Why self-isolation is different to my summer holidays

My friends tell me my life self-isolating to break the spread of Covid-19 is exactly the same as my summer holidays. Here’s why they’re so wrong.

On 26 March, the whole of New Zealand went into self-isolation at home. Well, everyone except those with important jobs required to keep us all alive, such as medical professionals, couriers, farmers, Covid-19 researchers, and supermarket checkout operators.

I am not an essential worker, though I have the uncertain delight of being able to work from home.

Delight because being able to earn income allows me to buy books, which makes me happy. Uncertain because having the Prime Minister to tell you not to go to work is the adult version of getting a note from your mum saying you’re excused from gym class. (Or PE, as we call it.)

But I have to go anyway.

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What you can learn from a thousand times

I believe you can become awesome at the stomping unicorn backhand–or many other things–in just one day. Here’s how.

I heard a great story once.

The story

A visiting instructor once gave a two-day seminar at my tennis** club, and he told us about a similar seminar he’d given at a different club.

** The sport has been changed to protect the identities of the innocent. I don’t know tennis from snail polo.

On the first day, he’d taught the class a move called the stomping unicorn backhand. Most of the more advanced students were familiar with the stomping unicorn, but it was sparkling new for the less experienced students.

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I don’t have the organisational skills to make a cooked breakfast

My inability to multi-task makes cooking breakfast a major undertaking. The bacon may not get out alive.

I have a confession.

I’m terrible at multi-tasking.

Don’t try to have a conversation with me while I’m browsing the web because I swear I won’t hear you. If I’m chopping vegetables, for the Great Cat’s sake get me to put down the knife before you ask me what clothes I have to go in the wash.

I can’t even walk and chew gum.

In most aspects of my life, I’ve learned to compensate for my inability to multi-task.

The one place it still gets me every time?

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19 types of clothes you couldn’t possibly get rid of

Ever wonder why your wardrobe is always overflowing with clothes, but you have only two outfits you wear? This is the secret–19 types of clothes it’s impossible to get rid of.

My wardrobe doesn’t have an ever-expanding interior and, though you might not guess it from looking at me, I do occasionally buy new clothes. Put these together, and you reach the occasional need for me to get rid of clothes.

Naturally I avoid this activity as long as I can, but eventually it becomes hazardous to my health to not deal with the problem.

I go into the task optimistic.

I’m sure I have only two pairs of pants I wear regularly, a couple of tops, a jacket or two, and maybe some socks and underwear. It’ll be no problem to pare back my wardrobe to a quarter full.

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The glorious and sad saga of the driveway from hell

I think my driveway is glorious, but many people hate it. Read for yourself and decide who’s right.

The driveway from the road runs along a valley, winds around a hill, climbs steeply past the orchard and chook house, and finally drops to my house. It’s 800 metres long. (I’ll tell you how I know this shortly.)

It’s home to an unreliable rabbit named Nicholas Augustus, several families of quail that appear each year with their puffball babies, and occasionally a mysterious cat (probably hunting the quail).

Taxi drivers vs the driveway from hell

I travel to Auckland quite often, and the taxi drivers who arrive at the house at 5:30am to pick me up inevitably have one of two reactions:

Reaction 1: What a terrifying driveway! I almost didn’t make it here. Do you actually drive up and down it?

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