In the time of the virus: Saturday again

Another week gone by, and we’re almost at the end of our first week self-isolating.  Lots done this week, and lots more to do next week.  Then I imagine I may be out of action for a day or two but hopefully not much more than that.

A very brief post today.  What a lovely day it’s been.  Perfect weather for a walk (the usual one down to the river, along and back), some work in the garden and the allotment (mostly weeding and tidying, plus of course watering the greenhouse and some thirsty plants), and time to sit in the garden and read.

Tomorrow, being Sunday, we have a (virtual) trip planned: this time, by popular request (waving at you Liz!) we’re off to Fanø in Denmark.  So obviously I’ve prepared the dough to make some of the breakfast rolls we had every morning there, and I learnt to make there.  I just hope they live up to expectations.

See you tomorrow xx

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In the time of the virus: 5th day of self-isolation

I’m not sure how this happened – I thought I hit the publish button on this two days ago.  But clearly I didn’t.  So I’ve updated it, and it really was Day 5 today (not day 3, 2h3n I first wrote it).

When you’re in a comfortable position as we are, and there are two of you, this self-isolation thing is really not too tough.

I was certainly right when I wrote last week that you never know what’s coming round the corner though.  For one thing, we hadn’t quite got round to stocking up on some essentials that were running low, which meant a very quick dash to the shops before the start of our 14 days.  And there are still a few things I was unable to get (the redbush tea I depend on for one), which maybe I can eke out, or maybe I’ll order online.

We’re fortunate to live in a neighbourly community, where our immediate friends and neighbours have offered to fetch anything we need and if they can’t there’s a local covid community group set up which will provide us with a willing volunteer.  Sometimes we’re the givers, sometimes we’re the takers; that’s how life goes.

Despite the rain earlier this week, I’ve been able to potter around doing things on the allotment.  I’ve strung up more old CDs as pigeon scarers; tied up the aubergine plants as they grow taller; removed some of the lower leaves from the tomato plants; watered the greenhouse plants daily; and generally adjusted this and that while making plans for changes and developments to come.

We’ve hatched a cunning plan to enlist youngest son’s help with several fencing, guttering and making projects (he’s a very practical man and enjoys doing these things), while giving him and his wife some time out from child care as Malcolm looks after her.  It feels like one of those ‘everyone’s a winner’ ideas.  Once our self-isolation period is done with and I’ve had a bit of recovery time.  They think it’s a good idea too, so we just need to fix a date.  Something tells me none of us have much else in our diaries right now…..

I’ve been out for a walk most days exploring our neighbourhood, concentrating as much as possible on streets I’ve never been to before.  Also looking out for front garden inspiration.  It feels like people have developed a new appreciation of all outdoor space, and that includes front gardens.

So, by this 5th day of self-isolation, we seem to have found a pleasant rhythm of a daily walk (locally for me) – looking especially for inspiration for the next phase of my front garden renewal; some admin (more catching up with farm stuff, emails, and household admin); and doing things in the garden and allotment.  In between times there’s always cooking, knitting, reading, podcasts, and a little bit of writing.  And counting our blessings.  Always.

I hope you have some blessings to count, and that I’ll see you again tomorrow xx

 

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In the time of the virus: to wear or not to wear, that is the question – face coverings

Here’s a topical subject, and one that seems to raise strong feelings in people one way or another.

I’m not going to sit on any fences here: originally I knew nothing of the subject, and now I’m fully persuaded of the benefits of wearing face coverings in public indoor spaces.

It seems to me the perfect altruistic act of solidarity: mine protects you; yours protects me.

I should start by saying that I never before understood the Chinese and other tourists I saw routinely wearing face coverings when out and about, and to my shame I even thought it rather rude (did they think I was going to give them some dread disease?).  Now I know better.  The learning in those countries that really suffered from the outbreaks of SARS and MERS was that mass wearing of face coverings really did help protect the community as a whole.

I know that SARS and MERS were different infections with different transmission vectors and patterns.  I also know that generally evidence of the success or otherwise of face coverings is from real life observations, not from the kind of randomised trials with control groups and all the other stringent tests we normally expect of evidence-based medicine.  But there are circumstances and times (and now is one such) when we need to do things we might not have considered in other times.

My growing mistrust of the UK government’s handing of the corona crisis has led me to follow several eminent public health academics and clinicians on Twitter, and read as widely as I can manage around the subject, to inform myself.

