When Cookies Fly. And other tales of staying entertained during quarantine.

This blog post was adapted from my weekly Connect the Dots inspiration newsletter, with some new stuff at the end. 

Every week I notice new themes emerge. This week was all about windows. And cookies. Chocolate chip to be exact. 🍪

While I’ve known all along, what lockdown has reminded me is that I have lots of dear friends with birthdays in April. While there were Zoom parties—which included a planning a surprise 40th for a friend with guests who didn’t all speak the same language—only one friend was close enough (aka within my 1km radius I’m allowed to venture into) to bake cookies for. Her sister and I hatched a plan and made a special delivery.

While I gladly would have given my friend 4 dozen cookies in normal time, that felt a bit obsessive in quarantine. Instead I decided to share and make what I dubbed “cookie bombs” which consisted of 5 cookies wrapped in foil. Besides the birthday girl and her sister, the next recipient would be my neighbor across the street.

{My no frills “cookie bomb.” I forgot to take a picture of the cookies, but I used the recipe on the back of the chocolate chip bag. Yes, I import chocolate chips from the states when I’m home.}

I still don’t know her name, or anything about her, but she’s my age-ish (probably a little younger). We smile and clap together nightly 8pm, making her the human being I see the most these days. Yet, she’s still a stranger. On Monday night after the applause ended, I yelled across our narrow street—en français—and said, I made cookies, can I throw you some?

Now, I’ve always been one to confuse the French just by the nature I do things my own way, and this was no different. I said, I can go down to the street if they fall, and she agreed, that may be the better option. Still, I insisted, let’s just try and see what happens when I throw them. And so I did. And she caught them!!!! IT. WAS. EPIC. Mission accomplished. 🙌 [See top image.]

The next day, I still had cookies, so I ventured to my friend Zoe‘s where she would surely be hanging out by the window with her kids. When I came with my special delivery 5-year old Paul wanted to show me his basket system—which they developed for lockdown play dates. He expertly lowered it, and inside were two drawings for me. (Insert: heart melt 💗). It took two tries with the basket, but the cookies quickly made it into the mouths upstairs!

We decided it would be fun to try a different approach for the second “cookie bomb.” Still on my high from the previous evening’s toss I thought I could throw it to them in the window with ease. Alas, my aim was off and it hit the wall to the left of the window, then promptly got stuck in the gutter. Mom Zoë to the rescue grabbed a stick to dislodge it, so it landed in my hands again. Toss two was a success!

Still with 30 minutes on the clock before my permission slip ran out, I headed over to two more friends where I’m pleased to announce my aim was spot on! (Also, grateful for the fact that my friends in the ‘hood happen to live on lower floors.)

In addition to baking and throwing cookies, I wanted to share a few more “activities” that have kept me busy and given structure to my days. It’s hard to believe we’re entering week four of quarantine, but these few things have kept me company.

Starting last week I “commute” to London every morning at 9am (Paris time) for Writer’s Hour hosted by London Writer’s Salon (my friend Matt Trinetti is one of the founders). The concept is simple: Show up, set an intention for the day, they provide a prompt if you need something to work on, and write for 50 minutes with dozens of other writers who are joining on Zoom. At the end they check in on how the session went and hear from a few voices before sharing a “check out” word. If you want to hang out for a few more minutes Matt and Parul make themselves available. It gets my day of to a fantastic start and gets me in the groove (and off my phone)! They also host of a lot of great author events + masterclasses.

Monday through Friday, I’ve been following Wendy MacNaughton’s #DrawTogether daily drawing classes for kids (of all ages). She goes live on Instagram (@wendymac) every day at 10 PST, but I end up watching a replay of the video. They’re all on YouTube now, so it’s never too late to join the party. It’s ironic, but I think these classes have been so helpful in my own online workshops and facilitation. Wendy’s class is great fun!

Three days a week children’s book author and illustrator Oliver Jeffers has been reading his books during Stay at Home Story Time from his home in Belfast. In addition to reading his stories, he also gives insights into the creative process, or includes an another activity related to the book, like making paper airplanes, or how to draw a Huey (one of his characters). I’m endlessly inspired getting inside the minds of these creatives. He goes live on Instagram (@oliverjeffers) at 7pm GMT, and has posted all of the videos on his website. I very much enjoy having a bedtime story on those nights!

The other thing that I’ve continued to do from the start is spend 1 minute doing plank (strengthening those core muscles) and do 20 push ups a day. These activities add up to two minutes which make them highly manageable. I do have to make a concerted to move these days, but still loving my CMG Sports Club Facebook Live classes (Florence, Marie, and Manu are my favorite teachers!). I rewatch a lot of the videos, but I find tuning in live is how I get the best workout. Strange, but I really have to make an effort to move these days.

My latest new activity is attending CreativeMornings virtual FieldTrips! I’m learning all kinds of cool things from people all around the world. (Yep, this is where I hosted my Make A Map! FieldTrip.)

Then every evening before bed I add my doodles and notes to my quarantine journal. I treat it like a travel journal, except where I never leave the house! 😂 Every Monday I post my spread from the previous week using the hashtag #PAVquarantinejournal.

So overall, I’ve stayed pretty consistent with my week one in quarantine. If anything, I’ve tried to prune where possible. I’m curious, what activities have you made part of your quarantine routine? How do you find yourself getting creative in unexpected ways?

Oh, and by the way….

I’m hosting two more rounds of my Write Your Own Rules Workshop this week: Thursday, April 16th from 6-8pm CET (Paris) and Saturday, April 18th from 10am-noon CET (Paris). Sign up on Eventbrite to grab your spot! (This will be the last time I’m offering it at this rate.)


1 Comment

  • What a lovely idea and so amazing to read about! It’s the small ways to spread smiles and joy that count… and you can always count on cookies for that. See you at the Salon!

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