at home. I also draw, paint, design, and edit videos. Oh yeah, I write too, like this blog.

Learn something new
Mandolin or the violin.

Embrace chores
Ironing is fun.

Time for a spring clean
It is spring after all.

Plant a vegetable garden
If you’re lucky enough to have a garden, it’s time to ditch your pointless, perfect lawn, and plant some fruit and vegetables. You may have noticed there's none in the supermarkets any more. 

Cooking and baking
Proper cooking and baking take time. No need now to survive on microwave meals and Sainsbury's Meal Deals. Go on, make an effort, they'll taste so much better than anything the supermarkets can offer. Homemade bread is another experience compared to a pappy loaf of Hovis or Warburtons. 

Quality time with the family
You spend eight hours a day pointlessly working in a sterile office with people you, at best, feel absolutely nothing towards; at worst, actively despise. Presumably you love your spouse and children and want to spend more time with them!

N.B. If you don’t have a family or a partner, get a pet or even a plant. 

Board games, cards and jigsaws
Get out those 20th century games and try some actual, real interaction.

If it all gets too real, nap. It's a great way to break up the day. Read my top five here.

Read some proper books
I recommend 19th century Russian literature greats like Gogol, Chekhov and Dostoyevsky.

Watch some proper films
Start with some great directors like Bergman, Bunuel, Hitchcock, Tarkovsky, Godard and Fassbinder; work your way through their oeuvres. Discuss them over dinner.

If you've no time to do any of these because you've got to work at home, ignore the above. You have my sympathies.

Previously on Barnflakes:
Armchair atlases
The top 100 films
The top 100 books
Start of Basic Income for the Finnish 
The dream of basic income for everyone
Don't become a graphic designer
Wasting time
In terms of moving forward 
Just a quick one
Four-day working week
Introverts vs extroverts
'In terms of' overtakes 'literally'
London Bridge Lunches
The Metros
Email étiquette
I'm literally not being funny but let me ask you a question
Aspire to be average
The Offensive Office
Top ten film directors

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