After an extremely torrid five days where – I do not exaggerate – esteemed colleagues in the cultural sector are talking about their organisations and personal livelihoods being decimated, planning for 6 months closures and everything being cancelled for the foreseeable future, I am retreating to my preferred way of dealing with a crisis: seed sowing and forward planning.
We do not know what the future holds but I do know that panicking about it helps no-one. As a self-employed household, we have already had several contracts put into question by coronavirus, so now’s the time to be prudent and as self-sufficient as possible, and lend a helping hand to those who need it. Because it could be a whole lot worse (think of those Doctors, some of whom I was at university with, who are running the ICUs at the moment).
So here is my list of things to do in a “shit I’ve got no work on” crisis.
- Work out how much we need to live on vs confirmed income and budget accordingly.
- Finish building the shed and then insist Matt moves the concrete mixer so that I can tidy up the shrubs in the back garden
- Finish building the utility room
- Plan what colour to paint my office
- Potty train Harry (note, this will be harder than any day’s work I’ve ever done in my life)
- Plant all my seeds (already doing well with this)
- Dig out the brambles and grass from the allotment
- Plant out broad beans
- Dig out and replace the strawberries
- Replace the greenhouse
- Watch This Life and Ready Steady Cook on iplayer
- Study the sutras again (this is yoga, always the best medicine)
- Actually write that damned book
Because in this life, the most important things to learn in order to survive are how to grow things, how to make things and how to cook. Look out for your community (and well done to all those organisations who have promised freelancers that they will honour contracts and invoices) and let’s be sensible.