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

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

Reading Time: 9 minutes

There is so much quality theatre available online for free right now that I am struggling to keep up. Birds are singing in the streets, which are quiet and relatively car-free and the air is cleaner, which is glorious.  I have lots of writing plans this week. The Celeraic seeds have just sprouted and I am really beginning to wish that we will not have to go back to ‘normal’.

Quarantine Day 36:

Monday 27 April 2020

On today’s walk I noticed lots of crap outside people’s houses, in front gardens or left out on the pavement for others to take away. I have my own bag of crap that has been sitting in my living room, ready to go to the charity shop since before the lockdown, so I have all the sympathies. But more patience, apparently.

For someone who has played so many video games, sonface is highly unappreciative of my providing a musical accompaniment on our walks. It’s not as if I were singing any old tat. I was humming ‘I Don’t Want to Set the World on Fire’ which is currently one of my personal favourites whilst wandering the Norwich Pandemic wastelands. With ‘It’s the End of the World as we Know it’ coming in at a close second. Sonface requested a volume reduction.

Walked up Gas Hill. There was a crazy person running up it. Getting to the top, walking back down and then running back up it again. Suspect he was trying to collect all the marbles he had lost.

Wandered through Lion Wood, where the old Trim Track used to be. But no lions. Not that I ever saw anyway. Lucky really. If there had been Lions in Lion Wood, I would never have made it to my teens. The wood has steps now. Pretty sure they never used to be there. There shouldn’t be steps in woods. If I wanted to get breathless climbing up steps, I could’ve walked up and down the Mile Cross tower block.

Was nice walking through in spring. My grandad used to take me for walks all around there and we would pick bluebells for my nanny. There were lots of fallen trees that were fun to stand on. I would’ve loved finding those when I was ickle. I know this for a dead cert because the ‘now version of me’ loves it too. The park is all but empty now. Killer rocking horse, concrete tunnel, pulley, all just ghosts. Tennis courts gone. Cricket pitch a field of daisies. So many daisies.

Saw a deer standing on a wall above the carpark of Chalk House Hill on Rosary Road. It didn’t spot us. It was too busy chomping on something to notice or care. I like this lockdown. I’ve now seen more deer in Norwich in a fortnight, than I had previously seen in my lifetime. Which, up until now, has been quite long.

Quarantine Day 37

Tuesday 28 April 2020

In the beforetime I was trying to stop using plastic sponges. Scrubbies are little washing rectangles of hessian and cloth that, once they have been used to destruction, can be thrown straight into the compost bin.

I didn’t think I could buy them during Coronapocoplyse, but they are still available. I was so happy that I didn’t have to go back to using dirty, little, plastic scrubbers, that I was more than a little excited when they arrived in the post. Even the packaging was all environmentally friendly and they had a smiley face on the packet #Rule32

This morning we did show and tell in writing class. No seriously! I took a pine cone to writing class to talk about as my significant object. I collected pinecones with sonface when he was ickle and still have our cones that we covered in glitter for Christmas. The cone this morning was one was that offspring’s offspring had painted all different colours. So, for me they are kind of a bridge across generations. I also love the connection between Fibonacci’s sequence and spirals of growth in nature. And I always regret not bringing one I found in Italy back home with me. It was HUGE!

This evening I haunted Microsoft Teams like a poltergeist. I could see in, and hear everyone. I could even draw on the whiteboard, but nobody knew I was there and that it was me. No idea what was going on and why it wasn’t working. Did a test call with Chinese teacher after class and everything worked fine. Glad I’m not dead.

I don’t want to get too comfortable with conferencing at home. I saw the Health and Social Services minister saying ‘What the f**k is the matter with her?’ not realising his mic was still on at the end of their virtual Welsh Assembly session, and I thought, Yep, at some point, that’ll be me. With all the online meetings now, it’s only a matter of time before I forget to mute myself and call my noisy neighbours ‘&#@?s’ in the middle of a call.

