HOW are you all doing out there? Now that this lockdown lark has turned from quaint novelty to monotonous slog, how are you handling all that time you have on your hands.

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks in Marbella. It seems that most of the population has resorted to live streaming their activities. Every time I switch on social media my phone pings with invitations to yoga sessions, breathing workshops (in rather bad taste at the moment, if you ask me), live music performance, fitness classes or one-on-one psychotherapy.

I wisely steer clear of these. I am, after all, the man who put the word psycho into psychotherapy. I famously once interviewed a ‘corporate business psychiatrist’ – wood panelled practice in Swiss Cottage, power dressing –  who was so alarmed by my, ahem, ‘eccentric’ attitude to life that she suggested that I come and see her as a private patient.

Grizzly Adams
HAIRY: Weeks of lockdown have left Giles Brown looking like a poor man’s Grizzly Adams

I was sorely tempted to live stream my own morning ritual, of course. What could be more inspiring than the sight of a 50-something male in a hooded dressing gown muttering obscure rock lyrics to himself as he sparks up the first cigar of the day, arcanely prepares that vital first café solo and holds a one way conversation with the cat? “If thou gaze long into the abyss, the abyss gazes back into thee”, as Nietzsche, who I would bet was also a cranky fecker before his morning coffee, famously said.

So I haven’t gone live on Facebook. Apart from that, the only other part of my morning routine is a little Primal Screaming as I check what is laughingly referred to as my bank account. (I’ve come to the conclusion that the Seguridad Social’s S.S. initials are more than apt), and inspecting the development of my quarantine beard. Having left my clippers at my girlfriend’s place and being barred from said apartment due to the fact that she takes this social distancing thing very seriously, I’ve been unable to trim my facial hair and I now look like a bald, bargain basement Grizzly Adams.

At least, that’s what she gives as her reason for not seeing me. “It’s not you, it’s the pandemic” could be the greatest ‘Dear John’ excuse of the year…

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