So, my fellow Brits will know this already of course, but for those of you further afield, the UK is currently in lockdown due to the Coronavirus pandemic. As I write this, I believe it is day 52 (or thereabouts).
So I thought maybe I should write about how life has been in this time, how I have been coping, what I’ve been getting up to. If it amuses you, or gives you an idea of something you could do to make this time a bit easier for you, then I’ve accomplished something worthwhile.
So let’s get the obvious out of the way first. With all this time away from work, I have had much more time than usual to catch up with my growing backlog. And yet, I have only ticked one game off of that list!
I finally got round to playing Man Of Medan, which had been sitting on the shelf patiently for some months … but why is that the only backlog game I have taken care of?
Animal Crossing: New Horizons has become a welcome part of my daily routine. Fine-tuning my island layout, seeing my animal friends every day, making money to pay off my loan and buy new furniture and clothes, sending my friends who own the game things that I think they would like, and of course hunting down new bugs and fish to add to the museum.
I just can’t get enough of it, you get a real sense of serene calm as you play. It has certainly helped to keep me relaxed, having this as part of my routine, even though I don’t spend longer than an hour on it each day.
Final Fantasy VII Remake was of course recently released, and although I originally intended to wait for it to come down in price, but then figured that that wasn’t going to happen for a very long time – so I ended up buying it on release day!
There’s no doubt that this kept me busy for quite a bit of time! I fell in love with it instantly, so it was easily the only thing that I played (besides my designated Animal Crossing time). I had heard that people generally took around 37 hours to complete the game, so I did drag it out somewhat. Enjoying the views, finishing all the side quests, and trying not to miss any treasure – I believe my final time was around 44 hours?
Fallout 76 has had a rather timely update which has attempted to revive the struggling MMORPG by adding the NPCs that it so desperately craved. I was more than happy to give it another chance seeing as I had just finished FFVII, and I was rather surprised to find that I really enjoy the game now. So much so that the new character I created is already level 50 …
The last gaming entry is stepping away from consoles – Medieval Total War 2 on my laptop. It’s another strategy game that I love, but besides that, there are some excellent mods available for it. I took the time to download the Hyrule Total War mod (which I haven’t played for years) and it has been a pleasure to rediscover after all this time. And it certainly isn’t without it’s challenges! Would you want to be surrounded by hostile Stalfos, Gohma, Goron, and Zora armies? Trust me, you wouldn’t.
My life isn’t all about video games! I’ve also been taking the time to catch up with my reading material.
First on the list was my Legend Of Zelda Twilight Princess manga. It was a sensational read, and such an interesting twist on the existing TP storyline. It was a real delight to read and the artwork was just amazing as well.
What I am currently reading is the Pokémon Adventures manga, and once again, a superb read with fantastic artwork! I haven’t quite finished it yet, I’m currently reading volume 5 of 7.
Once I have finished that, the next thing for me to tackle will be something a bit more monolithic… George R. R. Martin’s A Song Of Ice And Fire collection! No doubt, lockdown won’t last nearly long enough for me to finish reading those!
Sketching is something I used to do many years ago, and I really loved it as a hobby. I attempted to get back into it last year, but I think I only managed to do two sketches that I was happy with. I’m pleased to say that with all this free time, I have been able to really throw myself back into it, and I’ve been so happy with the work I’ve done! Some has been for me, some has been requested by family and friends, but all of it has put a smile on someone’s face at least, so I’ll share it here in the hope that it puts a smile on your face too!
Baking And Cooking
Another thing I love to do is bake. It’s just such a fun little hobby, with the added bonus that you end up with lots of sweet treats hanging around the house! And I’ve enjoyed having the time to put more thought and time into my cooking as well.
I feel like I have baked about 100 different things, but I’ll let you have a look for yourself at the things I’ve been making!
I would like to give a bit of a shout out to an Instagram page which has given me a lot of inspiration in the mornings. What I Ate For Breakfast has been something of a Godsend! This account posts every morning showing off what they have made, and how to make it yourself. I have tried a few of them out and they are just delicious!
In the modern day of demand TV, it is so easy to get behind with all the great shows that you want to watch. Me and my ever-growing watchlist are all too aware of this. But I have made good progress with a show that I have been desperate to watch, The Crown on Netflix! If anyone hasn’t seen it yet, then I definitely suggest you give it a go and see what you think.
We have also been treated to Studio Ghibli films finally arriving on Netflix this year, truly perfect timing! Some of my favourite films are by Studio Ghibli, and they’re definitely worth having a look at if you haven’t seen them before.
Besides Netflix, I have also been watching my favourite Youtube channel, so get ready for another shout out! Outside Xbox and Outside Xtra are two sister channels which have provided me with unending entertainment! they both do a show every week where they discuss what they have been playing, and game news in general, as well as various playthrough videos and livestreams, and some rather amusing list features too!
ENjoying the scenery
On my daily walks, I have been trying to pay more attention than usual to the surrounding scenery. It’s far too easy in our fast-paced lifestyle to walk past beautiful sights and views without even realising they are there. When you take the time to pay attention to the places around you, you will probably be shocked by how many things you could have missed out on.
So that’s the main bulk of what I’ve been getting up to. How is everyone else coping? What are you doing to pass the days? Feel free to leave a comment down below and let us all know how you’ve been!