Self Isolation: Day 4

Nicholas Quirke was starting to realise that it might be more difficult to get through the next 11 days than he had imagined on 4th March 2020 when he woke to a beautiful sunny fresh day in Beijing and was unable to take advantage and found himself looking longingly out of the widow. There were not many people around though, so the City was still on alert with most public spaces closed even though some people had gone back to work. He had also booked an appointment at a massage hospital today in an attempt to start treating his sciatica which for obvious reasons had been cancelled. Peng had a massage chair and leg massager and their various programmes could help to relax his muscles but could not get to the root of his trapped nerve problem. The hospital he was to attend had featured in a film he had seen and he was particularly keen to go but this would have to wait till his 14 days had elapsed. The frustration was only momentary as the day quickly swung into action with Peng organising breakfast and their now, twice daily, temperature checks as well as discussing their lunch which today was going to be a take away. After his ablutions, and here he noted that across Asia every toilet he had used in hotels and now in the home he was staying in had sophisticated heated toilet seats and bidets, Nicholas made his plans which would include the now routine treadmill hour. He was used to watching some residents do Tai Chi in the morning and Peng agreed to teach him some rudimentary moves. Having discovered the power of the second circle on his previous trip across the world and always keenly aware of his centre, he was alarmed at how ‘off centre’ he was in his attempt to embrace aspects of the culture he was inhabiting. Practise makes perfect he reminded himself. He discovered an opportunity on the Ex-Pat WeChat group to win two free Mandarin lessons and on entering he unsurprisingly won and would be adding learning Chinese to one of his quarantine activities and achievements. Their lunch vegan lunch was a broth packed with vegetables and varieties of tofu and for both of them was a staggering £2.60, though Peng had taken advantage of a couple of vouchers he possessed. After lunch Peng decided to conduct a health check on Nicholas and pulled out blood sugar tests, blood pressure kit, blood oxygen measurements as well as checks on his BMI, body fat etc. Though he was certain, due to his diets that he would have a better outcome on some of these than Peng anticipated. His blood sugar, pressure, and apparently the perfect colour of his tongue was indeed much better than his host’s and though Peng tried to hide his surprise and be gentlemanly about his belly Nicholas allowed himself a moment of feeling smug before remembering the generosity and kindness and care that had been spent on him. Nicholas had his own little tea ceremony with some delicious Ginger and Lily tea leaves and by the time he had consumed the beverage, made at exactly the correct temperature of 80 degrees, he was surprised at how quickly the day slipped by. He exercised as he watched ‘Parasite’ finding himself quite excited by the Seoul locations which he was now familiar with. It was easy to see why it had won the best film Oscar, multi layered and modern. It was another dinner of smoothies and some Exclusive handmade Vegan cookies one of which was consumed for desert before Peng did his running and Nicholas his Blog. They sat down to relax and watch ‘The Outsider’, endure another foot and calf massage before retiring to bed.


  1. You’re both doing very well. Good to get a sciatica appt… AND MANDARIN! Now, let me know yr thoughts on Parasite. I loved it, tho did miss precisely what happened to who at the final house party due to covering eyes AND ears.
    Stay positive.

  2. Ah Nick, I’m just catching up with your travel’s. Sorry to see you’re house bound, but at least you have a companion to minimise’ Cabin Fever’. Love the Tai chi ! You seem to be enjoying it. On wards and Up wards matey. XX

  3. Hi Nick, this blog has taken a surreal turn from world exploration to incarceration but you seem to be holding up at present. Would love to hear your thoughts on Parasite which I watched in the luxury of Dukes at Komedia with a full audience.

  4. Maybe it’s time to try more indoor exercise like indoor cycling on a smart trainer! 😉

  5. Your thumbnails need a little trim, perhaps tomorrows activities could revist ‘Nick’s Salon’ for manicures 🙂 Or I worry you shall start to morph into the long fingernailed emperor from the Nightingale and then watch out Peng!

      1. also just to say I am finding reading about your self-isolation weirdly voyeuristic. It’s fun 🙂

  6. Who would have thought I’d be sat here watching a keep fit video starring Nicholas Quirke, love it! xx

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