It’s been the strangest two weeks. Quarantine has meant both feeling the embrace of forced laziness and the eye twitch of cabin fever – often at the same time.
I’ve never been so obsessed with time – when it seemingly doesn’t matter. For the last two weeks, it hasn’t mattered if you wake up at 6 or 7, or even at 9. Go back to bed at 3 – am or pm? No problem. Having the cool of air-con helps too. Normally, on anchor, sleeping much past 8am in the Caribbean on Quest feels like sleeping in an oven. Now, in a temperature-controlled environment, every hour could be the same.
I think quarantine may be akin to what it feels like when you’re really little, or really old. No one needs anything from you. And, since we’re sleeping extra to fill the time, it’s made us all dream more. Surprisingly for me, I find myself dreaming a lot about home.
Last night for example, I dreamt we were walking in a beautiful London-style street. Large brick, semi-detached houses in a classy suburb. Period windows, shrubbery, perfect pointing – they were the kind of London houses which cost almost as much to maintain as they are to buy. In my dream, this was my home. Each house was waving at me, as if saying, ‘You are so lucky to live here.’
After admiring the houses, I began twitching with restlessness. I remember thinking, well this is nice and all, but it isn’t actually home. And some sort of hand of God grumpily said to me, ‘Well, if you really want it your way,’. The picture changed. The scene became Borth. I was walking along the sea front, towards our bungalow. And anyone who knows Borth, knows that’s not exactly the same thing as a posh London suburb. It was suddenly windy and exposed. The houses became – well, Borth houses. And I felt a surge of relief. I was home. For me, being one of those people who don’t really have a ‘home’, having moved around so much since my early years, this took my breath away.
Perhaps these dreams come from being in an unfamiliar place right now, and stopping in our tracks. Normally I would keep myself busy with what’s around us. Now, I can really smell the Cardigan Bay. It might not help either that the weather is currently gorgeous in the UK.
Living in Borth, you are specially programmed to know that when the weather is good, you gotta be out in it. It’s like a local radar. You spend all winter waiting for good weather between howling Atlantic gales. So, when you’re not there and it’s nice at home, the eyes twitch. You become obsessed with time. You sleep a lot too. Hold on – that’s just quarantine. Oh shit. Bring on Day 13.