zoom IN on zoe's lockdown
Ever wondered what four French citizens and a dog stranded in the Parisian suburbs looked like? Take a look at ten of the wild things I’ve been doing to get a taster...
by Zoe Manset
13th April 2020
1. Snooze, doze, slumber, shut-eye, pretend-to-meditate-in-horizontal-position, S.L.E.E.P and find out what this means to me (a lot)
In non-viral times, I nap almost every day. This is, to me, a bit of a world championship for a highly skilled competitor if you will. My bed also happens to be a forest-like alcove, ideal for pretending to be royalty dreaming of their next soufflé buffet.
2. Move my body
My frequent reclining sessions tend to pump me to actually do something with myself when I’m out of bed. Lately, I have been working out and frantically dancing to a playlist from 2014 called “dance party hits!” a lot. Sue me.
French lockdown started a week ago and I intended to stay away from the kitchen as it is a dangerous place for me to hang out in if my parents want me to walk out of our house by myself when this is all over (as opposed to giving my monumental backside a big push for me to ROLL out). We are now a week in and I give up. So far I’ve tried an almond butter protein pudding (failed miserably) a low-cal four ingredient pancake (read last parenthesis) so I’ll be sticking to high cal high success with choc chip banana bread from tonight onwards.
No, not my neighbors, films and video content. I have had a growing film list for years that was apparently waiting for a word pandemic to take to the stage. So far, I’ve cried and giggled with pure joy in front of Erin Brockovich's outfits, reveled in the absolute kickass power of Greta Gerwig (Mistress America gets a thumbs up) and watched a whole season of Caliphate, a recent Swedish Netflix show about radical Islamic tendencies and recruitment in Stockholm. Beautiful.
Back when I was still a rebellious youth, my mum used to tell me to drop my book and get out of the house for a bit. Now she definitely can’t. I’m mostly reading in French at the moment but for what it’s worth I’ve just finished Gabriële, the superb story of Francis Picabia’s first wife written by two of her great-granddaughters, and once I have completed Jean d’Ormesson’s “Histoire du Juif Errant”, I’ll probably get on to a collection of some of Hemingway’s short stories.
I find it hard to stick to a steady work rhythm but right now I’m doing research for my dissertation on fashion in film which fills me with pure awe and doesn’t necessarily feel burden-like as lots of uni work does. Since my parents just moved into the house I am currently quarantined in, I also just decorated my room to try and make it enticing to work in. Gotta do what you gotta do.
7. Play with my dog
My bébé chien is amongst the most beautiful beings I have had the chance to meet and although my Dad is convinced that he is deeply anxious as to what’s happening, he’s LOVING it. His life after all, is a constant lockdown with less of us.
8. Window shop on the internet
I absolutely love dreaming about all of the cool DIY stuff I’ll never do and fill an internet basket with crafting tools that I have no money to buy. Same goes for clothing and million-dollar apartments.
9. Plan on writing a novel, preparing for an audition, staging a play and knitting a scarf
My days are honestly a lot of sleeping and chatting with my family, reading or watching something for a bit and working out. I am not as productive as the great plans that are screaming in my ear want me to be, but I am healthy and lucky to be surrounded with love and furry dog toys. If I manage to get most of my uni work done and come out of this fairly rested, I’ll give myself a hell of a clap on the back, screenplay or no screenplay.
My friends and family are far away from going through more or less fun times and some of them are working in hospitals and medical practices. Every day at 8 PM, my parents, brother and I open our windows onto the street and clap with more and more of our neighbors to thank the amazing people saving lives and getting us out of these dark times. That’s one way to connect and it’s heartwarming. Houseparty, FaceTime and text are both useful and easy to master (I’ve done it). That’s another way to connect that people going through the plague clearly did not have.
Stay home, stay safe and smile. We’ll soon be going back to the pub.