Covid-19 Quarantine. Week Four. Still Alive – Marie Cooper

Actor’s Covid-19 Quarantine – Week Four – Still Alive

Reading Time: 8 minutes

I should have been in rehearsals for the next stage production this month. Also it’s becoming challenging to see how far I can stretch the last of the invoices from my pre-Coronapocolyspe assignments last month. No crisis help from the government in the UK for self-employed creative practitioners.

Quarantine Day 22:

Monday 13 April 2020 – Chocolate Tongue Juggling

Week four and it’s starting to show. If my life were a movie, today would mostly have been a montage of me sat at my table, on my sofa, on my bed, in the bath… With my book, with my laptop, with my phone, portraying the passage of time and that today mostly lacked substance and motivation.

As I found myself trying to see if I could flip a piece of chocolate over with my tongue and catch it again, I can sincerely say that I may have found my personal tipping point of being stuck indoors. I need offscreen stimuli.

Oh… and it doesn’t work by the way. I wouldn’t recommend it. You can’t get enough upward tongue momentum, and once I located the damp square, behind the table leg, I had to run it under the tap to remove the cat hair before I could eat it. What? I’m not going to waste gourmet chocolate when I would need to brave Externus Aegrotus to forage for more.

Might play a game of ‘Can I spot myself’ in ‘Raw Terror’ if I can find it online. I know it’s been released now.  I’m a CSI officer in one episode… but I don’t know which one. Haven’t told sonface yet because, if I can’t find it and my scene’s been cut, he’ll mock me for being like Joey Tribiani again.

I did clean out the kitchen cupboard and listen to the World Health Organisation do a Q&A. Incidently GB have plucked £200M from our money tree to give to the WHO, who thanked us for our genorosity. Strange, because the money tree is bare when it comes to helping self-employed creative practitioners who are trying to make their last paid invoices stretch to last out the Coronapocolypse.

Okay, I’m getting irritable. I think I need to take a walk tomorrow. **** the system! Maybe I’ll walk longer than an hour seeing as I haven’t been out for a few days. Maybe an hour and 5 minutes even.

Quarantine Day 23:

Tuesday 14 April 2020 – Zoom On, Zoom Off

Got up early, all motivated for writing class this morning… aaaaand there was a link problem. Scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could share via Zoom, they didn’t stop to think if they should. Anyway, I got bored waiting for them to sort it out and send over the working link, so I wandered out over to the barrens of Anglia Scare Land.

The queue to Iceland was half way around the thunderdome today. Okay, I can be a drama-queen, but I am not in any way exaggerating. People stood shuffling uncomfortably, from the door of the store, around “CoooDee” corner, alongside the Shoe-ting Zone all the way around, under the sheltered walkway, to where the Agent of News used to be.

If one more person had stood behind me, you would not have been able to tell where the Iceland queue finished and the Savers one began. Thankfully I was queuing in the latter in an attempt to respawn my dimished cleaning supplies. There is nothing in Iceland (unless they began giving away free meat ) that would make me wait that long to get in.

Binmen came today. A day later than usual. I got excited, (It doesn’t take much) and shouted to sonface, ‘Binmen have emptied the bin. We can get rid of the body now’. Just to keep the neighbours on their toes.

Had a Zoominar with Rory Sutherland, marketing dude. Painted my side table red. Bleached things. Sowed celeriac seeds into toilet roll tube seedling pots.

Quarantine Day 24:

Wednesday 15 April 2020 – Eleventyfivehundred

Catface has had (lost count) innumerable sleep-hugs today. I have spent so long in one spot, reading my book, that I am become ‘Cat Bed’. At hug number 5 he was snoring and preventing me from putting my sausages in the oven, delaying sustenance. He does not care. He is a cat.

Zipped through my Stephen King book in seven days. I think that’s the quickest I’ve read a book since my son was ickle. If the quarantine carries on, I might actually make my GoodReads Reading Challenge for the first year ever. Might not re-read the entire Dune Chronicles this year though. Don’t want to scupper my chances.

