Lockdown Retreat Day 2

Day 2 of the lockdown, and it’s a day of adjustment. A lot of events have been cancelled, including Glastonbury and the Brighton Fringe and Festival. Panic-buying continues, fuelled by disturbing social media rumours about draconian shutdowns.

Meanwhile, I’m trying to stick to a routine. I started with a long walk along the seafront. It seems quieter, with a lot of the personal training groups missing. I was happy to see the carousel being put out, one of the first signs of the spring. (In the past: 1, 23, 4)

It looks like my local Small Batch branch closes today. It was good to say hello to the staff, but also sad, not knowing when I will see them again. Then, I sat down to work. I’m used to remote working, but this is very different. Today, the bandwidth wouldn’t support video in the stand-ups, which was a shame. The working day ends as everyone stops for the daily press briefing. Latest announcements include the schools closing; but the possibility of an antibody test is a promising development.

I’ve done less creative work than planned so far on this retreat. Last night I called a lot of friends, checking that they were OK. There will be time for work though. On that point, I loved Robin Sloan’s newsletter yesterday. The whole thing is worth reading, but this section was particularly striking:

Toil in the shadow of calamity WILL have its day.

There’s a world waiting on the other side of this crisis, and that world wants your strange, personal video game; your cleverly-designed fanny pack; your email newslet—

Scratch that. There’s a world right here, right now, and THIS world wants those things! Even more, it wants, it NEEDS, signs of their production: the light in the (browser) window, the (digital) curl of smoke from the chimney.

My photo app reminded me that, a year ago today, it was the Passionate Machine gig at Brighton’s Old Market. I was lucky enough to have the support slot, performing to a sold-out audience. Now the theatres are closing. We’re in for the long haul, but it’s one day at a time. It will end, though, and the reunion parties will be incredible.

After work, I went for a walk with a friend. We dropped off some food to someone in self-isolation, then drank beer on the beach. Every farewell right now is difficult, not knowing how long it will be for.

Today, I increased my plank time to 81 seconds.

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