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.

I was talking to my friend L. on the phone the other day. ‘Everyone’s got a sore bum at the moment,’ said L. ‘But no-one talks about it. It’s giving me a guilty conscience. If your bum’s sore from doing nothing, you’re really not doing enough.’

I agreed with her, but I didn’t want to think about it. My bum hurts from lethargy too. I can feel my fat cells having a blast. With beer and crisps. Relax! Have another one. I’d like to get some exercise, but my body isn’t onboard. My body is in quarantine. And the less I do, the less I want to do.

I used to do stuff. I used to run for an hour. Okay, it was more jogging than running. But I’m pretty sure that my bum won’t let me now. My bum loves my corner of the sofa, and my corner of the sofa loves my bum. It may be sore, but it’s a kind pain. The sort of pain that develops after you’ve spent an hour working on the sofa. And in my opinion, if you work, you shouldn’t feel guilty. It’s only a mild soreness. It goes if you take a walk around the block. It just needs the blood flow to be restored, for a little while at least.

Okay bum, I say, how about if I flop back on the sofa after our walk around the block? Crisps?

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 book 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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