Isolation diaries part eight: hitting the books

By Andrew Johnston

ALL day/staring at the ceiling making/friends with shadows on my wall.

Well friends, we are a few days into Lockdown 2: Electric Boogaloo.

The streets of Echuca are quieter as we find ourselves back in our homes, watching Netflix and trying to avoid humanity.

There are some notable improvements this time around - such as live sport.

How good is it having the football (for most of you, my team suck badly right now) and the netball back on TV to get us through this tough time?

In light of Hawthorn being utterly unwatchable this year, I've decided to turn to my old enemy for this lockdown - books.

I don't think I have disclosed this to our readers, but I suffer from ADHD.

It directly impacts my ability to focus on things, and my co-workers at the Riv are used to me randomly standing up and walking away from my desk when I feel myself being impacted by it.

This is my way of getting my head back in the right zone, and almost always works.

Which leads me to the problems I have with books.

I often abandon books after a few chapters, or can take months on end to finish a book as it is something my head simply doesn't allow me to do.

But during this quarantine I am going to try and actually get through a book, the autobiography of Hawthorn great Jarryd Roughead.

Rough remains one of my favourite players - an incredible key forward, a fantastic leader and one of the nicest and most liked people in football.

But it was Rough's battles with melanoma and his return to play again after battling stage four cancer which will be the story long remembered.

The last live game of AFL football I saw was his farewell game against Gold Coast last year, where his teammates made a point of feeding him the ball at every opportunity (he finished with six goals).

Typically at the Riv we write Monday's football and netball pages on Sunday, but I worked well into Saturday night to make sure I was done so I could get to Melbourne for the game.

I regret nothing. It was a fantastic afternoon.

Part of the reason I went and bought the book was an email I received from Riv editor Tyla Harrington, asking us what we were planning to do during lockdown.

It got me thinking about what new things I could try now that I had a bit of time on my hands other than watch far too much baseball.

So, on top of reading Roughy's book, I decided it's time I expanded my cooking repertoire.

I can cook the basics, and I am able to do enough to take care of myself, but I've always been so impressed when I watch cooking shows on TV by some of the brilliant creations people are capable of.

The most complex thing I am able to do is make curried sausages. While an absolute classic and something I am a big fan of, it is hardly setting the world on fire with it's creativity.

So I'm currently looking for three far more difficult recipes which I can learn during the lockdown.

I invested in a slow cooker last year - which I am still yet to use - so I think I am going to start there.

But I like the idea of trying something new.

There are only so many hours you can spend out walking around before your mask finally drives you insane.