Rolling Out of Quarantine Like a BOSS!

Ok let’s try for just a second to forget all the terrible woes surrounding Covid-19. Let’s be positive and address just what we can do to become our best ‘quarantined-selves’. I mean we have to find something cool to achieve with all this extra time we have been given. Of course I’m not trying to add pressure to your Netflix binging, fridge-hugging self but wouldn’t it be awesome if we rolled out of quarantine with some pretty awesome new skills? I think the answer you are looking for is YES!

Quarantine Queen – looks like we could all take a leaf out of Rapunzel’s book!

Last week we talked about picking up a new instrument and using this time to crack on and make the world just a little more musical. This week we wanted to expand that idea.  What else have you been secretly wishing to achieve whilst you’re in lockdown? Think of yourself as a Sim…get those skill set builder counters amplified and bulging at the seams.

Are the paints and canvases you bought years ago still waiting to be sprung from their dusty jail? Have you pushed that 2000-piece jigsaw puzzle under the bed? Are you secretly harbouring the desire to become the world’s best handstand-er? Did you always want to learn to sew? Dreamed of lifting dead weights but hate the gym so stashed some equipment in your garage? Whatever your delayed goals are, now is the time to dust them off and bring them out to the light of day. What are you waiting for?

It’s time to ask the rest of The Boxtones what they plan to achieve whilst locked indoors;


“Well, I’ve been looking into podcasting, does that count as a skill? Gathering the right equipment, the right software and looking into/ listening to other podcasts, for ideas on topics, etc. It still might be a while until I get started (if I do) as I love to talk, but finding a focus that people would be interested in listening to – that’s another thing. Podcasts sure aren’t for those with a short attention span.

Another skill I’ve been honing in on and having a lot of fun with is cooking (I even tried my hand at baking, turned out not bad)! I recently made a Chicken Dahl, Hungarian Goulash (a recipe that was given to me), Swedish Meatballs, some fish and seafood dishes, etc. It’s nice to have the time to actually cook with fresh ingredients instead of having to whip up something quickly from frozen. I’ve always enjoyed it and am enjoying it even more now. “Hello Chef” is great if you aren’t interested in scouring the internet for recipes or if you are too afraid to be creative with it at first, as they provide you with the recipes (and ingredients), and there are different options every week so you can never get bored with it.

Cheers! Go for it Jean!

Now for me;

I have decided it’s time to crack on with my ever-visited wish to be an awesome harmonica player. I so want to bust that bad boy out when we do old school Alanis Morissette or classic 90’s Aerosmith even just to let rip some soulful bluesy riffs with my shiny new…ahem…mouth organ!

I have over the years owned other harmonicas but the skill of playing one has remained elusively at a distance from the image of me playing in my mind. However, thanks to Gill and Will and their awesome gifting skills I have one sitting on my book shelf awaiting my musical breath to animate it. Watch this space!

Secondly, I never tire of talking, talking, talking about writing a book. I am so sick of talking about it and waiting for the time to really get stuck in that I annoy even myself. So here I am with all the time in the world and my excuses have finally run dry. I really want to write a small paper back book for 8 to 12 year olds. I have had a few non-starters inspiration wise but I now have a concept that I really love and after a good few hours brainstorming each day my idea is finally taking shape. My aim is to have most of the groundwork done by the end of quarantine (a lofty aspiration I know, but I figure aim high and then the output will be better)!


Now all you need is something clever to say, right Will?

Podcasting / Vlogs

“Something I’ve wanted to get better at for quite a while. It’s one thing to sit and write what’s on your mind, but the pressure of doing that on camera is something completely different. I do have my moments when I can talk and talk and talk, getting louder and louder as I get into a rant or story, but harnessing that energy and confidence is something I’d like to work on during our time of self-isolation! We have the tools to create some incredible content – so I think it’s time to set up the Shure MV88+ Video Kit, clean myself up and start recording stuff for the band…now where to start? Maybe here:

Learn to Cook like a PRO

Yeah…this is something I just never had the patience for in my 40 years on Earth. When I’m hungry, I want the food NOW (not in an hour or two). Before I met my lovely wife Gill, I spent my bachelor days on a bachelor’s diet, earning very little as a struggling musician in my Winnipeg days so it was typically the worst junk for my body:

Yup even the pizza cutter is Star Wars themed in the Janssen house!

Fast food (McDonalds, Burger King and Taco Bell were my favorites), frozen hot dogs at home or street meat vendors outside of bars, late night pizza or microwaveable Pizza Pops, 99-cent Kraft Dinner (mac n’ cheese), a plethora of sandwich creations (for a while, considered myself a ‘Sandwich Artist’) and other poor health choices.

I’ve been extremely fortunate that my beautiful wife Gill loves to cook so we made a deal years ago…as long as she cooks for us, I have to wash all the dishes…YUP, NO PROBLEM THERE! But the time has come to get my cuisine skills on and educate myself on how to work some kitchen magic and return the favor (don’t worry Gill, I’ll still wash the dishes…I don’t mind). Think I’ll start with this link:”


“Learn how to use Instagram properly? We have been doing a bunch of online gigs with Dubai Calendar, Live Nation and Book My Show. We did our first IGTV live a couple of weeks ago with Dubai Calendar, which came out pretty well but we ran into issues with sharing it afterwards on to our stories. I need to learn way more about it if we are going to be stuck inside for the foreseeable future, as it was a really cool way to share our music at a time when we can’t get out to gig. Just make sure you check out our next Facebook/Instagram Live Session on our socials…coming soon…just wait for the next announcement!

Instagram for REAL Dummies

I would probably like to improve my guitar skills too, but I do feel my typing skills are getting a good run for their money. I can pretty much type without looking at the keyboard now…it could have something to do with all these blog entries Louise keeps asking for? Ha ha!”


“We’ve always done all our ‘home recording’ in our home studio which is now setup next door at Gary & Louise’s place. We are planning on releasing a bunch of videos and with us all self-isolating and not seeing each other these days, I want to get to grips with Logic Pro X and recording my electronic drums at home. Watch out for new videos across our social media pages.


One thing we’ve started making during this isolation period is homemade pizzas and they’ve been turning out great. Next, I’d like to master making homemade bread without a bread-making machine. Jamie Oliver says “cooking can be good for the soul and making bread is such a rewarding, therapeutic, tactile thing.” Sounds good to me! I have all the ingredients…now I just need the patience and the time, haha.



So there we have it folks. It seems like the majority of The Boxtones are being very quarantine-typical and indulging in all things food related…Sounds pretty yummy to me.

What have you got on your quarantine ‘To Do” list? Is there anything wildly fun that we are missing? Comment below and let us know.


Until then, stay safe and stay home.


The Boxtones






1 comment

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