Some of these people also write articles for lay people like you and me.  Here’s one from the Director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (Frofessor Peter Piot – he co-discovered Ebola, as well as worked on HIV and Aids for the UN.  Professor Tricia Greenhalgh (she’s Professor of Primary Care Health Sciences at Oxford University) – follow the link to find several articles she’s written about use of face coverings.  She began with no firm view on the issue, and now is a strong advocate for wearing them.  Professor Devi Sridhar holds a Chair of Global Public Health at Edinburgh University and is one of the experts advising the Scottish Parliament on dealing with the pandemic.  She has clear views on how to suppress the virus with a view to eventually eliminating it – the route they’re following in Scotland.  Her views and the views of all the public health specialists I’m reading contrast sharply with the actions taken (or not taken) by the UK government.

Like me, I’m sure that recently you’ll have noticed too many discarded plastic gloves and single-use face coverings littering our street, parks and open spaces.  I came across an interesting article published by UCL Plastic Waste Innovation Hub about the environmental impact of non-medical use of single use face masks.

Which brings me back to where I began.  It’s my belief that the government has effectively returned to the discredited ‘herd immunity’ approach which they espoused and then tried to pretend they hadn’t in the early days of the pandemic hitting the UK.  Whatever they may say, what they’re doing and how they’re doing it seems to me to point that way, whether by intention or not.  And so, however much and however fervently I wish it were otherwise, we seem sadly to be back to relying on individual actions to quash the pandemic.  What I do protects me and protects you.  What you do protects you and protects me.

But when it comes to wearing face coverings, mine does not protect me and yours does not protect you.  I wear mine to protect you.  You wear yours to protect me.  What could be more pro-social or more community spirited than that?

If you’re not already doing so and have the means to do so, I hope you might consider making and using cloth face coverings.  If you’re not sure where to start, here’s a link to my blog post explaining how I’m doing it.  There are plenty of other patterns freely available on the internet, and several that don’t require any sewing, skills or materials other than an old t-shirt and the ability to use a pair of scissors.

After I’d written this post, I saw this article in The Guardian – the President of the Royal Society saying that refusal to wear a mask “should be as taboo as drink driving”.  I couldn’t agree more.

The sooner it becomes a social norm – the faster we get over feeling silly or extreme or over-cautious – the sooner we make inroads on reducing transmission of coronavirus and thus reducing the incidence of illness (and long-term after effects of illness, and deaths).

Your choice.  My choice.  Our choice.

 

 

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In the time of the virus: the birthday weekend

What a weekend it was.  It began on Friday evening and continued to Sunday evening.  48 hours of family togetherness.  The sons and partners and I spent several weeks planning our first get together since Christmas, to celebrate Malcolm’s birthday.  Given the added demands for keeping our distance from each other and evolving arrangements in several dimensions, the planning requirements were considerable – but oh so worthwhile.

One pair slept elsewhere (fortunately her parents were away elsewhere so they could sleep at their house without difficulties), the other pair (trio) slept at the bottom of the garden in the wooden summerhouse.  I say ‘slept’ but that requires a broad definition – little granddaughter ensured that.  She’s not a great sleeper at the best of times, and over-excitement probably didn’t help.  Fortunately for her parents, Malcolm volunteered to take over at 6.30 the first morning, and I did the same the second morning.  No great hardship for either of us, and it was much appreciated.

There were a few walks, lots of playtime, lots of laughing and chat, good food and drink (everyone contributed something to the mix), and careful attention to keeping our distance (apart from granddaughter and her grandparents – we’d already decided that we three should be a little ‘bubble’ a couple of weeks earlier.  The rain was unexpected and unwanted but didn’t last and we had a sheltered spot at the bottom of the garden where we were able to eat most of our meals together.

There was some creativity at work in the garden.  No garden toys for her to play with?  Repurpose some garden edging hoops, clothes pegs and a blanket to make a crawling tunnel-cum-hideaway.

The perfect way to celebrate a birthday in these times.  And now I’m feeling done in.  Time for a bit of R and R.  Today is the start of our 14 day self-isolation prior to my operation, so I’m expecting life to be calmer this week and next.  I’ve made a little list of some things I’d like to do in these 14 days, and sitting around reading is one of them.

And breathe.

I hope you had a good weekend, and something good to look forward to this week.  See you tomorrow xx

 

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In the time of the virus: birthday time

OK so I wrote the whole post, and for the first time ever WordPress swallowed it whole and refused to spit it back out again.

