Bronwyn’s social isolation diary


By Bronwyn Porter.

Week 3

Monday: practise social co-operation (while queuing). I’m mega excited! Slow, tedious queueing is so yesterday. Today I devised a solution called pandemic queuing! A grand name I know, but worthy as I'm sure you'll agree. It goes like this: join queue, take one step forward, twirl around with arms outstretched (to define own space), take one step back, smile, nod, cough in elbow then two steps forward. Pause, one step back then repeat sequence. Everyone is instantly more alert and the queue moves quite fast. I’m on to a winner here.

Tuesday: tackle household chores (as a meditation). I plumped cushions tenderly, wiped benches slowly, waltzed up the hall and stirred the soup gently. I swept the floor smoothly then mopped it all lightly. My mind was in neutral but beautifully focussed. I've had a blissful day.

Wednesday: aim high. I'm a big believer in retail therapy. Today I braved it online: makeup, four bedsheets and a vacuum cleaner. Something for every aspect of my life. A win/win. The thrill of a bargain and the joy of a parcel! I’m hooked.

Thursday: be kind to myself. I'm now giving all mirrors a wide berth. It's my hair. It's become sensitive to lockdown and reacts badly in front of a mirror. This is not a time for keeping up appearances.

Friday: commune with nature. Time is a precious thing and currently it’s mine to enjoy. Today I'll use it wisely by admiring the veggie garden that husband Tom tends so lovingly, smiling at our feathered friends who visit regularly and relaxing with a book in the sunshine.

Week 2

Monday: practise co-operation. 7 am (feels like midnight). Socially distancing, cooperatively queueing, staying calm while panic buying and paying with plastic. Where am I and what am I doing? I'm at our local supermarket hunting and gathering.

Tuesday: tackle household chores. Got a shock today. Peeked in a cupboard and glimpsed a strange dark shape before hastily slamming the door. Was it a virus? Best not to know. I'll postpone cleaning all cupboards for at least the next 14 days. Can't be too careful.

Wednesday: aim high. Did some research into goddesses. Can't find a reference to domestic ones anywhere. Are they extinct? Whatever. I'm convinced now more than ever that they're a rare species, which makes me feel reassured, relieved and somehow more real. I'm chuffed about this.

Thursday: be kind to myself. Sat down for the whole day today and thought kind thoughts about myself, subsequently extending this to all humans, animals, plants and then the whole world! It's evening now and I'm glowing with warm fuzzy feelings. What a lovely day I've had. I must do this more often.

Friday: commune with nature. I've planted a lawn! Well a piece of lawn – I mean I've repaired a lawn – er, excuse the excitement – let me get this right. I planted some grass seed that I will water and tend carefully and, if all goes well, it will turn into a patch of grass to patch my lawn. Get it? Of course you do.

Saturday and Sunday. Rest and recharge for another busy week of self-improvement through social isolation.

Week 1

Monday: do some co-operative cleaning. I helped clean a very dirty barbeque. After this, I experienced strong feelings of satisfaction, fulfillment and self righteousness, plus one clean barbeque. Note to self: what’s not to love.

Tuesday: tackle household chores. Take on a pile of dirty clothes and have them washed, sorted and ironed all in one day. Done! Note to self: wow! This virtuous, self righteous feeling is addictive. There’s no stopping me now!

Wednesday: aim high, become a domestic goddess. Cook Beef Wellington for dinner. Umm …had second thoughts about this. Note to self: baby steps to start with. Make a few more meals of spag bol first.

Thursday: be kind to myself. Treat myself to two hot cross buns for morning tea instead of one. Note to self: whoops, one too many. That was greed, not kindness. Try again next Thursday.

Friday: commune with nature. Pay special attention to the bees on all the blossoms in our garden – no social distancing there. What beautiful focussed creatures they are. Note to self: remember to appreciate the small things, especially these tiny creatures.

Saturday and Sunday. Rest and re-charge the batteries for another busy week of self revelation through social isolation.