The UK is still mostly in lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, although some restrictions have changed in the various countries. So, in England, we can now exercise outside as often as we like, and can meet up with one friend at a time outdoors, so long as we stay at least two metres apart. It’s nice to be able to have ice cream dates by the canal again (hey, we’re British, we can eat ice cream in any weather and any setting), but I miss hugs and museums and markets: I’m a very tactile person normally.
I’m still baking and sewing. I spotted my friend’s favourite flour on a supermarket shelf recently and grabbed two bags so we could both make multigrain bread and then compare notes: she uses sour dough and I use yeast.
One of my young colleagues has left us to go and work in Manchester, so I supplied a cake for the debrief on his last day. I used another friend’s recipe out of her 1950s cookbook, and tested it for myself first: most of that one is now in my freezer as individual slices, while my former colleague took most of his away with him.
I’m trying new savoury recipes too. As my organic delivery service returns somewhat to normal, I am trialling one of their more adventurous boxes once a month, and now know at least two recipes for plantains.
Their Instagram is also a great source of ideas, as is that of a colleague who runs cookalongs and bakealongs on a weekly basis for family and friends. Tonight I’m going to try making his Masala Omelette Rolls with Smokey Baked Beans.
Sewingwise, I’ve added more patches to my jacket, and am about to embark on my first cross stitch in a number of years. It’s a present for a friend, and the text is very apt. I also fancy making some coasters using up the vast collection of pieces of string that I’ve been saving from my organic box deliveries. Again, the design comes from Instagram.
In some ways it feels like I’m busier than ever. I’m not going out, but I’ve been socialising with several of my usual groups via Zoom, Google Meet and Discord. I’ve also been following various virtual events online from agricultural shows to literary festivals to celebrations and commemorations of LGBT+ and GRT history.
I’ve even made new local contacts: Holly Cooks has a food delivery service providing twice weekly boxes of sweet and savoury baked goods. My first box was amazing, and I need to treat myself to another next month.
Obviously I’m looking forward to a time when I can get out and about normally again, and I’m going to have lots of new photographs of exciting places for you all eventually, but for now we’re in this situation and we all need to support each other, even if that’s just by sharing kind words and cute pictures – or by hunting down vegan mayo in the supermarket for two friends who struggle to get to that side of town now public transport is so limited.
Anyone been doing new stuff this month? What do you find yourselves missing the most in these strange times?