Sorry, but I’m too plum tuckered to rewrite it.  Know only that we had a lovely birthday celebration.  Not completely the day I planned, but the one that got delivered, and it was a good one.

The celebrations will continue throughout the weekend.  Youngest son and his family (including the always adorable granddaughter) are here for the weekend, and oldest son and his partner will be joining us for a meal tomorrow evening and all day on Sunday.  We’re hoping for weather fine enough to be outside all the time, but sufficiently realistic to have a Plan B.

Suffice to say none of us will be visiting a pub anytime soon.

I may or may not have time and energy enough to write over the weekend.  If not, I’ll be back on Monday.

In the meantime, I hope you have something good planned for the weekend.  Stay safe.  Take care. xx

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In the time of the virus: just another day

So after yesterday’s milestone (100 days), today’s another day.  A very busy one, as it turned out, so not much energy (or time) left to write much.

I spent quite a bit of today working on the allotment, and got lots and lots done.  All very satisfying, and all the more so to see it looking good when I finished.  Still lots more to do, but for reasons that will become clear, it seems like I’ll have quite a bit of time for doing it over the next couple of weeks.

Trying to deter the pesky (fat) pigeons

Net curtain repurposed as pigeon protection (on sugar snap peas)

My first ever baby aubergine emerges

Anyway, plans have been made, remade, unmade and made again for the next few days.  I think we’ve got to the final version.

And then suddenly, the phone went and it was the hospital saying that if I (we) can self-isolate for a fortnight from Monday, later this month I can have the eye operation that was due to to have been done back in April.  We discussed it briefly, but of course decided yes.  My vision has been getting worse (mostly not functionally so, but over the past few weeks I’ve begun to notice it when I’m reading, especially later on in the day).  It will be amazing to have it fixed again.

So much for me saying yesterday that I knew what the next few days would bring.  It turns out, little did I know.

Anyhow, before that fun starts, the birthday fun will happen.  I think he’ll enjoy it.

See you tomorrow xx

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In the time of the virus: day 100

So.  Here we are, on the 100th day of this series.  What a timespan; what an extraordinary experience to look back on.  Though I fear it may not feel quite so extraordinary when looked back on from a more distant future.  (Does that make sense?  it does to me, but I’m not sure it will be clear to anyone else).

Today is no different from any of the other days since I began this.  More rainy than most perhaps.  The added treat of a much-anticipated garden visit (though with umbrellas instead of the flasks and cake I’d envisaged when I booked).  It is probably no different from many of the days to come.

And yet it does feel to me like something of a milestone.  Not least of all because I committed to writing something every single day, and I’ve somehow managed to do so – even on days when writing anything felt like climbing a mountain.

Inevitably I’ve been reflecting on what I’ll take away from this, though of course only time will tell whether what I think I’ve learnt is what I’ve really learnt (or even whether I’ve learnt anything of value at all).   True to form, I’ve made some little lists.

What I’ve learnt:

  • I enjoy the discipline / routine of writing daily.  I hope to continue, which may be daily or may become less frequent, but I will certainly continue writing
  • A benefit of regular writing, whether for myself or to share with others, is being able to look back and see what I actually felt or did at the time – which may be quite different from what I think I felt or did
  • I enjoy immense privilege (my comparative wealth; my skin colour; my class; my housing situation; my access to food; my access to outside space; my acquired possessions; my education).  Most of these did not come easy, but most others are not so fortunate in their lives
  • My (albeit limited) personal (plus second-hand through my mum) experience of racism, classism and being poor have left me with a heightened awareness and intolerance of injustice and lies.  Not a comfortable place to be in these times, but all the more important in these times
  • We’ve shared this storm together, but my boat is quite likely a lot less leaky than your boat.  There have been (are) many with no boat at all.  I can help some people, but I can’t help everyone.  I can do what I can
  • I am ‘comfortable in my skin‘, as the French would put it (“Je suis bien dans mon peau“).  This too did not come easy, but it has grown as I have matured
  • I am comfortable being alone.  I tend to enjoy solitude rather than feel lonely. I crave and need some solitude.   That too may change, I have no way of knowing
  • I already have (more than) enough of pretty much everything.  Hence my word for 2020 – it has been fully tested in this period.  When I decided on it, I little imagined how relevant it would be
  • I’ve learnt who and what are truly important to me.  I doubt that can be unlearnt.  I’ve missed the simple pleasure of being with a friend and walking and talking.
  • I love doing yoga.  Doing a session always leaves me feeling better.  It’s good for my mental health.  I don’t do it often enough
  • Walking an average of at least 5 miles a day isn’t a luxury, it’s a must.  Keeping my leg healthy isn’t an optional extra.  If I were to become ill and not be able to do this, my leg will rapidly deteriorate.  When it deteriorates, I am much more susceptible to developing serious infection in the leg, which can lead to more serious consequences.  I don’t want to become an unnecessary burden to the health service, nor do I want to risk serious illness.  If I were to become ill and in bed for a period of time, continuing to wear the pressure stocking would be at best very difficult and at worst impossible.  It is very tight, and not easy to put on.  Wearing it is essential to keeping my leg healthy
  • I really don’t shop much, and mostly don’t feel the lack.  Although, I am missing secondhand shopping – browsing charity shops and vintage/junk stalls is my thing, and I’m looking forward to resuming it.  All that stuff other people have sorted out during lockdown to re-home….  I’m in the market for unwanted darning mushrooms and other kit; embroidery threads; cotton fabric; demin jeans.  Quite a few things in fact.

