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

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

Reading Time: 9 minutes

Welcome to Week Ten of Coronapocolypse where, politically things really hit the fan. Turns out that whilst we were all huddled up staying at home, saving the NHS and saving lives, the feckers who run the country were just gallavanting around the country ignoring the rules. Which only apply to the rest of us apparently.  Unsurprisingly, the country is livid. No sign that Europe is going to come save us.

Quarantine Day 64

Monday 25 May 2020

Quarantine Day 64: Sent my 2019/20 tax return and my student loan deferment off yesterday. It was an hour or two of much sweariness, I confess, to be dealing with beforetime adulting. But that was a big relief to have it all over and done with.

Working through my script systematically from the start this morning with London Writer’s Salon went well-ish. I didn’t get far though. It’s surprising how quickly an hour zooms by when you’re working on something that actually matters.

Unlike when working for someone else in the before times. Where I started to become convinced that all employment venues involve entry through time expansion vestibules, that stretch each hour to double it’s original timeframe. Elongating time to drain as much out of employees as possible.

Implausible? Well you explain why one hour of work time feels like an entire afternoon compared to time at home doing real work…. Exactamundo!

Did a Journaling workshop with Writer’s HQ this morning too, that went surprisingly well. Surprising because writing has felt like my brain is encased in lead recently, not letting any ideas in or out. The prompts were just spot on, just what I needed and everything just flowed…  A lovely positive boost for the start of the week.

New CumGate, Coronapocolypse rules were announced this afternoon. Whatever you want to do is fine, as long as you think it’s reasonable…

Break the rules.

Get found out

Get away with it

I think I’m correct in interpreting the new rules correctly in that… ‘Everyone else must follow the rules… except for me because I can do whatever *I* want, as long as *I* think it’s okay and reasonable and I don’t tell anyone. Awesome!

As Boris announced that all ‘non-essential’ retailers will be able to re-open from 15 June, I panicked a little, as I am totally out of practice with acting as if I care about customers and their purchases. But!.. he contined…. whether this happens is “contingent on progress in the fight against Coronavirus”. Well, HOT DIGGITY DOG! The news just keeps getting better. When I’ve been wandering about, people are behaving as if nothing happened. Get ready for Lockdown Season 2: “68 Days Later”.

Quarantine Day 65

Tuesday 26 May 2020

Started my morning with a mahoosive panic as I woke up to find that Plusnet had cut my internet off. I had totes forgot to pay it. More important things had been on my mind like making sure I had food to eat and not dying, but the world goes on. Fixed now. Obviously.

Working through my script at London Writers Salon is feeling a bit like Tetris and a bit scary. Still not complete, but on reading through, I have inadvertently begun editing, which I said I would not do, not until I’d finished… Oops! Also been drastically changing the scene orders. I have noticed, and made note of, some extra snippets that I really need to add for clarity throughout and making sure it’s clear where scenes are set (if it isn’t already obvious).

Finally starting to feel as if I finally have a steady whip to get my characters in shape… famous last words. It is incredibly uplifting to hear everyone’s progress on their work every day, in the morning Zooming. Authors who have just finished their work. Even making dedications to London Writer’s Salon for helping them complete.

Facetimed for the first time ever today. It was weird, seeing the virtual face of a friend for the first time, since the beforetimes. Really lifted my spirits. Lovely to speak to someone real who isn’t family. Not that everyone I’ve spoken to isn’t real. Although, sometimes I do wonder about the cat. It’s just that everyone else I’ve spoken to, other than family and catface, have mostly been writers I’ve met since lockdown, delivery men, shop peeps or inanimate objects.

Good news! I got a random Covid-19 Council Tax present. One huge financial burden lifted. Extremely happy and grateful. Although slightly reticent to say that, just in case I get another bill tomorrow that says something completely different… again.

That’s it. Can’t think straight. Too hot. I have a hot water bottle on my lap. Not cold… Alleviating period pain. Also, self-medicating pain… with wine. Which isn’t working… Also, I need to take a few silly snapchats, before I fall asleep, to pester squish with tomorrow. Today I was mostly a non-growing carrot, a beefy meatball, Covid-19 and a yodelling beetroot.

