Retreat, Day 25: Good Friday

  • Is this how dogs feel, when they only get one walk a day? I was up early today for a dip in the sea. Only a short one though – the tide was so far out that it took ages to reach any sort of depth. I’m still glad I went in.
  • Being confined to the house means there’s no space for big emotions. When I am stirred-up by things, I can’t just walk my problems out. Calm is the watchword.
  • This is also no time for hangovers, so I’m drinking very little (I get hangovers so easily). But I’m also taking the opportunity to work through the obscure bottles in the drinks cabinet. Last night I enjoyed a Swedish spirit that Lou Ice gave me – no idea what it actually was, though.
  • Living life with such a narrow focus continues to provide revelations, this time about cooking. I realised yesterday that I really don’t like pre-packaged stock. I mean it’s in so many recipes, but there must be better alternatives. I messaged my friend Emma, as she has co-written some incredible cookbooks, and she gave me some great alterntives. This sort of thing is probably obvious to everyone else, but having time to focus on cooking is really improving my skills.
  • The main activity for the long bank holiday weekend is working on a new story zine, about the South Downs Way. I’ve long been a fan of Cal Newport, particularly his ideas around Deep Work, and I’m really seeing the value of sustained focus.
  • I keep turning up forgotten things as I tidy out old cupboards. Today I unocvered the callsheets from a Netflix documentary about WW2 where I was an extra.
  • The weather has been remarkable since this started. On yesterday’s walk, I saw my friend Kate on her balcony. I waved until I got her attention, and was so happy to have seen her. It was only later on that morning I learned it wasn’t Kate, but her housemate, Kate.
  • I can’t believe it is 25 days already.
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