Isolation – By Gavin Lambe-Murphy

As I sit at my desk to write this column, I realise that I am fortunate.
Yes, like everyone else, I too am in lockdown, but as I sip my espresso, and look to the sea, I know I am one of the lucky ones. I’m healthy and my family, who are in Ireland and the South of France, are thus far, okay. I am lucky in other ways too, as I’ve never held, what they like to call a ‘proper job’. Therefore, I’m used to the freedom of doing as I wish, when I wish.
While I saw others panic and stress when told to self-isolate, the idea of staying home, was at first, very normal to me. However, it was after day one that I realised, I longed to lunch at Sea Grill, or get lost in Museo Ralli. I longed to be free to pass the late afternoon at the stores of Puerto Banus or hop on a plane for risotto al nero at Cipriani, Monte Carlo. But alas, lockdown is lockdown. As the days began to pass, I started to snoop on social media to see how others were coping. Home works outs, cookery, fashion advice, beauty tips for ‘lockdown meltdown’.
All fine, but nothing new. Then, of course, there were those, who chose to moan and complain about everything and everyone. I scrolled and scrolled, only to see people moaning at the government, the world, the sky, the sea and the dog. Nothing was off-limits. Without intention, I began to unfriend and delete people at an alarming rate. Why do I need these negative sorts in my new virtual world? I guess I’d never noticed them before, as I, like most, pay little attention to social media, as such. Delete, delete, delete… I went into a frenzy, going from over three-thousand Facebook friends to less than five-hundred within half an hour. Try it, it’s surprisingly liberating.
So, with a major Facebook cull complete, a morning swim, lunch on the terrace, and a work out planned for that evening, how was I going to stay entertained for the rest of the day? A couple of years ago, I wrote a novel, Diary of an It Boy. A factional story based on the hectic life of an international socialite. Filled with dramas and high-octane parties, from London to Gstaad. From Gstaad to Marbella, and beyond. Anyhow, I remembered how good it felt to escape into the writing world, where nothing matters apart from the screen and your creativity. After an hour in the cellar selecting some wine, I poured a glass of Amarone and set about writing a whole new book.
Should it be a follow-on from book one? Seeing as so much has happened since I wrote it, perhaps yes. It was at that moment, I experienced my first point of writers’ block.
“Oh, a new book, exciting! What’s it going to be called?” my friend Tancredi enthused, via Facetime. I couldn’t even come up with a storyline, so the title was too much to try. I closed the laptop and went to work-out. As I pounded the treadmill (God I miss my morning run on the beach), it came to me. That evening with Miles Davis playing, the fire lighting, and the distinct scent of Byredo Safran candles, that fill my house, ideas flowed and I got busy. Without trying, I found my mojo.
There’s a book in us all, try it. Who knows, perhaps from these dark days, will emerge some great modern classics. I’ll keep you posted. Stay safe, stay busy, stay creative.


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