What I’ve done:

  • I’ve tended my garden and my allotment like never before.  On that Voltaire was right. (“Il faut cultiver notre jardin” – Candide).
  • I’ve been exceptionally creative with textiles and repurposing – a crochet blanket almost finished; patchwork picnic cloths made and delivered; much mending done; lots of knitting and crocheting items to sell for Bath City Farm; face coverings experimented with and completed (more to come).  Old worn sheets reused for patchwork and face coverings backing.  Next will be making some bedding for granddaughter’s new/old bed we’ve got for when she eventually stays here.
  • I’ve kept up some old habits at home and added some new ones – (even) more cooking from scratch; using up what I already have; keeping a stock of staple foods, medicines and household goods, and topping it up when needed (thanks mum for the teaching); improved attention to cleaning (though I think my m-i-l would still be horrified); repurposing before buying
  • I’ve done and enjoyed doing more cooking than usual.  Including making fresh pasta (who knew that was so very quick and easy to do!  Just for the cost of an egg and a bit of flour); sourdough starter vegan cakes; regular sourdough starter pancakes; regular cakes.  Can you see a cake theme emerging here?  you’re not wrong
  • I’ve written my blog every single day.  Go me!
  • I’ve stayed in close contact with more people than usual (though some not as much as I’d have liked)
  • I’ve caught up with most of a backlog of life admin and farm admin.  Still more to do, but then surely that’s a bit like Sisyphus pushing the stone up the hill
  • I’ve explored all sorts of places within walking distance of home and found places I never knew were there, places I knew were there but not been to before, and places I’d never before quite appreciated (but now I do)
  • I’ve had regular phone calls with my friend in Denmark.  We should have seen each other IRL twice this year.  Now we speak most weeks.  A cup of coffee each, a bit of knitting to do, and it’s almost like being together.  Of course it’s not, but it’s the next best thing

What I haven’t done

  • Learn a language / brush up a language
  • Read almost any books.  I read one whole book.  I’m still just around a third of the way through the Hilary Mantel trilogy.  Long way to go
  • Finish the 30 day yoga practice I began almost 100 days ago.  Does that tell you something?  it does me
  • Resume running.  Too hot, too busy, too nervous of accidentally injuring myself and ending up needing medical treatment.  (Or just too easy to find excuses?)
  • Create a perfect garden or allotment or house
  • Watch much cultural stuff online or on TV  The spirit was willing but the flesh was weak.  Too busy most days, too tired most evenings.  Does it matter? well no, since you ask.  But I enjoyed most of what I watched
  • Consistently sleep well.  Sometimes I have, sometimes I haven’t.  Good when I do, a bit rubbish when I don’t.  That’s life
  • Brood over what wasn’t possible.  So many things we couldn’t do – biggest among them for us was not seeing granddaughter.  But what would be the point?  I chose to focus on what I could do, and that helped me get through.  I’m not saying that would work for everyone, but we’re all different and it has worked for me.  I’m well aware that my losses are far smaller than most/many other people’s

So here we are, another day gone by.  What did I do with it?  Baked another summer fruit cake.  Made a batch of kombucha.  Some life admin, some farm admin.  A farm zoom call (this is a pretty big deal for me, as I hate being in photos or on video – but now to my surprise I now quite like this type of call).  A visit to a beautiful garden, after not during the torrential downpours – and very special, with a close friend.  I spotted a tiny froglet in my garden, hopping towards the pond.  I wrote my personal reflection on the past 100 days.

