Close your eyes
Imagine you’re stuck at home with limited social contact and a lingering sense of dread filled boredom.
That was easy.
This has got to be the first time in history where we can save the human race literally by doing nothing. Also kind of frustrating.
Within every inconvenience is an opportunity. Think of all those ideas buried somewhere deep in your brain or in a long forgotten note on your phone that got pushed to the side by the promise of a cold beer on a canal-side terrace. Now is your chance to make them happen.
If you need a little inspiration to get the creative juices flowing, read on for 5 things to do in quarantine.
#1 Make shakshouka
Mornings have slower pace these days. Rather than having to shovel down cereal whilst steering your bike through the traffic, we can breathe a little and make something to really see you through the day.
Shakshouka is soul food: vegetarian (and still delicious vegan if you minus the eggs), packed with flavour and nutrition, and easy to make. Most of the ingredients are long life and cheap. Plus, if you’re not going to see anyone new that day (of course you aren’t) there’s no need to hold back on the garlic or wash off the inevitable red stains you’ll acquire from an enthusiastic stirring technique.
Try this recipe from Felicity Cloake of The Guardian. It took around half an hour of attention, plus half an hour to leave it bubbling away.
#2 Push ups
It’s still touch and go whether we’re going to see much of summer from the right side of our window panes. But, we should prepare for the best in any case. Why not get working on that summer bod?
You might not be able to impress whomever you’re attracted to, but at least you can wink cheekily at the mirror, aimlessly move heavy furniture around your house, and walk up and down by the windows swinging your arms to the envy of the neighbours.
#3 Message old crushes
Corona has given the world a colossal shakeup. Lots of social rules that appeared rigid have crumbled to dust in a matter of days. I’m not sure how long this will last, but for now it’s officially acceptable to message anyone in your contacts. Ex piano teachers, that lovely boy who stacks aubergines at Albert Heijn, the girl from tinder you took axe throwing before it mysteriously fizzled out – fair game, one and all.
Corona means we all have something in common. We’re all engaged in a mutual effort against a common enemy. So at the very least we always have something to talk about. It’s like the supercharged version of the weather.
Which one of these has the greatest potential for a reply or a follow up conversation?
You guessed it. Messages about corona to people you’ve fallen out of touch with are 75% more likely to be answered.*
Okay, so maybe it will just be a nice chat, but maybe you’ll reignite the flames of lust. Who knows, it might lead to a headphones worthy skype call…
*statistics made up
#4 Coffee eight ways
It’s times like these we need to add creativity to your daily routine. Integrating these little bonuses is much easier than sitting down and writing a play. You’ll get there, but baby steps. Most offices are approximately 40% fuelled by coffee. Presumably this figure is the same or even higher in our home work environments.
Why not mark different points in the day with different coffee making devices? You could start with some basic bitch nespresso, take a sexy aero press at 11, whip out the chemex before lunch, perk up afterwards with the cafetière, turn up the heat with a moka pot, and then rely on Senseo pods to see you through the home straight.
You’ll find you don’t even need a clock any more – after all, time is relative, and a coffee device is just as effective as any watch.
#5 Write a letter
We’re pretty much confined to virtual encounters these days. And we should be grateful for our ability to reach nearly anyone on the planet instantaneously. And yet, there’s no replacement for physical proximity. Okay, so we can’t do that right now, but a letter goes some way.
There’s something special about holding the same piece of paper your recipient will. And it changes how you communicate. There’s a big movement of ‘slow –’ things these days. Slow food, slow coffee, slow travel. Why not slow communication? When you put something down on paper you write differently and you feel a different form of connection to the person who’ll read it even before it’s sent. Try it out and see what you think.
Don’t have anyone to write to? Why not drop a line to your favourite author or scientist (preferably living, but writing to the dead has a certain macabre attraction).
Oh and remember, paper can carry the virus so I suggest you leave it to stew for a couple of days before sending and use slow mail.
Stay tuned for the next edition of 5 things to do in quarantine!