I find myself sympathetic for all the people from the before-time, struggling with so many of the ‘others’ being outside at the same time, getting too close or being too loud during the Coronapocolypse. This has been my norm of existence since forever. Wondering whether this will result in the after-time becoming more introvert-friendly. 

Gave my side table a second coat of paint and dragged it into the front room so I could shut the cat out, so he wouldn’t jump on it and leave paw prints all over the house. Whilst dragging the table from one room to the other, the plastic covering I used to protect the carpet came loose and the paint covered edges twisted. Spent 15 minutes on my hands and knees, Cinderella-scrubbing, what looked like trails of blood, off of the carpet.

I really should go for a walk tomorrow. But I said that yesterday. And the day before yesterday. And the day before that. I think I did go out once or twice, for something other than shopping. According to the new government counting system, I think that was over eleventyfivehundred days ago.

Quarantine Day 25

Thursday 16 April 2020 – Dangle Bells

I had a brief panic as I could neither find my shoes or remember where I had left them. Who needs shoes during the Coronapocolypse anyway? Shoes belong to the before-time.

Went for a wander around woodlands I’d never been to before, courtesy of Sonface Norwich Tours. Traversed a fallen tree across a tributary of the river Wensum. (Tributary… Is that the right word? I’m not hot on waterways teminology). Froze halfway across the trunk because I didn’t want to fall in. Wasn’t that bothered about getting soggy. I’m sure it would’ve been funny and the water would have soon evaporated in the warmth, but I am not so sure that the smell would have.

Whilst exploring we came across a teeny, tiny headstone surrounded in bluebells, in memory of ‘Punch’ who died on June 7th 1885 Aged 13… The grave of someone’s beloved dog? Cat? Horse? Wife-beating puppet? Why are bluebells called bluebells anyway? They most definitely have a resemblance to little, dangly bells but they look purple to me.

Much excites to read that lockdown has officially been extended for a further three weeks. No peopling for another three whole weeks. Squeeeee! That’s three extra weeks I can cram something productive in to, and pretend that I was busy beavering away this whole time.

I ran out of crisis gin today. It has lasted me this far, so I figure one more bottle should just about make it through another three weeks. I have 1/3 of a bottle of tonic, 3 frozen strawberries, half a bag of cherries and two lemons left too, so it would be a crime not to.

Celeriac seeds still aren’t growing. For the love of god, I sowed them two days ago. When are they going to be ready, already?

Quarantine Day 26:

Friday 17 April 2020 – Death by Chocolate

According to the BBC… yeah, I know, the British bullpoop corp, but it was morning, it had slipped, stealthily into my newsfeed and I hadn’t had two coffees yet.. “Police are advised not to intervene if people stop to rest or eat lunch while on a long walk, but short walks to sit on a park bench are not allowed” Insert your favourite wtaf meme here…

“Purchase of snacks and luxuries is still permitted,” But “people are not allowed to buy paint and brushes simply to redecorate a kitchen”. Phew! Damned lucky, I am just painting my study then. Wouldn’t want to have inadvertently become a friend of the Home Decorating Cartel.
Has anyone checked if the virus causes lesions to, or reduction in, brain function? Seems to be lots of anecdotal evidence in the news to suggest it might. May be worth a post-mortum peek. Just sayin’
Today was the second day in a row I’ve missed an early morning writing salon by sleeping through my alarm. Apparently, despite my extensive and expensive education I am still unable to work a ye olde, clock radio, wake-up device with clicky buttons and, more importantly… a wheel on the side for volume. Note to self ‘Come hither’ is quiet and ‘Roll Away’ is LOUD.

Asked Ashlie what her plan was for today. She said “Eat all the chocolate until we die, as we are going to die of Coronavirus anyway”. Brutal and pessimistic, but I like her thinking.

