When asked how they are doing in this time of upheaval, lots of my friends and family respond with the phrase that they are “just going through the motions”. Currently, routine feels to me to be a simultaneously constructive and destructive influence. It can help with a sense of purpose and normality, and yet without any evolution or hope of escape, it can also become depressingly cyclical and banal. Most days since lockdown has begun, me and my sister play a game of chess outside in the garden. The chess pieces move about their lives, playing out their game, confined to the checks of the picnic blanket as the sun moves overhead. As they run through their game, so the linear narrative of one day passes, their shadows stretching on the blanket. The sun never sets and the days blur into each other as the microcosm of the chess pieces’ ‘household’ goes through its motions, serene yet uncomfortable in its ever-presence.