Quarantine Day 38

Wednesday 29 April 2020

Today was writingful. I don’t really ‘do’ poetry so having to write a poem this morning in class, in five minutes, that had to include the words ‘balloon, hamster and desert was… um… yeah… challenging… I think I might have just about pulled it off… ish.

For homework, we had to write a list of postive and negative things, about being in the Coronapocolypse. Already finished it. Positive list is very long, but full of things relating to nature, absence of noise and free stuff.. Whilst the negative list contains issues of greater significance, such as death, it is considerably shorter.

In the other writing class I have to pick my favourite tree for next week I can’t decide something as important as that. That’s like asking me, what is my favourite cat. ALLOFTHECATS! Actually… maybe not so great a comparison, because obviously cat-face is my current favourite cat, but you know what I mean. Maybe if I had a pet tree, I would be able to make a firm decision.

Was weird doing the Aldi veg run this afternoon. If it wasn’t for the short queue outside and facemasks, it would have felt almost normal. The car park had reverted to crazy-busy and no one inside seemed to be bothering with social distancing. Was glad to get out asap. Got most of the veg I needed… and a set of enamel cooking tins… and nest of storage boxes. wtaf!

Managed to get five pages of handwritten play notes done during the evening Writer’s salon. The stuff I got out is messy and sporadic, wth lots of scribblings out. Maybe because evening salon involved wine, unlike the morning salon coffee. But still, it’s five more pages of dialogue than I started with. So yay!

Bonus Coronapocolypse joy…  (From ‘Shut Up and Write’ Yesterday)

Have a new favourite webpage, courtesty of one of the writing groups. A website of ambient sounds, such as sea, wind and rain, café noises, forest, garden, waterfalls. Each soundscape page has sliders so you can vary the individual component sounds.

So, if you want less water flowing and more bird songs, more tweeting and less cuckoo, you got it. It’s awesome. Currently listening to Primeaval Forest. It’s going to make writing and working from home infinitely less stressful. I love that it’s called ‘My Noise’ considering I’m listening to it to drown out the ‘other noise’ of my neighbours It really is handly. I must remember to add it to my resource page.

Quarantine Day 39

Thursday 30 April 2020

Was woken up by a cacophony of birds this morning. Not sure if this is Coronapocolypse related or just springtime, springing at maximum volume. Individually the birds would probably sound lovely, but all at once, at 4:30 in the morning, to a ‘wanting to go back to sleep’ me, they sounded like a school orchestra tuning up. A bad school orchestra, the first practice back after the school holidays.

A bird returned later this afternoon to gloat at my sleepy face. Not sure if it was a female blackbird or a thrush. I was hopelessly suggesting to it, through glass and several meters of garden, that it was not a good idea to gobble down lunch as quickly as it was. I’m assuming birds can get indigestion. Worm burps? It could barely have had time to breath in between nomming whatever it was stuffing in its beakface. Looked like me during the first week of Lockdown.

Promised I’d create mini descendant a treasure map by tomorrow. This is the same person who, just a week ago, was still adamant she had no interest in DressLikeAPirateFriday. Now she wants treasure maps prepared to a deadline.

Turns out this is trickier than I thought it would be. Been at it for the last hour or so… And when I say ‘or so’ I mean possibly two… or more. Mostly because I’m too fussy to use lame clues and images I found and wanted to customise from scratch to make them funny. Well, funny if you’re seven. Thanks to Coronapocolypse, I have both time and creative/silly mood to complete it. Hopefully before the birds start up again.

Quarantine Day 40

Friday 01 May 2020

Day 40. Technically there are 40 days to a period of “Quarantine” by ye olde standards, so I am not quite sure what tomorrow will be exactly. I’ve kind of lost the plot now.

Newly promoted Captain arrived on time, all kitted out for DressLikeAPirateFriday, and sought out the treasure, as per instructions that were laboriously created in the wee hours of this morning. Mini descendant seemed to enjoy treasure hunt. So, it was all worth today’s sleepiness for a few minutes of morning happies. The treasure was ‘Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza’.

