My Lock-Down goals

Three weeks ago (oh god was it really only three weeks ago?) I self deprecatingly posted the following on Facebook:

Things I intend to do while isolating which will almost certainly not actually happen:
Discover all 720 items in Little Alchemy 2.
Read the dead tree Ruth Rendell I won in a competition in 1998.
Learn how to do conturing make up.
Regrout the shower.
Complete a marathon on the exercise bike.

Then, on further reflection upon the enormity of what might be coming, I figured these might be good things to do. To *actually* do.

The Book

Page with author's signature
Page with prize sticker

I won this book in 1998, coming first in the Reader’s Quiz (suck it Liam Pollard!) And something, I can’t say what, drew me to the signed Ruth Rendell rather than the other prize which was book vouchers. (This also worked out well for the aforementioned Mr Pollard who was pretty chuffed he got his preferred prize of vouchers, despite coming 2nd. Yeah – 2nd! Hah!) Only the book sat on my shelf, untouched, for the next two decades. I nearly got rid of it in the last house move, but somehow didn’t. Those who know me would hopefully attest that I am, in most things, a cast-iron rationalist, not given to belief in fate, signs or otherworldly nudges. And yet, faced with an unknown number of weeks, I just, somehow, felt, that it was the right time to pick it up and read it.

The Marathon

Home gym

I’m pretty happy with my body. It’s soft and curvy and gets appropriate levels of admiration from the only person whose opinion I value in such matters. But I am currently somewhat bigger than I have been in previous years, and, generally speaking, I feel a bit happier, healthier and more confident when I’m more compact. We nearly got rid of the exercise bike in the last house move, but somehow didn’t. Which was a good call, as after the initial chaos of moving etc we set up a decent home gym, which gets regular use. A fact for which I am extremely grateful in these times. I usually do 40-45 minutes every other day (or 1 episode of Supernatural) as a mix of cardio and weights. The batteries had gone in the display yonks ago, and I was perfectly happy peddling away for an indeterminate amount of time and distance. But happening across a spare couple of triple As, I figured it would be nice to see what I was accomplishing. It takes me about 1 episode to do 13 miles so I’m working on my stamina and hope one day soon to pop on a 100 or so minute film and achieve this one.

The DIY Project

Shower cubicle with dirty grouting

There’s a certain type of disgust reserved for Other People’s Filth. Particularly Other People’s Bathroom Filth. You know what I’m talking about. When we moved to our new digs we scrubbed and scoured our way to tolerable cleanliness. And then allowed a nice, comforting layer of our Own Filth to build up. As time, money and effort allows we have started to tick off some of the home improvement tasks we said we’d do when we moved in. So we got as far as installing a proper extractor fan. But steamy showers gonna steam, and we have a bit of black mould situation developing. So, what better opportunity to get stuck into some DIY than a lockdown?

The Look

Make up products

I’m pretty happy with my face. It’s soft and curvy and gets appropriate levels of admiration from the only person whose opinion I value in such matters. Occasionally I put on a bit of slap for fun, or to cover the odd blemish on important occasions. Underneath this professional exterior lies a frustrated teeny-goth who sometimes likes to come out and play panda-eyes. But beyond all that, I never really understood the whole cosmetics thing. I’m aware there’s a whole world of aesthetic embellishment out there, which never really seemed that relevant to me, but what else is a lock-down good for but learning new skills? So: contouring. I have no illusions that this will be a flattering look on me. I suspect my oft-commented rosy cheeks will rather undermine the sexy-austere effect intended. But as past-times go, it’s pretty harmless.

The Game

Screenshot showing progress through Alchemy 2

Regular readers will know I am an Avid Gamer and all about the long haul. I like narrative, complex character development, choices with consequences, and evidence some budget got thrown into script, voice & visuals. Back when I had a commute (remember those?) I’d dip in and out of more casual fare. I was maybe 10% of the way through Little Alchemy 2 when this all kicked off. Actually completing a mobile game, where it’s a simple calculation of X/720 items discovered as to whether you finish, would be new territory for me.

The Stretch-Goal (subscriber’s only content – not available on Facebook)

Image of The Expanse on Amazon Prime

I *really* don’t need to watch any more telly than I do already, but there’s a handful of shows hanging over my head which I know are brilliant, but I never made time for:

Space Above & Beyond – a recommendation from Terry which we got two episodes through before I lost interest.

The Expanse – Sci Fi shows get cancelled these days like they are going out of fashion, so I try not to get too attached until I know it has legs. Don’t want another Firefly yanking at my heart strings! #toosoon

The Wire – because it was supposedly the best thing on telly since ever, and yet it just didn’t happen for me.

Grey’s Anatomy – much like Supernatural this goes on for a crazy-long time, and it has Sandra Oh who I very much enjoyed in Sideways & adored in Killing Eve. Seems like a sound investment.

The Prediction

I am pretty confident I’ll do the book, the bike & the make-up. Also I’ll probably do the shower because after another couple of weeks it will gross me out if I don’t. If I keep chipping away at Alchemy I might get up to the high 500’s and then I’ll have an existential crisis as to whether I should carry on properly, cheat for the sake of being able to post a pic online of 720/720 discovered, or just give up because literally no-one is policing this. I reckon I’ll give Space Above & Beyond another shot, if for no other reason than I do tend to commandeer the screen and it seems reasonable to occasionally share with Terry. The Expanse looks pretty damn good, so I reckon we’ll both enjoy that. Terry hates blood’n’guts on screen, but I might sneak a gander at the odd Grey’s Anatomy ep now and then to see if it’s my kinda thing. As for The Wire – well, the Ruth Rendell waited over 20 years. So probably best not to hold your breath.