‘Rona Ramblings: My Quarantine Routine

It is important to keep some degree of normality during these abnormal times. So that’s why I find myself keeping to a strict and healthy routine, you know, for a healthy mind and body and all that.

For your reference, here is my daily routine.

8:00AM

Alarm goes off. I debate getting out of bed because it would be nice to develop some sort of normal-person sleep schedule, while all the bars and clubs are closed, but I press snooze before I have a chance to think any further about the idea.

8:10AM

That goddamned alarm, again. I turn it off completely.

8:30AM

The second alarm I have set goes off. I toss around in bed and turn it off. Briefly,  I consider getting up again, it would be nice to have a coffee and be fully prepared for the PE with Joe live-stream at 9 that I’ve promised to do with my aunt. I toss over in bed once again and drift back to sleep.

8:55AM

“Ellie? Are you ready for PE with Joe?” My aunt shouts up the stairs. Damnit, no time for a coffee first, again. I pull myself out of bed and shove some leggings and some trainers on, grab a glass of water from the kitchen and join my aunt in front of the TV, ready for exercise. With any luck, I’ll have some abs by the end of this nonsense (the whole lockdown, that is, not just one singular 30 minute session).

9:15AM

I am sweating and out of breath. Joe smiles at me through the television screen and says some encouraging gibberish about how much better I’ll feel for having done some exercise. He tells me to keep on squatting, so I do just that.

9.40AM

Coffee, finally. I scroll through Instagram/Facebook/Twitter while sipping on my sweet elixir of energy and promise myself that after this coffee I’ll go straight upstairs to get ready and continue my productivity throughout the day.

10:20AM 

I am on my second coffee. I have not moved from my seat at the dining table (apart from to get a coffee, obviously) and my phone remains glued to my hand. I’ll go do something useful after this coffee, probably.

11:00AM 

The rest of the coffee and a ‘Glow’ tea (no I don’t know what this is either) later, I am upstairs in my room. I debate the necessity of changing into ‘proper’ clothes, because realistically, who is going to see me, but then I remember that I will be using my one state-approved outside exercise to walk my dogs, so it’s probably worth getting dressed. I sit down on my bed first though, you know, just for a second, and reply to a message from a friend.

11:45AM

I notice the time in the corner of the screen of my phone and realise that I still haven’t gotten ready for the day. Whoops, but you know how it goes.

12:00PM 

I am showered, I am dressed, I am ready to face the day. I catch my face in the mirror and sigh, thinking to myself, ‘hmm… do I feel like putting make-up on today?” The answer varies – depending on whether or not I have photos ready to post to Instagram. Most days, the answer is a solid no.

12:10PM 

I am back downstairs again, and I stand and stare at the kettle, asking myself the important questions – do I really need another hot drink, I’ve had three already today? And if I do, am I going to have a coffee, a tea, or one of the weird herbal teas my aunt bought? My aunt walks in and says, “oh are you making tea? Yes please.” I oblige and make a coffee for myself and a tea for her.

12:30PM 

I stand and blankly stare at nothing in the middle of my room. What to do today? There are so many options, and for once in my life, so many hours of the day. I blink and find myself picking up my guitar, the one I got for Christmas about four years ago and have not touched for a solid three years. I play (badly) the only song I know and put the guitar down again. Right, what next?

12:40PM

I’ve set myself up a lovely work space in the kitchen, so I snap a picture for my Instagram story so that everyone knows how productive I am. I open up the Cardiff University Student Intranet and stare at it for a minute or so. I do have some lectures on National and Global Perspectives of France to catch up on. Maybe, I’ll do them tomorrow. I close the tab.

12:45PM

The dogs are whining at me to go outside. I open the door and go with them, appreciating the little fresh air I can get. I sit in the hammock but remember that bugs like to dwell on it so I quickly jump up and go back inside. As I head inside I walk past the mirror. ‘Hmm, if only I had put make-up on today, I could’ve made a TikTok video.’

12:50PM 

It is time for a Detox tea (I also do not know what this is). I sip on it and open a blank word document, ready to write up my daily blog post. I type a few sentences, delete them and decide to doodle in my notebook instead.

1:30PM 

My aunt is on her lunch break, so we eat lunch and chat. It is nice to have some human contact, and of course we have so much to tell each other about our lives since we last saw each other this morning.

2:00PM 

We have a quick tea before my aunt returns to the office room to work from home. Then I make myself another coffee and enjoy it outside, while the dogs nudge me, because it’s their tea time in 2 hours and they need to make sure that I won’t forget.

2:05PM

Coco barks and growls at the fence because the neighbour’s daughter has the audacity to play catch in her garden. Obviously this is a very threatening act to him, so he absolutely must make it known that this is his territory and he is big and scary (not small and fluffy) and he will do anything to protect it. I sigh and take him inside because it is getting on my nerves.

2:10PM

I have settled into my work space and I am doing some very useful colouring in. This is a highly productive use of my time, as I later plan to stick this colouring on my bedroom wall, I think it will look very cool.

2:20PM 

My arm hurts. Colouring is surprisingly tiring and I now have respect for reception-year children who do it all day long. I go back upstairs and try the guitar again, but I cannot get any of the songs I have just looked up to sound perfectly right, so I put it down again and try the ukulele instead. The same thing occurs and I sigh and decide that I am just not a music maestro, I will leave it to the professionals.

2:40PM

I am back in the kitchen to make a cup of tea. Coco whines at me expectantly, because dinner is now only in one hour and twenty minutes, so surely I must need to start preparing it now? I tell him to shut up, but he is a dog and does not understand, so he just starts howling at me even louder. After my tea, I decide to have another attempt at making that viral TikTok coffee, you know, the one where they whip it up.

2:55PM 

I have drunk my whipped coffee and I now have the coffee jitters. This is of course the perfect time to get some writing done. I shake while I try to tap the letters on the keyboard and remember that this is why my goal in life is to become a writer, of some sort.

3:25PM

The neighbours have dared to be in the garden again, so Coco tries to rip down the fence. I bring him inside because if he succeeds (which he sometimes does, in part) the neighbours will not be impressed. He turns his attention to howling at me and scratching my arm, because it’s nearly half an hour until dinner time. I decide to take both him and Marley for a walk, just to avoid the last half hour of him desperately begging for food.

4:00PM

I feed the dogs, and settle myself back down in front of the laptop to finish writing. I get about five minutes of peace while they are busy eating before they decide they both want attention. I give them some cuddles then make a tea and go upstairs.

4:20PM 

The guitar stares at me, tauntingly. I decide not to fall for it again and instead find myself debating whether or not it is too early for a glass of wine.

4:40PM

I video call my boyfriend instead of drinking wine. We somehow manage to get about twenty minutes of actual conversation, despite having done nothing since our last conversation yesterday, then we just stare at each other’s faces through the screens of our phones, because there is no new news and we have already told each other that we miss each other.

5:00PM

It is five o’clock so surely that means I can start drinking. I go downstairs to find my aunt has finished her work. She takes the dogs on a walk so I have an hour or so of time without whining. The house is eerily quite and I decide I miss them.

6:00PM

My aunt and the dogs are back. She suggests a glass of wine, and I happily agree, because I have now been debating this for two hours. I ask her about her dog walk, and we shake our heads because there somehow always seems to be more people out walking than people who live in this town, despite the lockdown rules. The conversation probably finishes with something along the lines of, “the world has gone absolutely mad.”

6:30PM

My aunt starts preparing dinner, while I sit on the counter nursing my wine and talking at her. She nods along to my nonsense about a video I saw on Facebook and coos appropriately at some pictures I took of the dogs when I walked them.

7:00PM

We eat our dinner, and then clear the table and do the washing up, grateful to have some purpose in our lives, if only for a brief moment. The washing up is done too quickly.

8:00PM

Settled in front of the TV, it is now time to relax. We select a series on Netflix and begin to watch. Ten minutes in, one of the dogs farts, so they are shooed out of the room.

9:30PM

On a quick Netflix break, we decide it is time for a herbal tea of the ‘Sleep’ variety.

10:20PM

It is past ten, which I have deemed an appropriate time to retire to my bedroom for the evening, and call it a day. My aunt and I congratulate ourselves on having got through another day of nothingness. We let the dogs out in the garden, and my aunt leaves me to cuddle them. This takes a little time because I can never decide which one to cuddle last.

10:40PM

I have left the dogs in their beds and gotten ready to get into my own. I message my boyfriend and ask if he wants to video call again. Occasionally he says no because he has just settled down to watch a film with his flatmates, so I try to portray some minor annoyance through my messages, and spend my last moments awake playing a stupid game on my phone, or scrolling through Instagram once again.

8:00AM

Alarm goes off. I debate getting out of bed because it would be nice to develop some sort of normal-person sleep schedule, while all the bars and clubs are closed, but I press snooze before I have a chance to think any further about the idea.

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