Day 4 – A challenge?

Incoming from a regular reader:

Going to be interesting to see what creative blog worthy stuff you come up with over the next few weeks. Not much happening…

This email was surprising for a number of reasons. First and foremost was that a regular reader would expect anything creative or blogworthy on here at any time, let alone during a lockdown. Secondly, the fact that he mentioned the word “interesting” while referring to the blog.

Have I really got people fooled?

The email also came with a suggestion of some content which I think was meant as a joke, but given that we’re just 4 days into (at least) 21 of full lockdown and the bottom of the barrel is already being scraped (I mean, look at this post for example), I’m certainly not going to rule anything out just yet.

There’s always the internet to rely on if I need more stuff to put on here. That’s still working (just). What is proving slightly more taxing at the moment is my One Photo Each Day Super Duper Lockdown Challenge. I have some sorted until the end of week 1, but after that, my tap is looking a little dry. Hopefully, inspiration will strike from somewhere…

Day 3 – the worst half hour yet

The worst half hour yet.

I decided yesterday afternoon – on a whim – to try a backyard run. Other people have done it, why shouldn’t I?

I shouldn’t have done it.

It was half an hour of boredom, extreme concentration, hectic effort and very little reward.

Boredom because it was the same thing over and over and over and over again. Concentration because there were trip hazards everywhere, one of which was mobile and kept barking at me and trying to eat my shoes while I was trying to run. Effort because there were so many turns and obstacles that my average stride length turned out to be just 0.65m. That’s against my average of 1.12m on a normal run. So despite what that very dodgy looking 9:30/km average seems to suggest, there was an awful lot of hard work going into getting myself around the front and back gardens. And little reward because all I felt at the end was hot, bothered and miserable. There was no post-run glow or exaltation. No feeling of achievement. There was just one endorphin. I wanted thousands.

Still, I did it, and I’ll likely do a couple more over the next three weeks, because even though it’s not very pleasant, it does still get the heart going and it does still get the Discovery points.

 

UPDATE: Experts don’t like it either.

Day 2 – Cabin fever?

Not for me (yet), although there have been some worrying developments.

Firstly, this one:

which is not great when everyone is stuck at home and needs to use the internet. It also almost crashed the blog, which would really not have been good. Although 6000.co.za is hosted locally, when I tried to update a plugin  – a process that usually takes a few seconds – it went to get the update from overseas, got stuck and for a while, I was only able to see:

Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute.

on any blog page or post I tried to access. For several or more minutes.

Fortunately, the blog obviously realised that something wasn’t quite right and reset itself before I went to work with a large virtual hammer in the the back end (careful now).

Phew.

The update will now wait until there is a decent connection to America (or wherever) again.

Then: the neighbourhood group has been alive with fake news on the current situation. Was that Whatsapp voicenote real (no, it wasn’t), should we clean our bin handles (yes, we should), is that man allowed to walk his dog on the school field (no, he’s not). And then in the middle of it all, this gem:

I have just microwaved our newspaper. ( Saturday one is only one we haven’t cancelled because of poor quality even though quality of Sat is not good either)

(Genuinely, I promise)

wut?!?!

For the record, microwaving may or may not kill coronavirus. It may or may not burn your house down as well. Do not microwave your newspaper. Just no.

Finally (for the moment, at least): As promised, I have set up an album called The Lockdown Diaries on Flickr. One photo a day during the lockdown. Don’t expect magnificence: this is just giving me something to do while I’m stuck at home, and I’m not going to get images of mountain ranges, racing cars or herds of wildebees being stalked by lions. My scope is a bit limited, which is why it will be a challenge.

Day 1 – first thoughts

Day 1 of the lockdown. First impressions: it’s quiet. Now I know that may sound blindingly obvious, but it’s startling just how quiet it is. Other people have said that it’s magical to be able to hear the birds singing, but all I’ve heard is pool pumps, a lawnmower and some screaming kids.

We’ve had about ten cars go past our place this morning. I have no idea if they are out and about legally or not. One guy just went past in a Qashqai with all the windows down. He was wearing a mask and gloves and was reading a book propped up against his steering wheel while driving.
I’m pretty sure that’s still illegal.

To be honest, nothing has really changed from any other day that we might have voluntarily spent at home. I guess the change comes when I would have walked out of the front gate and gone for a run, or taken the beagle out (not in an assassination kind of way) or wandered down to Pick n Pay for some milk.

Social media remains really anti-social, with more people than ever finding crap to support whichever political, racial or moral narrative they’ve chosen to follow. I dip in for the latest news and then dip out again very quickly. Sadly, given the fluidity of the situation and my thirst for information, it’s something I feel that I have to do fairly frequently.

I need to find a way to only get the news and avoid the rest of the nonsense.

Finally for today, I have a plan to try to take a photograph each day while we’re all stuck inside (or inside our property, at least). Some will be snapshots, some will be more technical – when I’m not busy with other jobs and I can find the inspiration.  I’m going to put them into an album on Flickr, but I haven’t made it yet. Check back tomorrow for the link and to see what disappointing image I’ve rushed through this evening.

I sure know how to sell an idea, don’t I?

Keep well, stay home, wash your hands.