Saturday, 21 March 2020

The Saturday List #256 - Ten things to do during the lock down period

Many of us are at a loss what to do, as the usual things in life are taken away from us. If, like me, you rarely stay in and watch telly, and find quiz shows and programs like 'Flog it' insufferable, then you may find yourself at a loss. At times like this, we need to keep ourselves stimulated. There are only so many hours you can spend reorganising your vinyl collection or sorting out your cupboards. Many of us are time rich, for the first time in our lives, or for those my age, since we were teenagers. 

Although social media is a two edged sword, for times like this, it provides a vital link with the world. I have given up looking at Twitter for the latest Covid-19 scare story, and pictures of empty shelves. I will be blocking all such posts in future. Share good things, if you find a great film, or discover a new and amazing artist, share this. 

I thought I'd share ten things with you, that might make your life a bit better. I may do a few of these lists over the next few weeks and share some of your tips. Humans are social animals, we are not meant to socially isolate, so lets not pretend this won't be difficult. But together we can make it just a bit better. 

1. Watch a film.

Back in 2012, I made a list of my top ten -
These are all worth a  watch. I would probably make a different list today.  There are two films that I would definitely add. One is the best sports film of all time - The Keeper, the story of Bert Trautmann, the German POW who became a legend after playing in a cup final for Manchester City in 1957 with a broken neck. Whilst I knew the story of the final, the story of his journey from a despised figure, who's signing provoked riots to a hero is an amazing tale.

But the film that would take pride of place is an independent Australian film, made in 2006, that I only came across a few years ago because one of my musical hero's Ed Kuepper did the soundtrack. It is perhaps the most thought provoking, life affirming film you will ever see. It is a great film for these times. You can find it on YouTube.

2. Make a playlist.

One of the things I love about Spotify is that you can make and share your own play lists. Think of a theme. Here's one I prepared earlier, just to kick you off. This one is my Inspiration play list, different songs mean different things to different people, but all of these songs are songs I play when I need inspiration

. Scan your old pictures and share them with friends.
About five years ago, I started a family photo archive on Facebook, as I found a few old pictures in a biscuit tin. I invited my brothers  and sisters to join. There are now 43 members, cousins, aunties etc. It has  now downside. This is the last picture I posted, taken in my garden in 1966 with my Dad and sisters.

4. Go for a walk.
So long as you avoid people, why not go for a walk. London has many fine walks, if I lived in central London, I would walk to the Thames and go for a long walk along the Southbank. As I live in Mill Hill, today it will be Totteridge Valley. Mark Warren won a prize for this picture of the Valley

5. Brush up your musical skills.
If like me, you play a musical instrument, the time is a blessing. If you are out of inspiration, check out some of the amazing tuition videos on Facebook. Here are some the great ones you can get for Guitar.

6. Meditate

Reducing stress is vital if you want to keep the body healthy. BBC Radio London's Jo Good did an innovative broadcast yesterday, to get us all relaxing and breathing!

7. Catch up on your reading.

Today the sun is shining, take advantage of it, but when the clouds come out, why not get reading

Back on May 2014, I put together a list of books you should read before you die.
When I looked at this list, which I've not thought about since I put it together, I was quite amazed. It is not my ten favourite books. It is something quite different, it is ten books that will make you think about important things in your life, even if some of them are not things you are interested in. At time such as this, it is really important to see if you need to refocus. I would suggest that you substitute, as your situation and life may require some of these, it was a personal list for me, that I hoped would provoke a bit of thought. -

One book I was very much looking forward to reading was Mark Amies book about London's industrial past. The publishers have put back the launch until May.

8. Grow some vegetables

I'd advise anyone with a patch of garden to plant a few vegetables. Potatoes and tomatoes are easy to grow. Runner beans, peas, strawberries, rhubarb and raspberries are easy to grow. Tomatoes and cress can even be grown in Window boxes, if you get the right varieties. It will save you money and given  the shortages, it might really help you out in a few months. 

9. Cleanse your social media.
If like me, you follow many people on Twitter and Facebook, some of whom post things that do not make you feel good, or upset you, why not take the opportunity to go through and get rid of the negativity in your life.

10. Keep in touch with your neighbours.
You may be OK, but are your neighbours. We wrote a blog detailing ways that this can be done earlier this week. Have a look and see what you can do. I am pleased that in Mill Hill, we are getting organised.

That's all folks, stay safe!

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