What Metro is doing in lockdown, day 7


Seven days! You made it. We made it. This is today's time-spending recommendations from the Metro team.

READ MORE: Things to do day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6

Something to read: Henry's previous recommendation for Patricia Lockwood's article about John Updike in the London Review of Books reminded me of my own favourite Patricia Lockwood essay, a 2018 article on Tin House called "How Do We Write Now", a reflection on the hyper-accelerated nature of online discourse following Trump's election in 2016.

The first line reads: "The alternate title of this, of course, is how the fuck do we write now" and the sentiment feels extremely fitting right now, just replace "write" with whatever it is you do (or don't know how to do any more). There is a line I have thought of often since first reading this essay about how important it is to claim your morning. From the essay: "If I look at a phone first thing the phone becomes my brain for the day. If I don’t look out a window right away the day will be windowless, it will be like one of those dreams where you crawl into a series of smaller and smaller boxes."

This seems more important than ever; because the temptation to stay glued to your phone for both news and because it's the only way to talk to nearly everyone you love is now stronger, but the chances giving in to that impulse will put you in a crabby mood and ruin your day has not decreased. Apart from its instructive qualities, the essay is also simply, like everything Patricia Lockwood writes, a complete joy to read with lines like "I think I like to see what I have read lying sweetly by the side of what I’m about to read, like a wife" and "read one of those Annie Dillard books where she watches an ant fuck for like fourteen straight hours and at the end of it somehow believes in God even more than she did already".

If a whole essay is too much right now, why not simply reflect on and enjoy this perfect tweet of hers, instead:

– Tess Nichol

Something to listen to: This song by Bob Dylan called "Seven Days". Don't over think it! – Henry Oliver 

Something to watch (with kids): We're doing it hard in the Farrell-Green-Kidd household: two bored pre-schoolers and two full-time jobs. There is a lot of TV watching, for which we feel very guilty and which generally just seems to push the tantrums back an hour or so. We’re big fans of Story Time From Space, in which real-life astronauts read science-ish related stories. From space! My personal favourite: "Ada Twist, Scientist" by Andrea Beaty, read by Serna Auñón-Chancellor. Even better: if kindly grandparents monitor the Story Time From Space via Zoom so you can get 10 minutes and 34 seconds of work done. Technology! – Simon Farrell-Green

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