The Utrecht-based writer Anne Eekhout is writing special mini-columns about life in times of coronavirus for Thuisagenda Utrecht. We’ve translated them in English for the Home Agenda of MAG Utrecht. 

Recently, daytime viewing of videos about cats jumping out of their skin at the sight of a cucumber, being licked from head to toe by a Saint Bernhard or feeling tickly grass on their paws for the very first time, has become entirely acceptable. In fact: it can save lives. Luckily for those of you who aren’t into cats, we also have lots of other things to amuse us; things that were until recently deemed a waste of time or simply ridiculous. For example, many trivial activities that you can only do at home, like scoffing two tubs of ice-cream, drinking on your own, staying in bed until 2 p.m., secretly taking up smoking again or sorting your books in order of colour, are now potentially saving lives.

Being heroic takes a bit of getting used to. I get that. Nothing says ‘hero’ quite like eating three bars of chocolate while watching unboxing videos. Somewhere deep down inside, a Calvinistic voice is telling you that all those cravings are bad and should be resisted tooth and nail. But believe me, it only takes a couple of days to get past that. It’s much easier to stay in bed until 2 in the afternoon if you down a bottle of wine the night before, and you’d be amazed how quickly your lungs can absorb cigarette smoke again. It’s as if they remember! So today I started organising my bookshelves by colour. I should have done this ages ago. The top three shelves already match my favourite rosé perfectly.

Anne Eekhout lives in Utrecht and published her first book Dogma in 2014. It was nominated for the Bronzen Uil, an award presented to the best Dutch debut novel, and appeared on the longlist for the AKO Literature Prize. Her second novel entitled Op een nacht (2016), earned her a nomination for the BNG Bank literature prize. Her third book was published last year: Nicolas en de verdwijning van de wereld

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