Dug over another bit of the garden, pulled up brambles. cleared the path of weeds and detritus, made a frog homeless… that was an accident. Garden is looking almost gardeny. Repotted some more houseplants and watched The Lego Batman Movie. btw, this wasn’t just ordinary repotting. This was hero-level repotting as I was leveling up the cacti pots. You don’t know pain until you’ve repotted cacti.

Quarantine Day 27

Saturday 18 April 2020 – Wash Day

When I woke up this morning, I took a moment to appreciate how lucky I am to have Sonface, Catface, Ashlie and Squeaky Wheel Bird in my life. It was easy when I wrote this. It was 7am and they were all still asleep.

Watched the ‘Fat Fiction’ movie last night. Watching stuff about the dangers of carbs/sugar to human metabolism and health is not soothing when I stuffed five Oreos and two kinds of chocolate into my face yesterday. I should probably stop using ‘it’s the end of the world, so I can eat ALL OF THE THINGS’ excuse now. It’s week four, I think I may have had ‘it’ and I’m nowhere near dead yet.

It was raining today. A perfect time to go for an exercise stroll because everyone was staying indoors, but I didn’t want to. It was raining.

Washing machine delivery came this morning. I watched things go around and around for more time than I care to confess. I was so happy to not have to stompwash clothes any more.

Muchly amused as catface sat beside my head on the bean bag, gripping my sleeve with his claw, as he watched the first duet between Christine and the Phantom. He wandered off during the segwey into the Music of the Night. Came back for ‘All I ask of You’. I think Catface enjoys listening to soprano.

Anyone in earshot this afternoonday (I’ve given up on days of the week. I know not where we are) has had to tolerate me breaking into singing “The Phaaaaaaantom of the op-er-ra is heeeeeeeeeere, insiiiiiide my miiiiiiiiiiiiiiiind. Both in-tune and not-so-much.

Yes, I should care about the neighbours, but they are noisy at the dead of night, so I am finding it infinitely difficult to give a flip. I’ve had to type ‘flip’ because Ashlie is reading this over my shoulder. She scolded me because she is cleverer than a velociraptor and knows I meant a word that is on her naughty word list.

Spent over £7 on cat litter and a carton of UHT milk at Spar which is a ripoff and flipping ridiculous. I’m expecting a delivery of cat litter and milk tomorrow anyhoo, but I needed an ‘essential shopping’ excuse to incidentally and spontaneously pick up some wine.


Quarantine Day 28:

Sunday 19 April 2020 –  Fires

The last day of week 4 has been a bit of a blur. Taken up by putting out all the little fires I have started around the house over the preceding weeks. Obviously metaphorical fires, representing all the little jobs I’ve started and not completed yet. Not real fires. I still have a camping stove to fall back on if Coronapocolypse things get that desperate.

I put my pictures back up on freshly painted walls. I have achieved an adulting badge today, even if I am yet to achieve a ‘Got dressed Every Day of the Week’ badge.

Today was exciting though. The magical Tesco van brought me infinite tomatoes. Well, more than two. Did I pay for these majestical fruits? I can’t remember. It’s been so long since I played the game of slots. It was waaaaay back when. During the toilet roll famine of March. The delivery man sounded very posh. Maybe I ordered from Waitrose by mistake.

Have a zoom meeting later in the week, so I’ve ordered a splitter for my external microphone. My laptop one is poop and no one can hear me. Wondering if it’s vain to re-dye my roots beforehand. I only usually do it before performances.

Seeing as the UK government has borked up the Coronapocolype… despite the fact we had the advantage of already being isolated, on an island, with a sea inbetween us and everyone else in the world… we are now all teeeeeeming with Covids. So sadly, I don’t think any public, theatrical, performances are going to be happening any time soon.
I guess I could go all sixities with a boho hairband, wear a hat, or maybe just leave the plaster across my laptop camera and pretend it isn’t working again.

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