Saturday, 25 April 2020

From a Distance

Another week in lockdown, and I am feeling conditioned to the situation. When restrictions are lifted, will I even want to leave my house again?!  I made a mental list of the places I am missing most (not including seeing friends and family) - the coast, National Trust properties, garden centres, maybe the leisure centre?  Chris added car boot sales.  There's a lot I could do without.  I am never short of things to occupy me.

Before lockdown, I'd started back at my spin class, was going to mama yoga, and was clocking up the miles on walks pushing the pram. Instead, I have been doing a '90s barre class through Glowing Live on Instagram, have kept up yoga via Yoga With Adriene on YouTube, and have been furiously gardening. Lifting a baby is great for arm muscles. Keeping up the exercise happily means I now have more wardrobe options! I put together a summery 'character in a Poirot' inspired look based around some navy M&S trousers I can finally zip up again. I wore them to Burgh Island last May. That 1930s necklace was grabbed by little hands almost immediately and had to be taken off.  It's only a soft rolled wire holding the beads in place, so Chris fixed it easily.  Parasol was a souvenir from Thailand 20 years ago.

The rhubarb is suddenly huge!  I've included baby and husband in the photo below to demonstrate the scale.  I have been exploring rhubarb recipes. I  made a rhubarb cake, that was quick and easy. The ingredients are pretty basic too - no need for fancy sugar or other ingredients you may not have (we can't get hold of some baking ingredients, everyone has gone baking mad!).  I found the recipe here, but if you don't have rhubarb I think it would work well with plums, apples, or strawberries.  Next on my list is a rhubarb and strawberry pie (thanks Gisela!).  The other good recipe I discovered this week was a Jamie Oliver mushroom and lentil bolognese (veggie).  I find it fun playing 'Ready, Steady, Cook!' and finding use for the ingredients we already have rather than shopping specifically for a recipe.

Make do and mend
I made a cushion cover with that lovely vintage wool fabric I showed you in my last post.  My first thought was to point out all its flaws.  Instead, I am going to congratulate myself on getting a bit of sewing done.  Better done, than perfect.  The cushion looks much smarter, and compliments the vintage wool blanket hanging off the back of my armchair.  I'm tempted to recover all the other cushions in the house with other nice fabrics from my stash now.

We were given a lovely set of Grace Alexander cut flower seeds from some friends earlier in the year.  I was also very excited to get some seeds I'd ordered in the post.  They are heritage seeds from 'Real Seeds'.  Some are rare, others have fallen out of favour, but all have a taste guarantee.  I am particularly excited about the yellow beetroot, Touchstone Gold, and a squash variety from 1938, which I bought because it seemed appropriate to grow in the garden of our 1935 house.  Not being able to resist, I also added dill and pea seeds to our supermarket order.

It's been hard going tidying up borders and preparing the veg patch, as the soil is so utterly dry.  Chris has been neatening the lawn edging, where the borders were full of more lawn than plants, and discovered some buried breeze blocks.  A bit of a sweaty job digging those up and hefting them out!  There's a lot happening in the garden again this week in terms of flowers.  Next week the peonies should be in full bloom and I'll share some photos.


'Indian Prince' Marigold (edible flowers!) 

Peonies (not sure what variety, they were already in the garden when we moved in) 

Daisies popping up among the bluebells 

Ammi Majus (Bishop's Weed) and Nigella (Love In a Mist), 'Miss Jekyll' 

Cosmos 'Purity'

Post seems like a real treat at the moment.  We had a lovely surprise package of gifts for Otis from some friends, and I had some gardening supplies delivered (garden wire, another small propagator, and some plant supports).  Chris and I have our birthdays coming up in the next few weeks, so there are a few more packages to come.  It definitely feels more exciting having to wait a week or two every time I want to buy something, rather than just nipping out to the shops.

Chris went to get some essentials in a physical shop and once again came back feeling really stressed. Some people are foolish.  In a branch of a major supermarket, the security guard was standing in the middle of the exit. Chris asked him to step aside so that the 2 metre distance could be respected. The security guard responded "jog on".  I have been in touch with the supermarket and they are rightly looking into it.  Also this week, a house in our local area had a party with about 20 people!  Not to mention the arsonists have continued setting fire to the hillsides.

It's a cool and cloudy day here, so I will be tackling some indoor jobs today.  I'll be having a nap too, as Otis is still in his pattern of multiple feeds during the night.  I did get another supermarket delivery slot for a fortnight's time at 4am today though, so that's a positive!

Stay safe and sane!


  1. I love your 1920s inspired lockdown outfit, you look so glam! Well done on getting back into those trousers so soon, you're clearly not one of those people who lie around all day eating biscuits through lockdown!
    That rhubarb is enormous (bigger than Otis!) and your garden blooms are gorgeous. The Grace Alexander seeds are so beautifully packaged I'd be sad to open them.
    You did a great job with the cushion and the rhubarb cake.
    You're so right about post being so exciting, we're both waiting for a few bits to be delivered and its so disapointing when the postman only stops at the house to wave at us.
    Poor Chris, his shopping experience sounded vile and as for that party, I have no words. There was a report from Walsall town centre on the news last week as a solitary policeman attempted to break up a large gathering of drunken men hanging around the town square, it's like another world out there.
    Stay safe and healthy! Loving your lockdown posts. xxx

  2. I've been thinking exactly the same! Not sure I want to leave my house and garden as much as I did before, although I do crave going for walks further afield. I don't even miss charity shopping very much. There's been talk here in Belgium of some relaxation of the rules, and perhaps the shops opening again soon, but to be honest the thought fills me with horror! I think it's too soon, and not gradual enough. I also think it will take a long time for me to re-adjust to our old normal. How wonderful that you're starting to have more wardrobe options. That must be a relief! Your Poirot character outfit is delightful, and what a relief that Chris was able to mend your necklace. Love that parasol!
    That rhubarb is enormous. Can't wait for ours to provide enough for a cake, as it looks absolutely delicious! Going supermarket shopping is quite stressful isn't it? Not everybody is acting very responsibly. That security guide's reaction is just horrible. Here, people are breaking the rules left, right and centre, it seems, having visitors over which is not allowed. And vandalism seems to be going on everywhere too. I hope the fines are hefty! Stay safe and sane too xxx

  3. This outfit is amazing!

    I also love how much you're embracing what you can accomplish during this time. It is a very positive way to deal with this.


  4. I love your outfit especially the kimono and parasol. I used to grow lots of different heritage tomatoes, you might not get as many fruits but the flavour always made it worth it. Your peony is definitely a era appropriate flower for your garden.

  5. 'Better done than perfect' is a very good motto. I should paint it on my sewing machine...

    Good to know you're getting on so well in lockdown - like you, I wonder how much I'll want to go back to, though I do miss the *possibility* of travel. It must be lovely for you both to have all this time with Otis.

  6. Wow looks like you've adapted quite well.
    I am loving all the flowers and also the seedlings. I planted tomatoes and grapefruit.
    Need to transplant my papayas and have already harvested spinach.


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