Late yesterday evening, after floating the idea that I might go for a run in the morning, my other half hijacked the idea, and invited my daughters to go with me – to take them through the “Couch to 5K” training programme while we’re all self-isolating. She loves planning things for other people. Conversely, when she is busy you better be busy too, otherwise all sorts of displeased looks will be aimed in your general direction.
I woke with a start at 7am, when the bedside alarm-clock ripped me from a bizarre dream about the cats bringing a number of mice into the living room, and leaving them in a neat heap by my feet. I was about to stroke one of the mice when the alarm interrupted.
After gazing at the second hand sweeping around the alarm-clock face for a while, I eventually slid out of bed, pulled some shorts from a drawer, and stumbled downstairs. I met my younger daughters in the hallway, and enquired if we were still going for a run. Miss 16 immediately indicated that a second ice age might happen before she would “go for a run”, while Miss 15 shrugged, and murmured “I suppose?”
While pulling my socks on, I asked 15 if she could ask 19 if she was coming too. Another immediate response. “Not today”.
Five minutes later I found myself improvising a warm-up routine along the road outside the house, before setting off at a gentle jog. We did ten sets of two minutes running, one minute walking – half an hour of effort altogether. Along the way we saw the road to the nearby hotel closed off with police signs, and a remarkable lack of anybody anywhere. During the three or four kilometres we covered, we only saw three people – two elderly women out walking, and an overweight man walking his dog.
After getting home, showering, changing clothes, and feeding toast into my face, I sat down with a cup of tea to catch up on the various blogs I follow. Somehow it’s lunchtime – the entire morning has vanished in a maelstrom of reading, liking, commenting, subscribing, friending, following, and all the other things you do when you fall down social internet rabbit holes.
I wonder if the inventers of the various social platforms ever imagined they would be used by so many to remain sane in such challenging times ?