(You probably don’t need me to tell you this, but the photos below are not of my garden.  I do claim the cake and the frog though.  The frog is tiny – no bigger than my thumbnail).

Do I know what the next 100 days will bring?  of course not.  Do I wish I knew? frankly no I don’t.  If it’s good I’ll know soon enough, and if (as I fear) it’s not good, I’ll know soon enough.  The point is to try to make each day matter.  Because it does.

I do however know what the next few days will bring.  There’s a birthday coming up later this week and that can only mean surprises.  I know what they are, but someone else doesn’t.   I have a busy day tomorrow.

Here’s to tomorrow, and the next few tomorrows.  See you again then xx

 

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In the time of the virus: day 99

My goodness, today was a joy and a gift.  The plan was for us to go up to visit youngest son and family at the farm where they live, but for various reasons that plan changed to them dropping granddaughter off to our house so we could look after her while the parents did some jobs they needed to get done.  Not much hardship there for us!  We were of course delighted.

Despite wondering if she might have forgotten our house in the 6 months (6 months!) since she last came here, she was clearly as pleased to be visiting us as we were to have her.  She settled straight in to playing with the toys we kept from when her father and her uncle were her age, then decided she needed to explore the house and reacquainted herself with all the different rooms.  We went for a walk up to the local shops, did some jobs there, walked back the long way so she could help collect the eggs.

She’s a great combination of a girl who knows her own mind, and (thank goodness!) a girl who can be easily distracted by her bubbe from what she shouldn’t be doing to something acceptable.  She was clear she definitely didn’t want a nap, but was happy enough to go out for another walk with us later in the morning along with the pushchair, and sure enough at the point when she’d had enough walking and was happy to ride, she was also happy to drop off to sleep.  So bubbe and pappa got our walk (down to the river and back), bubbe popped into Lidl as there wasn’t a queue and picked up a few things we wanted, and granddaughter had the nap she needed.

In the afternoon there was more playing, we read some books and sang some songs, and just enjoyed being together.  Although I think it’s fair to say that she’s more into playing with the dolls and the duplo people and animals, leaving pappa to play with the duplo ferry boat and train set mostly on his own.

When her parents arrived to collect her she was pleased to see them, but hadn’t missed them at all while they were away.  We’re looking forward to the day when she can come to stay overnight.  It was meant to have happened several weeks ago, but of course all that went by the board in lockdown.  She’s already booked in to stay with us for Glastonbury week next year (her parent’s normally work there.  They missed being there this year, and are hoping it will go ahead in 2021).

And  really, that was the extent of our day.  When they left, Malcolm cleared all the toys away while I went out to the allotment to collect the rest of the eggs, pick salad for supper, and pick fruit to make a cake.  When it came to it, I was too tired to back the cake so I weighed everything out ready to mix and bake it tomorrow morning.

Another busy day ahead tomorrow.  Jobs to do in the morning, then a zoom meeting for the farm, then off to meet a friend at a nearby garden.

I count my blessings every day, and know myself to be very fortunate indeed.  I hope you have some blessings to count, and that I’ll see you tomorrow xx

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In the time of the virus: day 98 (Monday)

My Monday morning meeting with myself was productive, but reminded me just how much I need to fit into this week.  Lots of urgent jobs that need to be jobbed, plus several fun arrangements too (depending how the weather turns out).

A bit like they say about London buses – after a drought, this week I have two garden visits booked – one with a friend, and the other with Malcolm to celebrate his birthday.  Both are favourite gardens that previously we could just turn up to visit, but now (understandably and reassuringly) we have to book in advance.  Today we met with a couple of friends for a walk (but mostly a chat), and tomorrow we’ll be looking after granddaughter at our house.  She hasn’t been here since November; we wonder how much she’ll remember.  Plus there’s a still-secret plan for a fun outing at the weekend.  However, having to do everything outdoors is definitely feeling difficult now that the weather has changed.  As the weekend amply illustrated.

I began this week with a productive morning.  Batch cooking our go-to pasta sauce seemed like (and was) a good idea, but would have been better if my ability to judge the capacity of kitchen pots and pans was more accurate.  Still, I got it done.  And while the sauce was bubbling away I jobbed several important admin jobs.