Sowed cornflowers and marigolds with offspring’s offspring. This meant disembarking from the ship and rowing to the island out back.  Mutinous Cat-face, who has now been renamed ‘Treasure’, rowed off in the laundry lifeboat.

Oh… yes. We have pirate names now.  Sonface is now. ‘Jim’. Granddaughter is now ‘Captain Cherry Silver Fox’ and yours truly, is ‘Loretto (The Siren)’. Catface is now ‘Treasure’.

I had to set sail for Anglia Scareland for supplies, which meant de-pirating to go incognito as a ‘normie’. Successfully returned from undercover quest with compost, herb seeds, bread rolls and, most importantly, grog respawn.

Sailing along Aylsham Road on the way home was horrible though. The car fumes in my throat and lungs were searing, after enjoying the respite of clean air and break from choking, city life. I do not like this slow, slippery slide, back down to ‘normality’.  If we could globally run out of petrol now, that would be ace.

Was hilarious watching Squishy hide behind her blankie tonight. Not because  watching Frankenstein’s monster was scaring her… she was lol’ing when he was initially created and flapping about like a fish… but because he shouted “P*ss off, bugger off!”  I told her it was “okay, because this is theatre, and culture, darling”.

Only halfway through – we are going to watch the rest tomorrow – but so far, I am preferring this swapover with Benedict Cumberbatch as ‘Dr Frankenstein’ and Johnny Lee Miller as ‘The Monster’.

Quarantine Day 41

Saturday 02 May 2020

Okay, yes, I know I said there were 40 days in a quarantine, but I don’t know what else to call it. Does it become a Cinquantine in 9 days?

Mini descendant and I watched the remainder of Frankenstein this afternoon. After saying she didn’t find the play scary in the slightest, she almost hit the ceiling when Elizabeth first met the Creature. That was hilarious. She said she liked the play and almost cried about William. Only criticism, besides not being impressed with the naughty words (I won’t be able to see a Dennis Kelly play with her any time soon), was the end. She wasn’t satisfied in the ending being left the way it was, although the way she so eloquently and succinctly described it was “Is that the end? I wanted to see them die”.

Just when I thought the lockdown could not get any better, today the news said… “Coronavirus: People urged to eat more steak, chips and cheese during lockdown”. I do not need much encouragement to eat steak and cheese. If anyone else is unable to take on this heavy burden, I would be willing to take their steaks too, to lay down my freezer space, even if it meant removing the spinach. It’s a sacrifice I am willing to make. For my people, for my country, for the world.

Neighbour was sitting out in the garden in the late afternoon, still in her nightdress. I mean really. Where is the civility. We might be in lockdown, but surely wellies are more suitable for the garden than ones night frillies. Yes, I was still in my pyjamas… but that was different. I was indoors, peeping out. Like a civilised person.

Quarantine Day 42

Sunday 03 May 2020

Ooops! Writing this backwards in time because I was up late last night. I started playing Fallout 4 and before I knew it, some kind of freaky, time-stretch had occurred and not only had I been cryogenically frozen in time inside the game, I had lost a few hours in real life too. 9pm had become 1am.

I had spent so long customising my character’s head, that I had only got as far as shooting up the museum in Concord by the time I noticed how sleepy I was.
So, I missed writing this update before the pumpkin hour and totally missed the Tesco midnight game of Delivery Slot Roulette.

I did get to see the in-game world blown to s****, giving me a brief moment to consider that I am safe at home, indulgently watching movies, playing games and drinking wine in my jammies. I took a moment of comfort that, with the sectionable fruitloops that are currently running our ‘in real life’ clusterf*** of a world, things could be much worse.

Not much to update though really, although I did set off the smoke alarm with my vacuum cleaner in the afternoon. Nanites have taken another casualty. Everyone in the house is alive and well, but the electronic goods are zooming up to silicon heaven at an alarming rate. Lucky that I don’t also need to spend money on paying rent, catching up on bills and eating… oh, wait…

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