University of Oxford
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32119: The lockdown routine

online resource
posted on 2023-12-08, 20:05 authored by Lockdown2020 and Beyond Project

As an international couple, we have taken the lockdown opportunity to spend more (than ever) time together, while adjusting our work routines, inside the same flat. I have transformed the living room in a double-use space, where I now have a fully functional working place. He has taken the office as his composing cave and recording studio. We wake up early with the sounds of the birds or the cat meowing for food. He gets up, plays with the cat for 15 minutes and meditates for 20 min. During this time, I shamelessly check for new e-mails and social media notifications.

We prepare breakfast and sip on our coffee while we observe a recurrent squirrel cross the electricity cables in front of our kitchen window. We hear the cat nibbling the food and we smile. Time for family breakfast is precious.

We remind ourselves of which video calls we have that day and make plans to switch off internet to not overload the WIFI. We take our left-over coffee and march to our offices to start the work day. Two hours later we have a break for a coffee refill, and if no urgent seminars are due, we sit in the sofa and discuss the hot topic of the day. Occasionally the break will consist of a scream to get rid of a multi-legged uninvited creepy crawler.

We return to our work desks - which now I recall being an ironing table the first week of lockdown -, and work for another 2-3h. Most of the times he cooks and calls me for having a quick meal while watching the newly arrived YouTube video of our favourite channel. We return to our work desks and, sometime in the middle the afternoon, he wants to show me his latest composition progress. I always smile. I understand little, but continue to smile in a motivating manner while picturing mentally the process of transforming the sounds of hitting stones into programming lines which then make music. Other times, I speak out loud about my hypothetical science project ideas and see how much of that he understands. This helps me keeping things objective and simple. Before continuing to work, we discuss at what time he goes for a walk and if I join that day. We decide I will go on the weekend and tell him we can get flowers to bring colour to the kitchen. After a long work day, later in the evening, we discuss the unfortunate things this confinement is bringing upon our career development, while we think about the privilege of spending time together at home, protected and protecting others. How (too) soon this will end and he will leave again.


About the picture(s)

His compositions The cat The kitchen flower Outside walks - sky Outside walks - bug on flower Outside walks - Tree swing




Yarnton, UK



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