It was completely full – I had to keep the lid on to stop it bubbling over

Somehow the morning rushed by too fast, and soon it was time to go to meet up with the first friends we’ve met in person since lockdown.  Another ‘halfway’ meeting point for a walk in the forest and then flasks and cake together.  So good to see them.  They’ve had their own difficult times in lockdown, including close family illness needing one of them to become a carer, followed by bereavement and the difficulties of arranging a funeral in lockdown (thankfully at least a a time when funerals could be attended by several people; but a very different funeral from the one it would have been in normal times).    So many of life’s challenges to navigate in such difficult times.

And now to bed – tomorrow can’t come soon enough for me.  I hope you too have something to look forward to tomorrow, however small a thing that might be xx

 

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In the time of the virus: day 97

Sunday again.  Plans for an afternoon garden get-together were abandoned, for several reasons but the main one was the very changeable weather.  Tea in the garden not such an appealing proposition when it’s intermittently pouring with horizontal rain then sunshiny but both unpredictably.

Instead we had a pleasant quiet day.  Both of us have more than enough to keep us happily occupied and entertained.  Books, photography, cooking, sewing, knitting, listening to the radio.  Neither of us tire of these.  In between the heavy showers there was an opportunity to pop out to the allotment, just enough time to bring in onions for tonight’s supper, and eggs.

For our Sunday morning trip Malcolm baked some more of his cinnamon buns (I could get used to this) and we revisited several parts of Germany:

  • One year we cycled the Rhine path from Strasbourg to Cologne, staying overnight in B and Bs and hotels.  We had an extraordinary 2 nights special-offer-bargain stay in a very fancy Rhine castle hotel.  They greeted the two smelly cyclists arriving with our bikes and panniers without batting an eye, showed us where to stow the bikes, and had our panniers delivered to our room before we returned to collect them.  We had the fanciest dinners and breakfasts ever as part of the package.  A very wonderful holiday, planned in part to celebrate recovery from my hysterectomy a few months earlier.  We hope to get back to finish the rest of the Rhine cycleway one day soon – from Cologne to Rotterdam (or maybe Hook of Holland).
  • Another year we took our bikes by train down to Constance (Konstanz), stayed in a flat, and took day trips out to cycle all the way round Lake Constance (or Bodensee, as it’s called in German).  Combined with local ferries and trains, this was a truly wonderful ride and I’d love to do it again.  One day we bought a punnet of the very best cherries, picked by one of the allotment holders we were passing.  He and his wife had set up a small stall beside the cycle path.  Along the way we were in Germany, Switzerland and Austria, crossing invisible borders seamlessly.
  • Most times when we visit the Black Forest we take a day out on the train to Freiburg.  Freiburg is a lovely city, an example of how a city can reinvent itself as a green city.  One suburb in particular (Vauban) is inspirational, and somewhere architects and landscape architects often reference for how things can be done differently/better environmentally.  But in truth, when you look closely, I think Vauban both is and is not very different from most places: most of the buildings aren’t clever or fancy, but they were built in discussion with the residents and incorporate sensible features to ensure they are low-energy and enable low-impact living.  They have then added greenery and plants that make the place look quite different from anywhere else I’ve been.  Cars aren’t absent but are kept in the background, and precedence is always given to people on foot/on cycles/in wheelchairs.  This is at the same time depressing (why is it not the norm throughout the UK?) and hopeful (with some simple changes, we could make it happen here!).  After our Lake Constance ride we stayed in a flat in Vauban for a week.  The dominant sounds were children playing, birdsong, and the nearby trams.  If that sounds cliched, I can tell you it was a real delight.  A bit like lockdown has been here (sans trams).

Our meal this evening was another German-inspired meal.  On our trips to the Black Forest and to Strasbourg we’ve enjoyed the local flammenkuchen (or tarte flambée in France).  Kind of like a very very thin pizza, with the topping made of lots of thinly sliced onions, creme fraiche, and some speck.  I made the dough using my sourdough starter and rolled it out extra thin.  The topping was made from allotment onions, with a couple of rashers of bacon as I couldn’t get hold of any speck.  With a glass of chilled white wine, we could almost imagine ourselves there.  Even the weather was appropriate (wet, windy and changeable.  As it often is there).

This was the original…

….and this was mine. Not perfect, but not bad at all

Posted in Climate change, Cycling, In the time of the virus, Inspirations, Seeing differently, Travels | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment