My life in lockdown

A screenshot from the game Animal Crossing: New Horizons. A person lies on a hammock under a palm tree, with a coconut drink on one side of them and a tape deck on the other.

It’s been a long, long while since I felt like writing a blog post.

I know this is something a lot of people have been struggling with. Back when all this began—by which I mean the lockdown—everyone seemed to have such lofty goals. They were going to deep clean their house, they were going to learn a language, they were going to learn to paint, etc. Experts warned people that this lockdown wasn’t going to be all fun and games, but a collective, cumulative trauma. Watching the statistics from Italy and Spain, I suspected they were going to be right.

For me, my ability to read evaporated almost as soon as I packed up my things from the office and went home for the last time. I often find when I’m undergoing a big life change that I lose my inclination to pick up a book. Books take me out of reality, but I wanted to experience this: every moment, every new thing, good or bad.

Plus, or maybe because of this, my attention span was shot. I couldn’t focus, whether on my dayjob (where luckily I can work from home very easily), or reading, or anything else. I’ve kept banging away on my fiction, but my daily wordcount has undergone a serious dip that it hasn’t recovered from yet.

I’m turning into a news zombie: where the only thing I can consume is the unending torrent of awfulness direct from the internet into my brain. But I’ve been trying to fight back against this unhealthy faux-alertness. So what have I been up to?

The Untamed

Wei Wuxian, a man in black robes, lying in the arms of Lan Wangji, a man in white robes and wearing an ornate hair decoration

Oh my GOD how can I BEGIN to express my feelings over this show? This show is like Pride and Prejudice with magic and swordfights! It’s like Lord of the Rings but super duper gay! Now we’ve finished all fifty episodes, I’m having major separation anxiety. I just want to bury myself in beautiful, emotional, complex, incredibly gay Chinese drama again.

The Queens of Innis Lear

The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton

Tessa Gratton’s Queens of Innis Lear picked me back up out of my reading slump. I began this book way back in February but was struggling with it—it felt slow and meandering at the beginning. Getting back into it now, it absorbed me. I hadn’t known what I really needed was to let myself sink into a high fantasy world, and really dwell in it for a bit. By the end, I adored this book. I can’t wait to pick up Gratton’s Lady Hotspur, set in the same world.

Mass Effect

The Normandy SR-2, a spaceship, flying into the Citadel, a huge space station shaped like a flower

I’ve finally given in and started the epic trilogy. By virtue of being very online, I already know the entire plot. But it’s different to experience everything for yourself, and make your own choices. I’m currently halfway through Mass Effect 2, and I’m playing the long game: my Shepard is holding out for a Kaidan romance.

Animal Crossing

A screenshot from the game Animal Crossing: New Horizons. A person lies on a hammock under a palm tree, with a coconut drink on one side of them and a tape deck on the other.

So I’ve hopped right onto this delightful bandwagon! I’ve played, like, part of one AC game before this, and wasn’t sold. But New Horizons is just lovely, friendly, brightly-coloured escapism. And it’s escapism where, unlike real life, I can visit my friends! It’s the social experience, to be honest, that I’m really enjoying.

I could go on and on about the things I miss, but that’s just a short hop from being miserable. However long this lasts, I’m grateful to still have a job, still be able to pay rent, grateful that we have a new kitten who makes life unpredictable even in lockdown, grateful that I’m safe and surrounded by people I love.

What a disgustingly saccharine note to end on. How about this: fuck the government, fuck Boris, and hang in there.

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