- Watched 8 videos on how to sew a fabric mask1
- Added an extra 10 ml water to sourdough recipe (no other variables changed)2
- Reread another handful of pages of The Bell Jar3
- Listened to daily press conference (Raab again)4
- Spoke to my family in Dubai5 and Martin’s parents in Australia6
- Examined seedlings in afternoon sunlight7
- Completed one form of outdoor exercise (walking)8
- Waited for alert on GoodSAM app9
- Attempted self-care10 (Highlight: Painted nails11)
- No mask sewn, as too tedious by hand. Also, no elastic. Will make T-shirt mask (3 videos watched, no sewing required) or handkerchief/scarf mask (2 videos watched, also no sewing required and uses hair ties).
- No discernible difference (Goal: More open crumb. Martin prefers current texture – ‘Don’t want butter to leak through the holes!’ – ignore Martin). Flour supply stable via local coffee-shop-turned-grocery (flour + supporting local = win-win).
- Experienced typical range of feelings: Pleasure -> Awe -> Envy -> Fear. Ugly voice whispered: Your writing isn’t even half as good so you might as well give up. Difficult to ignore voice at the moment as brain feels like alphabet soup. Letters sloshing around but words not forming.
- Number of times:
- crisis described using war lingo: Martin counted 12, Aiysha counted 9 (Tactic to make deaths more palatable as casualties are expected in war?).
- responsibility placed on public: Martin 14, Aiysha 11 (If onus on us, less attention on lack of preparedness/slow response/underfunded NHS?).
- Vague reference to science used to dodge details: Martin 9, Aiysha 10 (‘guided by the science’ likely to be nightmare-inducing after all this).
- questions evaded: 3; questions answered completely: 0 (all other questions answered in part).
- Amma says she’s praying for everyone, Muslim or otherwise. Has found some YouTube video about coronavirus being God’s way of punishing world gone astray. Can’t be mean to internet newbie in 60s but did wonder why God would pick illness that disproportionately affects generation most likely to worship ‘him.’ Also noteworthy: Brother has shaved off beard (Reminder: Ask him why).
- Seem upbeat despite self-isolating for over 2 weeks away from grandchildren and daughter they went to visit. Still better they’re there: much fewer cases (plus, takeaway coffee available and flour on supermarket shelves). Aside: They’ve mentioned Ruby Princess (cruise ship) in 3 separate conversations now – Australian government’s tactics to distract from local spread? (Reminder: Water their plants tomorrow.)
- Tomatoes x 3 (3 leaves each, including seed leaves), Pumpkin x 1 (5 leaves, including seed leaves), Catmint x 0 (Pebbles got lid off propagator last night!).
- First visit to beach in weeks – good idea to walk in the evening, beach almost empty. Goal: Must exercise more. Everyone doing Joe Wicks, live Bootcamp on Instagram, Zoom Zumba, Yoga on free apps, 7-minute workouts, Les Mills on Demand, etc. Ugly voice says I’m a lazy lump (polite translation of actual words).
- Been ‘on call’ for 41 hours now, still no volunteering jobs offered; not alone, though – most people still waiting to be assigned jobs according to recent Guardian Must do more. Goal: Look for local volunteering groups.
- Woke up before 11 instead of after. Didn’t look at Twitter (Ugly voice especially active when scrolling Twitter: Everyone’s writing/publishing; your account has an embarrassing number of followers; you don’t exist if you don’t have an opinion – why aren’t you tweeting? Did you just tweet that?). Failed to limit Instagram use, but relatively safe from curated content as only following family, friends, and Nadiya Hussain cooking banana peel.
- Colour: pale gold, textured. Pebbles sniffed open bottle and made cat-meme face (the one where the cat takes a whiff of smelly socks).
Aiysha Jahan grew up in Dubai and has lived and worked around the world. She enjoys travelling most of all and being a TCK, she writes fiction and essays that explore identity and belonging. As an early-career academic, she juggles writing, teaching Creative Writing at different universities in the south of England and working as a writer in the community with ArtfulScribe to help develop young writers in her local area.
Image By: Aiysha Jahan