Inspired by this article in the Guardian about the ways that people have found to entertain themselves at home, I was wondering if anyone was prepared to share something that they've started doing or a hobby they've (re-) discovered or a strategy they've developed to help them keep their sanity under these restrictions.
I'll start. When I was a teenager, I played recorder (alto and descant) in an early music trio. Like many teenagers I decided my hobby was boring and stopped playing and performing. I wondered if I could still play and to my surprise I could. Not to the level of my teenage self and my arthritic fingers struggle with jigs and reels but I can nevertheless still pick out a tune (and the advantage of early music is that it is quite slow!)
Perhaps less wholesome is that I've got as addicted as everyone else to true crime podcasts. One of the most compelling ones is a RTE production called 'The Nobody Zone' which shines a light on the London of the 1980s while exploring exactly how Kieran Patrick Kelly got away with multiple murders and is the serial killer almost no one has heard of.
So, is anybody else prepared to share their tips for coping with lockdown?
I remember having recorder lessons in primary school...
The main thing I've been doing during this period is walking. I aim for 10,000 steps daily and most days...when I do get out and walk...I succeed. I've never seen Lordship Rec so busy like it is at the mo.
Good luck with the recorder.
Thanks Sam. I've made so much progress that I've treated myself to a posher tin whistle!
Well done on the walking. It's definitely a good way to keep sane. Do you do anything to enhance the walk like plant spotting, bird watching or taking pics?
Nice walk down the canal in Tottenham today. A few pics from there...
I am in the process of moving house (which is a hobby in and of itself, surely...) but before I packed it all away I'd been using lockdown to develop some new railway modelling skills. Over the last couple of years I'd been building up a collection of stuff, including tools and so forth - it's all gone to storage now but at least it's safe for when I can come back to it!
(The little village in the images attached was ruthlessly demolished by developers about 3 Saturdays ago as it's far too unwieldy to store in situ!)
That looks brilliant Dave. Love the pics too.
Thanks for the link to the crime podcasts, Liz: I'll definitely follow that up! Early in lockdown I started knitting again, having not done so for 40 years. The main reason for doing so was to have something to do whilst listening to audible books: without the latter the days really drag, particularly early afternoons :(.
I made far too many hats and even after giving them as Christmas presents to family and friends, I had lots of spares. So I was pleased to be able to give them to our local foodbank who collected winter warmers for our guests a few weeks ago. Quite a few of the volunteers are wearing them too. If anyone would like a very easy hat pattern which fits small and large heads, I would be happy to send....
If you liked ‘The Nobody Zone’ then I recommend ‘West Cork’, though I think it’s only available on Audible.
My main hobby seems to be filling the bird feeder and staring at the sparrows and blue tits. A vet friend told me that blue tits recently had a pandemic of their own, so it’s nice to see them. I also have an ongoing battle with 2 pigeons, which keeps me on my toes.
I loved West Cork which I binged. Also on Audible is Evil Has A Name which is a very dramatic title for a compelling story about how The Golden State Killer was finally caught. The BBC sounds app has a lot of very high quality podcasts although I’d avoid the Bad People one as I’m not sure the expert/comedian style of podcast works for this kind of thing.
I love my bird feeders. I’ve started getting a little troupe of goldfinches turning up daily and it certainly lifts the spirits to see them.
I am stuck with 2 weeks leave where I would normally go away. I am finding it very difficult. I like walking but just going round the same busy areas is driving me mad
Try some writing; there's so many choices. From novels (very difficult) and film scripts (much easier, lots of blank spaces) to more manageable short stories, poetry, flash fiction, memoirs and life writing. Enter or return to new and old worlds that the virus has for the moment closed off. There is a whole world out there to explore and celebrate. It's just that for the moment that exploration and celebration has to be cerebral. Never mind; it won't last forever.
Yes I have thought about writing but I have to say I feel like I spend enough time right now staring at the screen - TV, internet etc so don't want to spend even more of it hunched over my computer
Have you tried turning into a mini Nature Walk? Challenging yourself to name every bit of greenery? There’s an free app called Seek which my kids have dubbed Pokemon Go for old people as it identifies (mostly correctly) things in the natural world and awards you badges for how many you spot. You can even use it on pavement plants and street trees. Where do you walk? Railway Fields is open Mon-Friday and is constantly changing. I can spend hours pootling about on walks even ones on streets.
If Nature isn’t your thing, here’s an article about turbo-boosting your walk which may help
and there’s a local audio tour focussed on local history and landmarks called Speaking Stones