Greetings from the Year Abroad I am now conducting from my bedroom: a year abroad insofar that it is no longer a Year, but a strange, shapeless vortex of timey wimey stuff, and abroad in the sense that it’s not abroad, but is in fact a suburb in North Yorkshire.
What have I been doing, I hear you scream, longingly, wistfully, hysterically, from the kitchen table that is now the centre of your universe? Well, fellow virus hosts, my concentration has been so evaporated by All This What’s Happening, that I feel unable to continue without the ballast of two lists:
What I’ve been doing:
- Spending the equivalent time period of a London Heathrow – Perth flight, on twitter. Scrolling, scrolling, scrolling. This is not a wholesome activity: you do not need five portions / day. However, I have successfully increased my following by 5 people, to (as of today) 202.
- Listening to a playlist called ‘Upbeat Glee Songs 2010’ on Spotify, while going for runs, and having very strong solo reminiscences about my life as an 11 year old. Ah, lynx deodorant in very small spaces.
- Cooking quite a lot. My main technique is to banish your any parents from the kitchen, in order to avoid ‘helpful advice’. What they don’t know about your potato peeling method won’t hurt them.
- Being subjected to online classes from the ENS Lyon. Turns out that French grammar really only was bearable when not the primary source of entertainment, and even then, it was only acceptable when smothered by brie.
- Just sort of staring into space, mainly thinking about Wimbledon.
- Devising a skincare routine so elaborate that at its grand finale, daylight has receded, and the Earth has completed its rotation around the sun. Entire companies have gone bust. Novels have been written. My skin is gleaming.
What I haven’t been doing:
- Seem to have avoided writing the short story collection / play / film script / novel due to bedazzle the world. Instead, I have been picking up my pen, then staring out of the window, thinking about Angelique Kerber’s loss in the second round to Laura Davis.
- Selling my Depop clothes. Which you can browse here, for very reasonable prices (@florosity)
- Reading a book from every francophone country, like Danny W. I will however be following his progress on twitter.
- Yoga, because the long peaceful parts don’t make sense to me, even though it’s probably a really good time to do yoga.
- Enjoying quality time with a comforting pet, because my Dad is ‘allergic’ and my parents ‘work full time’ and so we ‘can’t have a dog or a cat’ even though I have asked, with huge politeness, since the age of 5.
- Actually seeing my boyfriend, because Matt Hancock is my relationship guru, and He Hath Spoken.
It has taken me a very long time to get around to writing all of this (the readers wonder how it could have taken more than 10 minutes to write this rubbish) because, as I have mentioned, my concentration is reduced to that of a hyperactive gnat on Ritalin.
A strong desire to have some kind of ‘take’ on all this also held back the creative flow you have just witnessed. Should I do anger? Relentless positivity? The wisdom of an ancient philosopher? Really, nothing seemed to work, because I have not been able to settle into any one mode of being, so little do I hold control over how I act. In fact, all I’m feeling is a strong desire to stare out of a window, and think about Serena Williams’ two-handed backhand return.