HOW TO NAIL STAYING IN
Whilst it’s still safe to do so, we’d urge you go out and support your local businesses as much as you can. Pick up groceries from your corner store rather than fighting for a tin of beans at the supermarket; order a takeaway from that little independent joint at the top of your road; and offer to help the elderly and isolated with shopping if you can. Having said all that, it’s likely that you’ll be spending more time indoors – nothing ruins plans quite like a virus – so here are just a few ways to keep busy.
Host A Virtual Dinner Party
If you can’t have people over for dinner IRL, do it on FaceTime instead. Send a recipe round that everyone can make, get on a video call and eat dinner at the same time. And this way you’ve only got one lot of washing up to do. If you’re working from home, you can schedule video chat lunch breaks during the day too so you don’t end up talking to the walls whilst you eat.
Learn a New Skill
If there’s a specific skill you’ve wanted to learn and you’ve suddenly got a chunk of free time, dive into the wonderful world of video tutorials. From contouring tips to folding laundry to making tutorials, YouTube has videos on how to do A LOT of stuff. If you’ve got a guitar gathering dust in the corner, brush it off because Fender is offering three months of online guitar lessons for free for new subscribers.
Build a Crazy Golf Course
Yes really. Put your craft skills to the test, Blue Peter-stylee, with a little help from Plonk, who are sharing design packs, video tutorials and live lesson streams on how to make a nine-hole crazy golf at home out of ordinary household bits-and-bobs. Share pics of your creations to be in with a chance of winning weekly prizes and possibly even have it recreated at Plonk Camden Market. It costs a fiver to get involved with 50% of the profits going to the Lennox Children’s Cancer Fund.
Chat With People
Yes you can (and you should) ring up your friends and family to check in and see how everyone is getting on but you can also chat to total strangers with the help of QuarantineChat. The voice app, which has been designed to help those in isolation deal with loneliness, lets you chat to people around the world without the need for phone numbers.
You know that list of jobs of things that need doing round the house? The things you’ve been putting off and putting off? Well now’s your chance to cross them off for good. Hang those picture frames, clear out your wardrobe, defrost your freezer…there’s never been a better time for a spring clean (emphasis on the clean).
Have a Houseparty
This group video chat app means you and your pals can still hang out even in isolation. You can get notifications when your friends are “in the house” (meaning online) so you can jump right into a chat and it’s super easy for more people to join. You can even play trivia and other games with each other in the app for extra LOLs.
Have a Netflix Party
Yeah you and your mates could all just press play on the same show at the same time but there’s actually a Google Chrome extension for Netflix that not only syncs up your playback, it adds a group chat function so you can all talk about what you’re watching. Once you’ve added the extension, you just have to select the ‘start party’ option and then share the URL with whoever you want to join. If you pause the stream it pauses for everyone, so make sure you’ve been to loo and got all your snacks ready before you press play.
Catch a Livestream
You may not be able to catch events in the flesh but thanks to the wonders of technology, you can catch a livestream and that’s the next best thing. The pubs may be shut but that doesn’t mean we have to stop drinking – get this stream of The Staying Inn on in the background whilst you have a bevvy and pretend you’re at your local. The Theatre Cafe will be hosting Leave a Light On, live streams of musical theatre stars, like Aimie Atkinson from Pretty Woman and Lucie Jones and Sarah O’Connor from Waitress, performing concerts; the Royal Opera House is broadcasting ballets, operas and masterclasses; the National Theatre is streaming plays for free; and we’ve got a cook-along series with some of our fave cooks too.