My Quarantine Routine: Rosemary, an artist whose boyfriend moved in for lockdown

Lockdown meant lots of couples had to make a choice about where they wanted to spend the next few weeks.

If they didn’t live together, they had to either decide to move in together or face not seeing eachother until this is over.

It has forced some into long distance relationships and others are living together without the usual planning.

Artist Rosemary Cronin, 32, and her boyfriend Ross were together on the night lockdown came in and they had to quickly have the conversation about what they wanted to do.

They have been together for a year and a half but lockdown meant taking the leap to live together before they’d really thought about it.

They’re now isolating together in her flat in South Hampstead, London, with her living room turned into a studio for work.

This is how they spent 10 April.

9am

I wake up at a reasonable hour for a bank holiday. On previous bank holidays I would be nursing some form of hangover but since 7 March when I felt that lockdown was approaching, I haven’t had a drink at all.

I’ve been anxious of what might compromise my immune system (I get ill quite easily), so keeping clear of alcohol was a first port of call.

10 am

I start checking out the news and Whats App conversations on my phone. Its mainly friend groups talking about how they are doing.

I’ve also joined a local volunteer group, so have a read to see if there are any requests I can help with, there’s a person in Chalk Farm who has come down with coronavirus and needs paracetamol. With the help of the group, they get some to her fast.

 11 am

I start planning my Instagram Live creative workshop for Families Creates, a free workshop programme for families at the contemporary art space Zabludowicz Collection.

Normally I would run the workshop at the space and work with families to make and create together but this time we are doing it virtually.

For the past 12 years I’ve funded my creative practice by running workshops for museums and galleries across the capital, so I’m so grateful that the Zabludowicz Collection has found a digital solution, as my freelance income has definitely taken a big hit.

Lunchtime, and I’m serving up corned beef curry. An old wartime dish that makes a good curry from store cupboard ingredients, it’s a bit of a staple that tastes far better than it sounds and looks!

My boyfriend loves it, and over the past couple of weeks I’ve made a little menu of meals that we can choose from that I can make from scratch, and until the food delivery comes tonight it’s the last meal left on the menu that I could cook from the few ingredients we had left in the house.

2 pm

I finish off a couple of artworks that I’m selling as part of the Artist Support Pledge that artist Matthew Boroughs initiated. You post images of your work on sale for no more than £200, and for every £1000 you make, you pledge to buy another artists artwork.

My first one sold straight away, so I’m now busy making more so that I can support another artist in need.

3 pm

My boyfriend and I sit on the front door in the sunshine. We are well away from the pavement but we are still in shock as to how many people are out and about walking, jogging and meeting up.

We’ve been taking our exercise either at the crack of dawn or late in the evening to try and avoid people, and we also got a cheap stepper machine so that we could exercise indoors.

We’ve been fighting off every instinct to go for a walk in the sunshine, but that doesn’t seem to stop others and in nearby Primrose Hill they’ve had to spray paint the grass in huge letters ‘STAY 2M APART, PROTECT THE NHS’; the pavements here are full.

4 pm

My dad texts me Happy Easter. I start to feel pretty emotional; he’s in his 70s and despite being made of strong stuff, I worry about him.

I’m grateful that my sister lives next door to him and has him covered, but I miss them all so much.

My 10-year-old nephew Facetimes me and we talk about the fairy garden that we’ve been making together distantly; he tells me about the Auntie Day he’s planned for post lockdown, and that we probably won’t be able to go to Chessington World of Adventures as the carpark is being used as a drive-through testing base for NHS staff.

I reassure him that it won’t be forever and things will be ok, we’ve just got to stay at home and keep washing our hands.

6 pm

My boyfriend and I do bits around the house. This is the longest we’ve been together, and I’m so thankful for his company.

We didn’t live together before lockdown, but he was staying over when lockdown was announced and we had to have that conversation of, so are we staying together for the next three weeks/forseeable future…?

And despite a few heated moments about stuff in the fridge, bins and washing, it’s been another dimension of getting to know each other in a crazy set of circumstances; I feel lucky (plus the cat adores him now!).

9 pm

The tesco delivery arrives and the driver keeps his distance. As we unpack all the boxes we ask him how he’s doing.

He says he’s exhausted, that the whole thing is crazy and he’s just grateful he only has one final delivery after us.

We thank him lots and tell him how it’s people like him that keep the world turning!

11 pm

Time for bed. After two weeks of crazy sleep patterns and anxiety before bed I’ve started to sleep better these past few days thanks to herbal remedies and thinking about what I’m thankful for.

A couple of my friends have lost parents and colleagues to the virus, so I close my eyes and say a little prayer and think of friends and family that are NHS workers.

If you want to be involved with My Quarantine Routine, email [email protected]

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