In the time of the virus: day 16

My days (and weeks) are beginning to develop their own pattern and form, which is what I was hoping for.

Mornings always begin with a quiet, relaxing breakfast reading the day’s Guardian – a reliable and always interesting source of news, brought to me electronically on the iPad.  Although it’s freely available, we subscribe as a way to contribute to crucial good journalism.

After that it’s time for some quick household chores – the new normal of wiping down various places in the house (taps, door handles, light switches, toilets….) with a solution of antiseptic.  This may or may not kill coronavirus, but regardless, the last thing any of us needs right now is any kind of illness, so I figure it’s worth doing.

Then there’s the normal normal stuff – tidying, bed making, etc.  Every morning there are a few bits and pieces I wash up by hand – thermos flasks, plastic food bags for reuse, odds and ends that can’t go in the dishwasher.  I’m now using the water afterwards on the garden, as we’ve not had much rain for a while.  I give a few shrubs a good soaking, rather than trying to give everywhere a little bit. (Likewise with the water I use hand washing clothes).

After that, on weekdays it’s time to move into whatever it is I’m going to do that day, which today was working on the allotment.  Specifically emptying and refilling one of my compost bins, taking advantage of the grass having been cut by the council yesterday (a nicely layered stack now, that will heat up very nicely indeed); cleaning out the hen house (more good stuff for the compost bin); and lots of seed sowing in the greenhouse.

Often we get together for coffee at 11 (if we’re both around – sometimes Malcolm goes out for a morning walk, when there are often fewer people about).

Then it’s more things from my lists, until lunch at 1pm.  Today my lunch was those steamed cauliflower leaves accompanied by egg fried rice (made with the remains of a pot of cooked then frozen rice saved from leftovers put the freezer weeks ago, plus an egg), with soy sauce.  Definitely one to repeat, I really enjoyed it.

Garden/allotment – a really productive day.  In addition to the jobs above, I also watered my fruit trees and broad beans, and pruned a large rose in the garden that I’d been meaning to do for ages.

Top layer – grass cuttings

Craft/making – after lunch I sat in the garden with a stack of dishcloths I’ve knitted for the Farm shop, and sewed in ends while I listened to a radio play and drank tea.  Very satisfying and enjoyable.

House/home repairs, improvements – nope.  Not while the sun is shining and there are outside jobs to get on with.

Admin – yes, I’ve managed to do a few more bits of outstanding admin.  Slowly slowly, still…..

Kind deeds/something for others – I’ve read a lot about people mass-producing cloth face masks to give away to others who are doing things around our communities – eg volunteers at food banks, people shopping for others.  At first I was unconvinced that these masks were helpful, but things I’ve read more recently have convinced me that they are (not necessarily to protect the wearer from others but more to protect others from the wearer).  So now I’m planning on using some of my cloth stash and making some myself.  If you have a good pattern/clear instructions, do share!  I’ll also need to find a source of elastic, which I don’t have at all.  I’m hoping that Twitter locally may be able to connect me to someone able to let me have some (though this evening I’ve read that WHO don’t seem to be recommending this now – it’s hard to keep up and evaluate what we should and shouldn’t be doing).

Stay sane! -a day when I was grateful for my good fortune: in having a garden, and an allotment close by; in having a home with enough food and an excellent internet plus devices that work well; in having a loving family and friends in close touch.  All this must be incalculably harder for those without any or all of those.   And for me, today, again: yoga.

About deborah @ the magic jug

Now I've passed 60 I'm still doing all sorts of things I haven't done before, as well as carrying on with the things I already love. I live a happy life with my long term love Malcolm. In my blog I explore local and low tech ideas, food, growing, making, reading, thinking, walking, and lots of other words ending in 'ing'.
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2 Responses to In the time of the virus: day 16

  1. Marian says:

    Hi Deborah 🙂
    Even in non-pandemic times I love that half hour or so in the mornings when I set things in order. Now it seems crucial to my sanity to keep things clean and tidy!
    This is the pattern I used for the masks:

    Click to access MaskInstructions_V2.pdf

    You’ll see that it has ties rather than elastic, but you could easily make them using elastic to loop around the ears instead. I wore one for the first time today, and unfortunately I didn’t tie it properly and it slipped while in the grocery store. I did the exact thing you’re not supposed to do while wearing a mask: I touched it in order to adjust it. (This is the reason Canada’s chief medical doctor initially advised against using masks—it’s so easy to inadvertently contaminate yourself; she is now saying it’s a good idea to wear them if we’re going to be in a place where physical distancing isn’t possible, but it is vital that you know what you’re doing.) When I got home, I experimented with a clean mask and found that if I draped the upper string over my ears and then tied it at the bottom of my ear with the lower string, I was essentially mimicking the design of an elastic-around-the-ears type of mask. Then I took the strings from both sides and tied them together at the nape of my neck. I didn’t have it on long, but it seemed as though tying the strings like that might keep the mask from slipping.


    • Hi Marian, sorry I thought I had replied to this but evidently not. Am losing the battle to keep up to date with emails at the moment!
      Thanks so much for the link to the mask pattern. I’m hoping to get on to these next week. If I can manage one that works ok, I thought I’d make them for our immediate family and then neighbours if they’s like them.
      I can see that there are some new habits that I’ll carry forward with me after this, if only because they are comforting (yoga!).
      Hope you and yours continue well. All the best, D xxxx


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