Life Stuff

Further Adventures in Social Distancing

Well, I’ve done it again. Disappeared for a long stretch after making several rallying attempts at something like regular posting. Although I think I should be commended for the fact that it’s only been two months and not two years. Go me!

So, yes. Thank you all for continuing to read and like the posts on this blog, and I promise I will get better at replying to them (full disclosure: I probably won’t get better at it).

I hope you’ve all been keeping safe and healthy, and that the situation in your part of the world is improving from day to day, as it certainly seems to be here in Croatia. In fact, so much time has passed since I last posted that almost all the restrictions have been lifted here. Life appears (for better or worse) to be getting back to normal. So, somewhat illogically, I am now finally finding time to write a new post for this blog.

If you’re wondering precisely how I managed to avoid posting in the midst of a pandemic, you’re in luck – because I’m bringing you another totally unendorsed list of stuff that, if you’re anything like me, can help occupy your time during the coronavirus pandemic.

Shallow Excuses for Not Finding Time to Post While #StayingHome

Working My Little Butt Off

What’s this? Can it be that I’ve finally taken up some badly-needed physical activity? After my attempt to get reading 1000-page books recognised as a sport in time for the Weightlifting section of the next Olympics failed miserably, you’d think that would be the case.

But in fact, I’ve just been working my little butt off. This is of course no bad thing, as it’s been keeping me occupied, and of course I’m just pleased to have the work at all. And I’m glad that I’ve been given the green light to work from home for the foreseeable future. Partly because this allows me the flexibility to plan my time according to a more productive and enjoyable schedule, but mostly because it allows me to dance wildly to Big Mountain’s Baby I Love Your Way while filling out paperwork.

Hangin’ Out, Bein’ Awesome (Just Like the Cool Kids Do)

Despite briefly considering buying ourselves a social distancing picnic blanket (of course they exist – did you really think they wouldn’t?!) in the end my friends and I decided to go for a less costly alternative. The reason we were even considering this super-cool accessory is that we’ve been embracing the teenage life and meeting for a drink in parks, by the river, and basically anywhere far enough away from other people. We were careful to observe the recommended 2 metre distance, arranging ourselves artfully on grassy hills or park benches, drinking a beer, and trying to ignore the sneaking suspicion that the grass was giving off just the slightest hint of dog faeces. So, yeah. We’re pretty cool. In fact, feel free to imagine us looking like those trendy twentysomethings in Coca-Cola ads, movies about bohemian people living in unrealistically massive and artistically dilapidated New York apartments*, and those stock photos that appear whenever you search “cool people doing cool things” on Google.

(Say It with Me, Girls!) MAKEOVER!!!

Yes, like a famous female actor in a teen movie, who takes off her glasses to reveal that she was Actually Pretty All Along, this blog has been given a makeover. It’s taken off its braces, straightened its unruly hair, and subtly changed its personality in the hopes that Justin from its Chemistry class will finally ask it out on a date.

The Movie Business

Being stuck at home has led to many people’s creative juices flowing. In my case, it’s allowed me to prepare for my inevitable domination of Hollywood. If you’re wondering how a little Croatian-Australian nobody with a weird accent and absolutely zero acting ability will one day come to take Hollywood by storm, the secret is simple – open source video editing software and way too much time on my hands. It’s as simple as that. You see, for an upcoming birthday of a family member I hit upon the brilliant idea of getting friends and family to record a “mockumentary” about the aforementioned family member. I may have gone a little high-concept at one point (the first draft of my script contained, among other things, thirty-two extras, a CGI football dancing and singing, and the destruction of a large American city by aliens), but family and friends from around the world were obliging nonetheless.

Despite having to record a voiceover the night before the birthday by hiding under my duvet, muffling the sound to avoid detection, the video was well-received by critics. Needless to say, this level of validation has convinced me that it’s only a matter of time before I’m cruising around LA in my expensive open-top car (you know it’s expensive because it costs twice as much as a car with an actual roof).

Book Nerd Overload

BNO is a little-studied condition (mostly because I just made it up) but Science suggests that it happens when a Book Nerd (let’s call her Sara) decides that she’s going to re-read the entire oevre of a well-respected nerdy British writer (let’s use, oh… Terry Pratchett as a random example, chosen at random). BNO occurs about four to eight weeks into such a reading binge, where the aforementioned Book Nerd begins speaking entirely in Terry Pratchett quotes and addressing her nearest and dearest using the names of the fictional characters she’s spent so much time with in the last few months. There’s nothing like ringing your mother and greeting her with “Hi Sargent Angua, werewolf copper and kick-ass female fantasy character”.

Sugar Overload

As I mentioned above, some birthdays occurred during this lockdown period. So I took this as a special opportunity to brush up on my baking skills. This is partly because I wanted to surprise the people closest to me with tasty treats, but mostly because I’m a greedy bastard who’ll eat practically any kind of dessert that has a heavy dusting of icing sugar on top, and is filled with enough whipped cream to drown a small group of pastry chefs in.

So, there you have it! What have you been up to?

* You know the kind – the one with a massive rooftop terrace that is miraculously free of pigeon poop and that offers a stunning view of the New York skyline; where the actors are all dazzlingly gorgeous, wear fedoras, and seem to live in some kind of softly-lit sunny world where smog, noise pollution, and rising house prices are the stuff of myth.

6 replies on “Further Adventures in Social Distancing”

Many of us here in the UK, particularly England and Wales, are looking at countries like Croatia and wondering how our benighted government of self-interest managed to effectively murder many of our aged, vulnerable and health workers by delaying effective measures while simultaneously denying that they were doing anything of the sort.

But I mustn’t sully your post with politics: suffice to say that reading and blogging about books has been one of my mainstays in terms of keeping positive, especially as my partner and I are both in the age group deemed most at risk. Nevertheless we’ve both had symptoms of the virus to a greater or lesser extent but thank our stars we’re still alive.

And yes, I’m looking forward to what you may choose to post above — in your own time, of course, no pressure! (But please, no more about heavy dustings of icing sugar and whipped cream — being in lockdown has already encouraged me to overindulge more than is healthy, and any foody posts may tip me over the edge…)

I’ve been following the situation in the UK quite closely, since I have family there, and it definitely does seem incredibly discouraging – although it does seem that a large portion of the population is taking things into their own hands and behaving responsibly… I hope that will help the situation improve.

I’m sorry to hear you’ve had symptoms of the virus – I hope you’re both feeling better!

I will definitely try to stay away from food-heavy posts… they’re a very real danger to me as well. :D

we’re pretty much out of the way, here in NW Oregon: not many cases of the dread plague, yet… but we wear masks when going shopping… i still go on bike rides and i notice lately that the traffic, which died during the incipience, has boomed back to more than it was before… will the human race ever do away with cars? he asks mournfully… something about cold dead fingers…

Yes, for a while people seemed to think that at the very least this virus would change our behaviour, but here things have also rapidly returned to normal, as if the virus had never even happened. Hopefully we’ll still have learned something from all of this once it truly passes. In any case I’m glad to hear that the virus situation seems to be under control where you are!

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