Growing winter vegetables. Well why not? Cabbages, I guess. Maybe not turnips. Carrots are always good. Will this be how winter is, spending my time as Mr McGregor, fighting off rabbits?
It's that mythical thing, the chance to change your life. Start doing those things you've always known would make it better. Read more, some kind of volunteering, somehow. Fix up the damn house. This is the optimistic time, so it seems important to aim high.
On Sunday in the supermarket, the woman was staring at the confectionery shelves.
She threw out both arms, a gesture of frustration. "Someone's gone and panic buyed all my favourite chocolate."
That's so unfair, I offered, smiling, from a distance. Her stare was withering.
It's not just toilet paper and pasta: people have stocked up on treats to see them through. Ice cream, "one tub only per customer". Wine, three bottles per person.
A manager was walking around asking people to take forbidden extras out of their trolleys and put them back. "I think you'll find there are lots of signs up, sir."
We're all learning. We'll remember it was like this. People standing back, waiting for you to choose your bread before taking their own turn at the shelves. Telling yourself not to pick things up and put them back. Not to touch your face. Ignoring that little tickle in the nostrils, the thickening in the airways that tells you to blow your nose.
Knowing you absolutely cannot blow your nose in a public place. Or sniff, or let it drip. If you felt that starting you would have had to abandon the trolley and run from the shop.
Now we live in the age of the Four Levels. It's like a computer game, only in reverse. We didn't want to get to the next level. We put some effort into not getting there, but not enough. Now we have to find a way to climb back down again.
Coronavirus: What will alert level 4 mean for NZ?
Life in Level 2, for a whole 48 hours, meant people jammed themselves together, having a party in the street, waiting to be allowed into the bars so they could scatter themselves around the room, staying physically distant, not having a party at all.
Life in Level 2 meant more than a quarter of school students stayed home on Monday without being told to. It meant $30 billion of quantitative easing and no one screaming it was irresponsible to print money. Even in Level 2, crisis sharpened the mind.
Crisis also dulls the mind. Watching an empty world from your front window won't be fun.
We've set ourselves up to work from home, our workplaces abandoned, sitting in front of screens reading about Covid-19, not working. It's not like we'd be doing any different if we were at the office.
At my work, an essential service, the only people even allowed in the building are those rostered on to an indispensable in-office role.
The rules came in quickly, while I wasn't there. I imagine abandoned messy desks, chairs with coats and jerseys slung over the backs. Cups, dirty plates and all the missing cutlery, all growing mould, from now till whenever. A large empty office, but for the few staffers dotted here and there, huddled into their isolation. Is the aircon turned off? Should it be?
It seems easy working from home, compared with that. I'm very grateful to my office-bound colleagues.
We can all still go out, get some exercise, appropriate measures taken. Anyone for tennis, the game that allows you to be both social and distant? Or forceback footie? Standing away from each other on the playing fields, wearing gloves. Forceback frisbee, it could catch on.
And then we all go home again, alone. This is tough.
Will it mean something? Will we use this time to remake the way our world works? Streets, workplaces. Communities? Perhaps we won't ever rush back to those congested roads, those dull offices, those ways of not looking after each other the way we know we should.
Be kind, says everyone. This is our test. There must be a way to do communal singing, in a field.
Now it's the edge of autumn. Leaves blowing across empty parks but when you look up, only some of the trees are turning.
People have been making mercy dashes to help aged relatives, to say hello through the window, leave supplies on the porch. Those away from home are hurrying back.
It's frightening. To meet and not be able to hug. That's been the hardest thing. And now we will hardly be able to meet.
I bought cabbages, red and green, and broad beans, beetroot and brussels sprouts. It was Sunday. The woman in the shop, standing behind some ornamental grasses, said she had not known such a busy weekend for vegetables.
To be continued.