The 7 deadly corona sins – the covsins. I know lots of people have been taking this time to become better humans ( I salute you!) but, sadly, I fear I have not. Inspirational quotes and cheery “what have you done better today than yesterday” tweets have reduced me to gibbering rage. No sourdough bread has been made, and I have not learnt Spanish or become at one with yoga. I’m afraid, I’ve been a sinner. Just in case your bible study is a bit rusty – here are the 7 deadlies: gluttony, greed, lust, sloth, wrath, envy and pride. I have committed an impressive 6.
It all started so well. Lockdown commenced and I determined to tackle it with vigour. I actually lost 6lbs in the first month. I only ate my three meals a day, no naughty treats since I couldn’t go out to buy them anyway, and I worked out every morning. Oh the aura of personal smugness. Then Ramadan came and the effort, for me, of keeping to it destroyed every shred of willpower. Only the thought of copious post-sunset sultana cookies kept me going. I discovered Sugar, Salt, Magic (clue is in the title) and I was doomed – great cookies, though, give them a go.
When I look at how Corona has affected me so far, I have been really lucky. My family and friends have all been well, I have enough money for food and rent, and I live in an extended family so have had no lack of company. But there has been one thing I have been really greedy for – the right to go outside to exercise. During lockdown in Morocco, we were (are still for some areas) only allowed out for vital shopping, work and medicine, so no exercise for us. I live in the middle of glorious mountains, how I longed and longed to go out in them. I’d go on the terrace and look at the view and feel as if I were in a cage, a beautiful one, but still a cage.
I definitely need a new pair of pyjamas and Squeaky The Cat no longer loves me because I have demanded cuddles on the sofa so often. In fact, I may even need a new sofa.
Ooh my temper got pretty short in the middle there. Towards the end I was so ground down I didn’t have the strength for righteous indignation, but in the middle I would feel a burning anger at many things. Top of my list was reserved for people who broke lockdown and boasted about it, until Dominic Cummings came along. He went straight in at number one.
I have been so jealous of everyone posting pictures of their walks/runs/rides/swims outdoors over the past 13 weeks and envy is such a poisonous thing, it made me feel worse. This has been the worst of the 7 deadly corona sins. Of course, I don’t wish that that right was taken away from others, I just envied them their freedom. I have had mine back for six days now and it is wonderful to use my body again and get up those hills – even though my legs are now killing me. I really feel for my friends in Marrakech and Casablanca and Morocco’s other big cities who are still locked down. Not getting out messes with your head.
I thought I would do it better. I thought I’d be strong enough to cope with grace and discipline. I imagined I would come out of this with abs of steel (nope), having perfected my Tashlaheet ( nowhere near) and written the film script (stalled). So, I am not as good as I thought I was, hey ho! None of the above – to my dismay – has come as any surprise to my friends….
I’ve saved the best till last. When I moved in to my little house here with the Ait Azyam in Imlil, my landlord Hajj Brahim said: ‘There are some house rules – no men, no parties, and no naked sunbathing.” So, lust, is permanently out of the question. I’ve avoided one of the 7 deadly corona sins, I am hoping this gets me a place in heaven. Also, I am still very impressed that this is what the Hajj thought I needed to be warned off doing – especially the naked sunbathing!
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I also have a podcast, Alice in Wanderland, which is on all the platforms or here and follows my adventures (episodes 4-10 are live from the Sahara Expedition) and life here in Imlil now.
If you’d like to buy any of my books, that would be fantastic. My latest has just made the best sellers’ list (whoop) on Amazon travel. They are here. They are all on kindle/ereader as well as in paperback. You can pedal across Africa with me in Dodging Elephants, get the story of my TV show in Morocco to Timbuktu, or whizz round Morocco from Marrakech and the mountains to the Sahara and the sea in Adventures in Morocco.