As you'll know if you're UK-based (or paying attention to the news), as of the third week of March 2020 we're in country-wide lockdown to combat the spread of COVID-19. Got to flatten the curve!
This means many of us are spending a bit more downtime than we might usually, so we thought this was a good time to share our experiences so far, and maybe start a conversation about what we're all doing to seek Stability at home and Sanctuary from the worries in the headlines.
Read on below to find out how we're getting by:
At the start of this extended-7inch-disco-version of quarantine (currently day 10 for me) I was certain that aaallll those jobs in the house, that I’ve been meaning to get round to for months, were gonna get nailed! 10 days in, and that list still looks pretty unloved and unattended. Ha! But I’m not gonna sweat it too much. I’m cutting myself some slack and setting some easy wins. If I can do one or two wee tasks each day, then *pats self on back*.
This weeks’ housework win was cleaning the living room floor and, wait for it, actually moving things and not just sweeping/mopping around them! I think that makes me a grown-up now, yeah? Yep, thought so.
Beyond the banal, I’ve been finding moments of joy watching Rufus Wainwright’s daily ‘#Quarentunes’ on IG, where he sits at his heavenly piano and croons some of his wonderful songs, ‘Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk’, ‘The Art Teacher’ - I love them all. Something about the chaos of his house (he has a LOT of stuff) and the pureness of his voice, brings me a fair bit of comfort. And the fact that he is there, singing, playing, everyday, brings a tiny bit of stability in this currently wobbly world.
This is a weird adjustment period for everyone, and I'm definitely no exception. Like lots of other people, I've been turning to TV and music a lot to distract me from the bigger picture.
Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness (Netflix)
It is a truth universally acknowledged that troubled times call for escapist entertainment, and further that insane times call for insane entertainment. In this unprecedentedly insane, troubled period of health-anxiety and interpersonal paranoia in the West, it is only fitting that streaming giant Netflix (other streaming giants are available) has brought us fresh new limited series Tiger King.
A documentary filmed over 4 years, the series explores a feud between colourful, gun-toting private zoo-owner Joe Exotic and the more animal-rescue focused, flower-crown wearing private zoo-owner Carole Baskin, both of whom have built their reputations on their relationships with big cats. As if the lives of people who care for some of America’s thousands of privately owned tigers were not crazy enough, this feud builds to a denouement involving a contract killer and a prison term. Magnetic television, and the perfect way to escape thoughts of impending doom for a few hours.
Chores (Your house)
Let’s not underestimate the importance of staying on top of household chores at this time (almost as important as getting the most out of the phrase ‘at this time’). It’s akin to getting out of bed and dressed every day, even if you plan on going no further than the living room and even if the Zoom camera can only see your top half. It might seem super boring when there’s a world of content to consume to distract you from this weird new era we now live in, but take care of it and you’ll stay saner longer during lockdown. You have my guarantee.
I’ve been particularly concentrating on laundry and hoovering. Cooking doesn’t feel like a chore to me, so I don’t include it, and washing up is kind of part of the cooking process. Even laundry doesn’t phase me too much, it’s just that there’s SO MUCH of it. Hoovering, on the other hand, I hate, so to stay on top of it is painful and I’m proud of myself for doing it, even when I’d much rather be watching Brooklyn Nine Nine for the millionth time. Don’t forget to give yourself a pat on the back for keeping on top of those chores either, they’re not fun and they’re not going anywhere, but you should be proud when you conquer them!
Self-isolation has been quite hectic for me so far. I moved flat on Saturday (two weeks earlier than originally intended) in an attempt to be somewhere comfortable and a bit more spacious for the inevitable lockdown. Packing up my whole life in a day and a half was rather exhausting but I’m now in a new flat and very happy to not have all of my belongings cramped into one room anymore! However, I will really miss my wonderful flatmates and I’m a bit sad that we can no longer self-isolate together and improve our Just Dance skills on the Switch. My path to becoming a ‘Megastar’ in every dance has been cut short…
It would take me too long to list all of the mundane moving related jobs that I’ve done over the past week so I’ll mention a few glorious highlights instead.
Last night I had a video call catch-up with my friends, Dundee based artists Rhona Jack and Calum Wallis, who are currently on a residency at Merz Gallery in Sanquhar. While we were chatting they mentioned that a large part of their residency involves public engagement but due to Covid-19 they can no longer approach this in the traditional sense. Instead of running physical workshops they are currently looking for input from members of the public via the gallery instagram page. I thought it would be great to try and get more people (yes you, Weave website reader) to contribute to their new creative project.
They have been working on some really interesting kinetic sculptures and are now looking for people to give them suggestions for machines that they could make loosely based around mining, forestry, agriculture, weaving and knitting. I have been feeling rather creatively uninspired over the last week and coming up with some fun, inventive ideas perked me up a lot. Head over to the Merz Gallery instagram (@merz.gallery) NOW and put forward your wildest machine ideas for them to try and make!