I’ve been thinking over the past few days just how long to continue with this series. I know I said on Monday that I would continue for as long as I (and hopefully a few others) are finding it helpful. I’m feeling at the moment that I will carry on at least until day 100, which feels like an important milestone; and then reconsider from there. I sincerely hope (but not sure I believe yet) that we will be in a very different place nearly 30 days from now. By then it will be clear what impact if any the events of the past couple of weeks have had on virus transmission and on deaths.
In the meantime, life goes on (for most of us, at least).
Yesterday I went out for a favourite walk (down to the river, along the river path, and back home), but for the first time since lockdown I was able to stop at a regular coffee haunt – it had only just reopened. It all looked very different – takeaway only; hand gel at the entrance; all the tables and chairs roped off; just one member of staff, and I was the only customer (wearing my mask and gloves). The member of staff was so pleased to see me (well, I’m sure not me, but a real live customer). I had taken my reusable mug with me, so quickly transferred my drink into it and walked over to the nearby park. The coffee was good.
This was the first time I’ve ever seen anyone using what has previously been just a barren empty space. It was good to see it actually being used (carefully) by quite a few people – a family with 3 toddlers; a couple exercising doing circuits using just their dumbbells as equipment for a vigorous workout; other small groups on the grass reading, chatting, sipping their drinks. It was a pleasant interlude into something approaching ‘normal’ life, but in way that felt safe. I do hope our collective newfound appreciation of open spaces will stay with us and help us transform our public realm. [Although because I am pedantic, I can’t resist pointing out just how much of what used to be our public realm has now been privatised, as indeed is this particular park].
Also while I was out, I took the opportunity as I passed by to pop into Lidl, where there was for a change no queue. I bought a few things I knew we were running low on, and some treats for our supper (German sliced rye bread with sunflowers; Black Forest ham). Like many people, we have gradually adopted the practice of buying dry goods and tins before we need to use them, and allowing them to sit in the hallway of our house for 72 hours, to reduce the faff of washing all the shopping. Only fresh things that need to be properly stored get washed now. It now feels normal in a way that just a few weeks ago would have felt utterly bizarre (as does so much in our ordinary daily lives).
In the afternoon I made a few more face coverings, these to post off to oldest son and his partner for them to try for size. If they fit ok I’ll make them some more the same. If not, I can make whatever adjustments are needed.
And then the seemingly endless (but in a way quite enjoyable) task of watering the tender allotment plants. Today we were promised rain, a good downpour. Alas so far all we’ve had is drizzle – better than nothing, but really not good enough. And nothing more to speak of forecast for now.
Today I did the same walk again but this time without the coffee stop. It’s always a pleasure.
Then this evening as I cooked supper I experimented with making some sourdough cinnamon and cardamom buns. They smell good and look good, so I’m hoping tomorrow they’ll taste good. This was one of those freestyle ‘make it up as you go’ things, so I’m guessing they can probably be improved on next time around. Always assuming I can remember what I did and therefore figure out what I should do differently.
I hope your days are passing fruitfully, or at least healthily, and that I’ll see you again tomorrow xx