Quarantine Diaries #2

Started off cold, but a beautiful sunny day in London. Blue sky, bright sun, and temps around mid teens (Celsius, don’t freak out Americans). The morning started pretty quiet, started work a little earlier, then took a break to eat, get some groceries (shops seem to be managing stock levels now), and check-in with the world.

Got stuck into some more work, and then headed out for a mid morning run. Last night more mandates came down, essentially shutting down anything that isn’t grocery shopping, exercise (once a day only apparently) and non essential travel (ie specific jobs only). So a new level of lockdown, and whilst most people were pretty much confined to their local neighbourhoods, the aim is to cut down on the aimless gathering/wandering that people were doing. I get the 1x day exercise mandate (depending where you read, that is either stated clearly or just generally said exercise alone and only when needed), as I’ve witnessed large groups of people out and about, likely saying they are ‘going for a walk’. There has been a visible police presence, but nothing sinister. I think they are just there to make sure there are no groups of people out, and people are either exercising or out for a specific purpose (to get groceries etc). We shall see how it goes. Anyway, the sun was shining, and as always, a beautiful treat to be out moving the legs and in the green (Hampstead Heath, the original and the best for me in London).

Saw a sign on a shop window that made me laugh, ‘ Cash and Toilet Paper not kept on premises’. Well played.  The post run afternoon flew by, helped by 2.5 hours on a Skype call with some of the amazing MARCOMMS team. Whilst I am not a perm member of the team (technically I am only seconded 20% of my week), the team is incredible and I’ve always felt like a full-time member. Seeing the work our amazing leader Lynda has had to do Comms wise, is mind blowing. Proud to be part of such a dedicated and talented team, and I appreciate the daily checkins and camaraderie which comes from Lynda and filters down. Easily the best part of my work day is the time I spend in MARCOMMs, and genuinely blown away by the tight knit team. A good feeling to have.

One of my favourite comedians (Tom Segura) has a new Netflix special that is out today. That is my after dinner viewing for sure. I’ve been hammering the comedy a lot the last six or so months, and especially the last week or so. We all need a laugh, and I appreciate comedy for its face value, as well as the more behind the scenes elements to how a joke, story etc forms, and then builds into a show. Looking at the nuances in styles, delivery, what makes a joke shocking, humorous, clever, and all the mechanics to it. By no means would I ever want to do stand-up, but I appreciate it like I can appreciate the technicality and creativity of a musician or artist.

I haven’t had a cookie for like a week, which is HUGE for me. May have to remedy that tomorrow. Definitely fixing that error.

I’ve enjoyed getting into surfing movies of late. I grew up in one of the best coastlines in the world (Scarborough Beach, Perth WA is my home beach), spent a ton of time in the ocean and followed surf culture. I’ve been re-engaging with the competitive side of the sport the last 12 or so months, with increased focus. I love WSL produced podcast ‘The Lineup’, and really enjoyed a film last night about a bunch of Aussie surfers in the 1970s. ‘Bustin Down the Door’ highlights a bunch of Aussies (and a couple of S Africans) who went to Hawaii with hopes to push the limits of surfing, and see what they could make of themselves. Brash and bold, they tore up the scene, elevating the sport and surfing over there, then got into some pretty gnarly situations with the locals, eventually resolving a huge island dispute they were the fore-front of. They, alongside the Americans and Hawaiians surfing at the time, were the first group to become Pro Surfers. I love how Aussies have always held such a high regard in the sport of surfing, and from day one have been part of the leaders paving the way on both the mens and women’s side of things. Sure, brash and confident at times (something I identify with and some would agree comes out of my personality) but generally there to push their limits and make their mark on the world. What these guys were doing in the mid 70s is mind blowing. I’ve said it plenty before, surf culture and ultra-running culture have many parallels. Probably why I am so drawn to both. I actually learnt to surf on a pretty gnarly break in Margaret River, home to an event on the WSL annually and known for some pretty big surf (and a fantastic wine region too).

Lastly, super grateful for a the following. Sunshine on my run today. FaceTiming with Laurel. Finding the name of a song last night that I’ve been chasing for months (Olive James – Head Above Water). And grateful for Netflix and the comedy I’m going to enjoy tonight.

Oh. HAPPY BIRTHDAY CASSIE. You’re one of my favourite people, kind, intelligent, and so much more. Sending you all the love and birthday cheer from afar. Hope to be adventuring with you soon friend.

Life is what we make it. Especially in the dark times.


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