Insulated: Day 14

Nicholas Quirke was experiencing mixed feelings on 14 March 2020 he had woken to some sad and distressing news from home which cast a pall over the events of the final 24 hours of his Quarantine with Peng. Whilst he wanted to celebrate getting through 14 days of incarceration and emerging from the experience with a new attitude to exercise, a beginners understanding of Mandarin, A few Tai Chi moves, a knowledge of Virtual reality games, a healthy diet, a love of Chinese food, new culinary skills and a little bit in love with his host, the underlying state of melancholy caused him to feel lethargic and irritable, particularly with his small failures which kept presenting themselves and adding to the drain on his purse. He was not normally a sulker, but this was another disagreeable aspect of himself that he presented to his patient friend. It was agreed they would have a lazy day and watch movies and after enjoying a very healthy smoothie bowl for breakfast they sat down to watch Jumanji 2, but on discovering the scales indicated he had gained some weight, despite the furious exercising he engaged in, he decided to go without lunch as he now felt he was actually eating too much and the film was abandoned. Peng cooked and ate while he dealt with some correspondence and finances. He found he had been billed a large years subscription charge for something he hadn’t really used during the year, he was going to have to get that back as well as a number of overcharges on a hotel he had booked in Japan. The day slipped by without anything much occurring and apart from making nut butter from the surplus of pecans, cooking supper; Nicholas made a stuff Dahl, and finishing the film they started, there was nothing surprising, exciting that happened to distinguish it from a hundred other days anywhere in the world, where frustration and cabin fever coexisted. It had been an extraordinary experience, utterly without precedence, and despite the hardship of existing within the confines of a space for 2 weeks, almost like a mini Big Brother, the vision of a reality TV series ‘Quirke’s Quarantine’ where he was isolated in a variety of differing circumstances around the globe, loomed large in his imagination. He felt had got as much as he could out of the Surreal two weeks, his inspiration was drying up, maybe there was more but a list of the things he could have done was a pointless endeavour. It would be strange to leave the apartment and the protection it afforded and he would have to start to engage with people other than his fellow captive again. Instead of watching from above he would be involved and as unnerving as it suddenly seemed he would be journeying again in some way. Night fell, sleep called, freedom, of a kind, an opening door, awaited.


  1. Finally, the quarantine is over! Thank goodness for Peng and his well equipped apartment xx

  2. Well, that’s done! Congratulations on completing the challenge. Davina McCall will interview you and be prepared fotr the crowds gathered outside…
    Enjoy the vitamin D and breeze when you finally make it out. Be careful of pavements after a fortnight of treadmill & floor…

  3. Well done to you and Peng. I wouldn’t rely on scales to tell you if you are getting slimmer. It is impossible for you to have eaten healthily and done all that excercise not to have lost fat and increased mussle. You would be better off using a measuring tape and your clothes to gauge your progress. It’s getting very worrying over here in relation to the virus. Enjoy day 15! Xx

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