Working from your home office? (sofa.) Dreaming of that holiday to the pool? (bathtub.) Fed up of your commute? (walk to the fridge.) Welcome to this special edition Weekly Diary, isolation-style. Here we follow the highs and lows of life during what future history textbooks will refer to as the year the world ran out of toilet roll.
Monday, 16th March
Off to work. Advisable? Probably not. Everybody seems to be working from home these days but no word on whether you could or should work in somebody else’s home office – which is what I do on Mondays. It always feels strange going to the toilet in another person’s house, so today I waited until I had returned from work before going. The joke is that I’m training my bladder to withstand the toilet roll shortage, rather than having anxiety about somebody hearing me wee, which is more realistic.
Tuesday, 17th March
Waitrose yesterday, no eggs. Plenty of overpriced tins of tuna, which my father picked up (don’t worry, only 2 packs) to add to his collection (don’t worry, the word ‘collection’ is intended as humorous hyperbole and should not be confused with the phrase ‘stock pile.’) Laughs were had upon the discovery that Corona Extra beers were on offer, since COVID-19’s marketing department was seemingly paid off by their competitors. Cheers, everyone.
Wednesday, 18th March
Slightly concerned by my mother’s plan to cook Indian food every day since I appear to have developed an unfortunate intolerance to chillies. I may be able to avoid this meal plan by informing the family WhatsApp group that although Indian meals are low cost, the expense will be my post-meal toilet roll usage. Natural selection might take me out, keep reading for updates.
Thursday, 19th March
My mother procured some eggs (12) from the local garden centre’s farm shop. Going to make the personal sacrifice of rationing my egg intake to 1 a day. I know, very brave. Today’s discovery is that the hoarders might be able to stop their egg panic-buy from expiring before they eat them, as yes – it is possible to freeze an egg. If you would like to Google this I recommend specification of the egg variety (chicken) or you will find yourself met with information on female fertility. #Iamafeministbut as if we need another thing to worry about during a global pandemic.
Friday, 20th March
Today is my mother’s birthday. I am baking a vegan (eggless, milkless) cake because these are desperate times. I also appreciate the taste of eggs far more when they are scrambled for my breakfast. Sorry, Mum. Wartime rations coupled with a Nigella recipe dictate I must learn how to make coconut milk from the solitary tin of coconut cream in the cupboard. By the time I get to the icing I think fuck it and make a lemon buttercream.
Saturday, 21st March
I read on Twitter that Louis Theroux is writing an isolation diary. With success I think not only am I ‘ahead of the curve’ but also ahead of the game as I started my diary earlier this week and I’m definitely petty enough to think that is worth sharing with the Internet. You’re welcome.
Sunday, 22nd March
At a friend’s recent exhibition, I was asked to pick a photograph from the hands of an artist. It was a black and white image of a funeral hearse, internal contents unknown. We had a long conversation about its meaning, during which I was told to look after myself; if it had been a tarot card reading, I now held the death card. The following evening I pulled the image out from my coat pocket, and shared the story over a pint. (Pubs? Only ’20s kids will remember.)
A few drinks later and the photograph met its own end, submerged at the bottom of a glass. The following morning I realised what had happened with sober clarity. Perhaps I was too quick to shrug off the feeling that I had been cursed by losing it, as a mere 2 weeks later I find myself in isolation with the world in lockdown. Sorry, everyone.