Some things to do!
A roundup of a bunch of resources and ideas to keep you entertained this lockdown – everything from MoMA to the English National Ballet!
(Most of these resources are free, but they are marked with more information if otherwise.)
Dip into one of these 100 Top Classics as ranked by Penguin https://www.penguin.co.uk/articles/2018/100-must-read-classic-books/. Or if non-fictions more your thing, the Guardian’s Top 100 picks can be found here – https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/dec/31/the-100-best-nonfiction-books-of-all-time-the-full-list.
I’ve always preferred reading books that are based on more personal recommendations from people who have a lifestyle or have done something I admire – so I often get my book recommendations from the likes of the Tim Ferris Show. Recently Tim has started a series of podcasts called “Books I’ve Loved” featuring many successful and famous faces from a wide range of disciplines and backgrounds that you can find on his website here https://tim.blog/2020/04/27/books-ive-loved-cindy-eckert-alexis-ohanian/ or Spotify. (It’s worth mentioning, however, that in the vast majority (or as far as I know all) of his podcasts he asks the guest “What book is the book that you have gifted the most?” so if you want to skip to a recommendation by Richard Branson, or Ray Dalio – just dig out his podcast with them.)
Join Reese Witherspoon’s online book club here https://www.instagram.com/reesesbookclub/ or choose one of seven more as recommended here https://www.scribendi.com/advice/online_book_clubs.en.html.
Daily hour-long ballet classes on Youtube hosted by English National Ballet’s Tamara Rojo can be found here – https://www.youtube.com/user/enballet/videos. Or sit in with the professionals and join the company at the Birmingham Royal Ballet for a ballet class here – https://www.bbc.co.uk/events/ebfz3d/live/c8x38g.
Salsa, contemporary, ballet and everything in between (including filmmaking, acting and drawing) on Zoom, hosted by City Academy here – https://www.city-academy.com/locations/virtual-course – offer a great opportunity to try out something new from the comfort of your own home! (No fee, but contribution based.)
Download Houseparty and have Friday drinks over the phone, with the likes of trivia and Pictionary built in! Download Netflix Party to binge watch a series with a loved one. Get on a Zoom group chat with your family and make it a Quiz night here by following along here – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLcSqjJWHJeDWD_SbdorBRw!
Click here https://www.open.edu/openlearn/free-courses/full-catalogue for 1 – 30 hour courses ranging from introductory to advanced and covering Languages, Money and Business, History and the Arts and more, whether you want an introduction to classical Latin or Invention and Innovation! A great way to add something unique to your resume or just explore a new interest.
Similarly, https://www.mooc.org/ offers online courses in the likes of Programming, Management and Communication, with over 3000 courses to choose from, partnering with Harvard, MIT and Microsoft. (Most free, but the professional certification courses vary in price.) These courses are more long form and are designed to last over several weeks (or in some cases months!) with a weekly input of anywhere from 2 – 12 hours. In most cases, however, the courses aren’t ‘live’ – therefore all of the information is already online and you can work at a pace that suits you!
Head down to MoMA or London’s Tate with Google Arts and Culture – https://artsandculture.google.com/.
Or tune in to watch some of the West End’s best musicals and the Royal Opera House’s best ballets here – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdmPjhKMaXNNeCr1FjuMvag, https://www.youtube.com/user/RoyalOperaHouse/videos.
Do your Part
Bake some cupcakes for your friends and drop them on their doorsteps; ask your neighbours if they need anything next time you go to the supermarket or receive an online delivery; write a letter to someone you know is feeling lonely or send some flowers in the post to a friend that is feeling low. There is so much you can do that will cost you very little in the way of time or money, that might just make someone’s day!
Go the extra mile and write a letter to a key worker on our front line here – https://thecrisisproject.wixsite.com/lettersforthenhs or find out more about how you can volunteer online and make a difference here – https://careersblog.warwick.ac.uk/2020/04/07/volunteer-on-line-make-a-difference-and-develop-your-skills/.
I hope everyone’s staying happy, healthy and home!