Quarantine Chirp

Dependent on when last you heard or read my blatherings, I will have been:

Plan A: Marrying in Latvia

Plan B: Teaching in Morocco

Plan C: Farming in Spain

Plan D: Teaching in Vietnam

Plan E: Travelling to Georgia

Plan F: Visiting friends in Norway

In actuality, I have spent the last ten weeks in Latvia. Some time working in Cēsis, some time with family in Limbaži, some time with friends in Rīga, some time exploring the beautiful countryside outside the capital. It has been immensely restorative and enjoyable.

Now, one aborted wedding, two unhonoured teaching contracts, three cancelled flights and five failed travel plans later, it is time to execute Plan G.

Plan G: Returning to glorious Guernsey

Upon telling my friends and family that I am returning, many have said they are sorry about the situation, it’s a such a shame I couldn’t go here or there and do this or that, and now I have to return home.

They assume, justly I guess, that I may be disappointed or frustrated.

First, why would I feel disappointed having spent ten weeks in one of my favourite countries, Latvia, seeing family and making friends, enjoying one of the few places in Europe that isn’t (or wasn’t) Covid-Crazy?

Second, I picked arguably the worst peacetime moment in history to attempt to travel anywhere. It would only be sensible to wait out this utter madness somewhere reasonably insulated from it.

Third, why on God’s green earth would I feel disappointed in returning to Guernsey?

I am blessed that I can call this rocque my home, and I am enormously excited to see my family, my friends, and that glittering, glistening seawater which I will recommence throwing myself into every single miraculous morning.

But I am getting ahead of myself. Two weeks ahead of myself, to be precise.

Upon returning to le rocque last night, I started the compulsory quarantine period of 14 days.

Myself and my friend Luke, who was due to travel back from Morocco at the same time and quarantine with me, hatched a master plan: during quarantine, we potentiate the savagery of the other, we ‘level-up’, and use the time quarantine carves out of our lives to push ourselves past prior limits and improve as people.

Due to unfortunate circumstances, revolving around the incompetent bureaucratic institutions of Morocco, Luke did not travel back, and I am to quarantine all by myseeeeelf.

However, tempting though it is, I shan’t chug back wine like Bridget Jones, cigarette in one hand, razor in the other. I shan’t throw my toys out the pram. I shall do Luke proud by following through with our quarantine master plan.

The plan includes, amongst other things:


After many weeks of beer, balsams, bread and beanjar, my sorry swollen stomach deserves a break. Today I start an open-ended fast, minimally one-and-a-half days, more if I’m feeling spritely. I’ve done countless one and two dayers. I’ve reached three days twice before. One felt amazing, truly educational. Clarifying. At the end of the other, I fell ill, a rare thing for me. Playing it by ear, or by stomach, will be the way to go.

Falun Dafa.

Falun Dafa is a form of meditation that I am out of regular practice with. Like my preferred ritual – throwing myself in the sea – it pushes your physical and mental fortitude, and you always, always, always feel better for it. A great way to start the day on the right wavelength.


My kettlebells are my babies, joys in themselves, to whom I owe my shoulder rehabilitation, general fitness, and at times, sanity. I have kettlebells ranging from 16kg to 48kg that I will be using for a variety of strength, conditioning and mobility work.


Luke and I both follow and attempt to emulate the Iron Wolf, whose routines comprise high volume burpees, squats, press-ups and pull-ups. I will cycle intensities throughout the two weeks. Two-hundred to three-hundred press-ups and seventy-five pull-ups in a single routine is typical.


Yoga is – if you’ll pardon me the hippyish expression – holistically beneficial. It hones and heals your body, mind and spirit. Yoga will be much needed after the abovementioned exercises. And, in the politest way possible, my hips really need to be opened up.


Luke and I had the wonderful idea of doing reading time, and reading aloud to each other material we find interesting. Either way, I will still be reading, though I will have to read myself my own bedtime stories. Recommendations for novels are welcome.


I have lots of time in which to write and lots to write about – watch this space.

There will also be reflections on this rather comfortable imprisonment and some before-and-after thoughts and pictures. This will hopefully highlight a healthy recomposition of my mind and body as I fast, exercise, meditate, and try to treasure this time as an opportunity to step-up rather than sink into a stagnant yet stirred craziness.

On that note, I will leave you with a purposeful misquotation of a miserable French philosopher. Cheers to quarantine everybody.

“Unfreedom is nothing but a chance to be better.”

Albert Camus. Sort of.

2 thoughts on “Quarantine Chirp

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