Quarantine Day 66

Wednesday 27 May 2020

Had a lay-in, as it was midweek evening Writer’s Salon today. Made up for it by working hard on the script this afternoon. Hah! In your face early-morning proponents. I defo did more work today, for not being drowsy all day.

At a brain-meltingly painful stage now. Playing script Tetris. Moving scenes, messing up the timeline, re-jiggling it to make things fit, trying to fill in gaps. Spotting glaringly large plot holes and trying to fill them without fluffing it all up. Soooooo difficult *cries* Thankfully I have kept previous drafts in case I really bodge it. I can’t help feeling that I keep adding bits to the first half and am avoiding the end.

There is such a delay with my using DroidCam to run my phone as an external camera that this afternoon, I walked off to the bathroom, brushed my hair, sauntered back, only to find that, according to my camera, a messy-haired me was still sitting at my desk. I hope I don’t offend anyone on the Zoomings. I might seem as if I am laughing or scowling at the most inappropriate times.

Went to a Foraging for Food Workshop. Thought it can’t hurt to try to cut some costs, during the Coronapocolypse, by making the most of what is available about to eat for free. Trouble is, even after the hour talk, which was really interesting, I fear that I would probably pluck and eat the wrong things and poison myself.

Although one of the things they talked about was dandelion leaves. Have plenty of those little feckers growing in the garden. I don’t think I could run out of those, even if I tried to eat them daily. Especially the ones that have embedded themselves between the cracks in the garden path. I am sure that every time I do the weeding, they grow back overnight to spite me.

Got the urge to record a monologue self-tape, for when things start getting to a little bit closer to normality. I have indecision procrastination though. Last time I did an audition I searched for days trying to find one and even then, I wasn’t happy with it and screwed up the audition. So, rather than spend the next four hours until I fall unconscious, searching the internet, going to watch a movie instead.

Quarantine Day 67

Thursday 28 May 2020

The Government announced this afternoon that everyone now has permission to do what they have already been covertly doing since the sun came out. So, now everyone can pretend they weren’t seeing their friends and family, sneaking them into their back gardens, and going for walks and can actually now do it officially.

Now they just have to endeavour to pretend they are bothering with the two meters distance thing. Which they are not… as anyone who has left the house in the last two weeks, in Norwich, anyway, will have observed. Apparently, we are also now permitted to meet in groups of six. I hope that is optional. Otherwise, I’m not coming out… ever.

The beneficial thing… I mean, one of the squillions of beneficial things, about being an introvert in lockdown is, if I am asked, for Test’n’Trace purposes, I can easily tell who’ve I’ve seen for the past ten weeks.

I hope they don’t ask me to self-isolate even further though. Not sure how I could get anymore isolated without moving up into the loft crawlspace and living on spiders, moths and dandelion leaves. See, I knew that Foraging course could come in handy.

They played a ‘Test’n’Trace’ video in the daily update this evening… Well the audio to it anyway. The public could not view the visuals…. *facepalm* Sounds like they’ve either sloooooowed the sound doooooown so us plebs can understand the message, or they gave the woman who did the voice-over a few bevvies before they did the recording.

Almost finished making the amendments to the first half of my play, that never seems to end. Spent four and a half hours on it from 8am this morning to lunch. ****ing hell! That was ouchy and brutal. I cut a lot out. Not necessarily permanently. I just don’t think the bits I’ve cut are needed in the first half (if at all… Undecided) Still not 100% sure it flows okay, to someone who isn’t inside my head. Won’t worry about that until it’s finally done, and some poor bugger gets to read it and tell me if it makes any sense. All thanks to London Writer’s Salon. Meeting up for the Zoomings is helping me focus immensely.

Quarantine Day 68

Friday 29 May 2020

Tesco delivery still doesn’t come for another two weeks, so I had to risk an Aldi trip. If there are any Covids still riding the air, everyone had better put a few tins away in the cupboard and buckle up for the second wave because the store was heeeeavingly full and there was zero distancing going on.

I was just beginning to contemplate the effectiveness of using my wine bottle as a social distancing Cosh, when another of the tills opened up and I made a dash for it. I never usually do that, but I just wanted to get out of there as soon as possible.

I don’t want to get sick when I’m working on my play. If I haven’t had coronavirus yet, if I’m going to get sick, I’d rather it waits to surface until the week I am due to start back in retail.

For the Writer’s Salon, ‘Ship It’ Friday, I completed the first half of ‘the play that never seems to end’. Well, in so far as, my focus is purely on the second half now and I am going to try to avoid any looking back at it, other than check it’s working with the second. I am making first half off limits now, until the whole thing is complete, and I reach fade out. My heads spinning a bit. I worked on it from 8am to lunch time yesterday and cut quite a bit out.

Couldn’t really find anything theatrical to watch with Squish today. The choice seemed to be between Coriolanus, This House and Hairspray. I’ve seen Coriolanus and This House. I checked out Hairspray and, to be honest, from what I saw on YouTube, I think I would rather cover my head with honey and stick it in a murder hornet’s nest than sit through a couple of hours of that.

We had reading time instead though. Finally finished my book. Wasn’t all that impressed with it, so I ordered a Karen Miller book. Book one of the Tarnished Crown series, as I’ve never read a book of hers that I haven’t enjoyed as yet, and also the last of Brent Week’s Lightbringer series. Those should keep me out of mischief for a bit.


Quarantine Day 69

Saturday 30 May 2020

Day 69 *snigger* Read that some Tory MPs are calling for a change in the 2m social distancing rule. I was all, ‘HELL YEAH, MAKE IT 10’. But apparently, I jumped to the wrong conclusion, because they meant reducing it to 1.5m. **** that sideways! If covid-carriers are permitted to get that close to me, I can’t be held responsible if I project them further away from me with the closest, longest, pokiest thing to hand. Or foot, if it comes to it. Can we dual wield yet? Or is that only when the zombie apocolypse starts? Asking for a friend.

I reluctantly did boring adulting things today, for fear of the possibility of ‘semi-normality’ being forced upon me soonish, and my running out of time to get **** done. A couple of years ago I may have avoided cleaning and staining the bits of floorboard that extended underneath my shelves, because… extra effort. But the tell-tale, dirty, little planks kept beating louder and louder up the corner until I gave in and exposed them.

Ordered a picture frame to hang The Writer’s Manifesto over my desk. If I don’t leave the house more often soon, I am going to start running out of space to hang things on the walls. But I don’t want to leave the house more. That’s where ‘the others’ are, in the between-time, between lockdown and the new-wave. I survived the 70s/80s New Wave. Just hope I make it through the next one.

Quarantine Day 70

Sunday 31 May 2020

Much to my surprise. Some of my growey things are actually growing. Loving how excited squish is about it all. We saw quite a few bugs and spiders, but she says she isn’t scared of spiders anymore. Hoping that my constantly explaining how useful and unscary they really are (occasional mockery) and showing her bugs outside, might have helped a little.

What did the Roman’s ever do for us? Dandelion recipes?  First dandelion forage was a success. Confess I haven’t dared eat them yet. I know what I’ve gathered are actually dandelions and I’m not eating anything dodgy. And I have recipes. I’m just building up to get over the mental wall that’s telling me it’s a weed. Also, slightly concerned that after spending so much time swearing about bloody dandelions everywhere, if it turns out I like them, I will be wishing them to grow back asap. I’ll eat them with steak, then if I don’t like them, I have something to take my disappointment out on.

Staining under bookcase one, complete. Can’t really tell it’s done, the table is in the way, but I know. Under bookcase two can wait. Might do it next week, might not. No one can see the state of that, behind the sofa.

Someone asked the question in the daily Gov update today, if we get phone calls telling us we have to isolate, how will we know it’s from an official and genuine source. And the response was pure comedy.

“Individuals with make it very clear to you that they are calling for a particular reason and I think it will be very obvious in the conversation that you have with them, that they are genuine in that regard. It will be very evident when somebody rings, these are professionally trained individuals and sitting over, if you like the telephone interviewers and email senders are a group of senior clinical professionals who are overseeing this for your safety.”

Okay. That’s clear. Nice to know. The lovely professional I spoke to last week is popping me a test round next Friday. I’ve sent him over all my bank details so he can book his flight. Can’t wait.

Early to bed… Hopefully…. Noisy, neighbourhood feckers willing. Writing fresh stuff for Act Two this week. There will be blood, sweat, tears and much using of the ‘F’ word. I hate deadlines. Even self-inflicted ones.

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