We all have our coping strategies: The Queen always puts on lipstick, while others seemingly buy panic vibrators as sex toy sales skyrocket. I prefer my lovemaking outdoors and have made a habit of walking around Crystal Palace every morning to get a breath of fresh air before heading home.
On Saturday I walked listening to the first Harry Potter book on Audible. After weeks of downloading serious coronavirus podcasts, I longed for something more optimistic. It worked. As Stephen Fry spoke to my ears about lemon sherbet, owls and magic wands, I smiled so broadly at the other walkers and their dogs that they must have thought I was touched. Or maybe just pissed off? “Alcohol is the new toilet roll! Grabbed the headlines over the weekend as bottles flew off supermarket shelves. I’d rather drink it, but who are we to judge other people’s hobbies at a time like this?
Some have been laughed at for their distraction techniques. Yesterday, on Twitter, a reporter apologized to her followers for tweeting her plans for the weekend. It turns out that this upset some who felt that the announcement of the ambition to do a puzzle meant she couldn’t care about the elderly and the sick. It’s depressing. Now, more than ever, now is not the time for the kind of one-dimensional, blind screaming that social media encourages.
Frankly, if you want to puzzle or crochet or even order a Nimbus 2000 G-spot stimulator, knock yourself out. (But rinse it for 20 seconds afterwards and place it in a drawer. A friend made a conference call from her room only to find later that there was a bottle of lube on the shelf behind her head) .
My sister bought a pasta machine and made a batch on Saturday; photos showed her pulling the yellow sheets out of the machine like a Victorian laundress. Another friend focuses on her sweet pea seedlings with the kind of care and attention usually displayed by midwives. Call me the old fashioned way, but I’d rather be encouraged by these new hobbies than laugh at them.
We must forgive these celebrities for their Imagine video. It was more an exercise for them than for us
My little nieces, with whom I currently live, are writing a play in which I play the role of “the diplodocus”. Under normal circumstances, I would fake a knee injury that would prevent me from crawling on the floor for long periods of time. Now? I’m extremely keen on making dinosaur noises if that helps distract us from the low to medium or even quite high level of dread buzz in the background. Besides, that’s why we have to forgive these celebrities for their Imagine video. Let’s be generous and suggest that this was more of an exercise for them than for us.
This is why I also try to be patient with WhatsApp. It’s a mess there, I think we can agree. Have you had the photo of soldiers marching through Clapham? Or the dog of a friend of your cousin who says London is going to close for good? Someone else sent me a diagram of the “coronasutra” and my dad took it upon himself to pass on the Covid-19 graphic sex advice published by the New York Health Department. But people have different coping techniques and I don’t think it would hurt a lot of us to practice tolerance right now. I will have words with my father afterwards.
Still addicted to the drama Taylor v Kanye
Imagine this. We are 50 years later. The planet is a ravaged desert and our cities look like the ruins of Manhattan in Will Smith’s I Am Legend movie, with wild animals galloping through deserted streets, but the feud between Taylor Swift and Kim Kardashian continues.
The full phone call between Taylor and Kim Kanye West’s husband in 2016 has now been released, revealing that he did not notify her of his intention to include the line “I returned this b *** h famous “in his song Famous, as he and Kim have already hinted.
It became the crux of the argument, the smoking gun: Kanye and Kim claim he spoke these words to Taylor over the phone; she insists otherwise. Shakespeare himself could not have imagined such a plot. All you get in Romeo and Juliet is a little bit of a thumb bite.
My interest in this argument has grown and waned over the four years it has lasted, but I’m absolutely here for it now, as a welcome distraction from the gloom elsewhere.
Taylor, the ball is (for the 285th time) back in your court.
Reverse dog walk
In Spain, the trick to coping with isolation is to have a dog. This is where my father and mother-in-law are holed up, at home on their old farm, with three dogs, the cat and two donkeys.
You’re only allowed outside if it’s to walk your dog, although more creative Spaniards have been seen walking – very slowly – with their turtles, and still others have been caught dragging toys around. plush behind them.
Dad walks his dogs, but hasn’t tried donkeys or the cat yet.
Last week he joked that he was considering putting a sign on his gate: “Five euros an hour for you to borrow one of my bastards.” This is the reverse march of dogs in action on the continent.