The Quarantine Interviews

7 June 2020

Caught Jen for a quick exit interview on her way out to brunch for 50.


What’s been the best thing about lockdown?

Dessert for breakfast. It’s amazing how quickly people slipped right into doing that. Everyone’s doing that, right? That and double lunch? Thank goodness for drawstring.


And the worst?

I got a pretty bad paper cut trying to make an origami elephant. Also, my neighbour took up the bagpipes; that’s been a lowlight.


What’s been bothersome?

Those giant floating graphics on the TV news. Is the virus blue or is it burgundy? Surely someone has the data on this by now.


Have you made any discoveries during this time?

Not all hand sanitisers are created equal. Also, don’t drink hand sanitiser, even if it comes from a gin distillery. A friend tried.


Any broader revelations?

When the world is on its knees, people will still bang on about football.


What about new skills – have you learned any?

I know how to exit a Zoom call now. Before the sun sets, I mean.


Any new habits?

I quite enjoyed the raffish feeling I got the first time I stepped out in mismatched shoes. I might keep that.


What have you learned about yourself?

I am more tolerant when the wine is open.


How did you go with home schooling?

No problem. In three or four days at home with me, my 13 year-old twins breezed through the entire high school syllabus. We had a quick graduation ceremony before I packed them off to live independently. They’re fine, I believe.


Any nuggets of advice from the pandemic?

Don’t buy chickpea linguini, even if it’s the last thing on the shelf. Eat something else. Your kid’s papier mache piggy bank, for instance. Or some garden mulch.


What’s the weirdest thing you cooked during lockdown?

A Ryvita omelette. Actually not bad. I might keep that, too.


What are you looking forward to doing now that restrictions are lifting?

Tapping elbows with someone. I’m a hopeless nostalgic.