Month: March 2020

Day 8 – The one about cooking

Blog follower

Targeted blog

Almost every day I post a new entry on my blog I pick up a new follower. I think most of the time they are automated follows picking up on tags or key words.

So, following my head shave yesterday I got this (right). I’m tempted to contact them and tell them that I haven’t lost my hair. It’s all in a bag in the shed.

What’s cooking

I have found myself venturing more into the kitchen. So far this week I’ve rustled up a banana and raisin loaf and some potato cakes, based on the linked recipes. Both have helped use up left over food and have also helped to pass the time.

I did have to adapt them a little. For instance, I only had one banana so I added a couple of handfuls of raisins. For the potato cakes I used 400g of cooked potatoes and 100g of flour. I used self raising flour, but only because I would have to sell my first born to get plain flour at the moment.

Both were delicious, but I don’t think I’m ready for MasterChef just yet. Last night I was told that I was using the wrong pan to cook peas. Can you imagine look on the faces of Monica and Gregg?

In the weeks to come I plan to be more adventurous. I’ve ordered the ingredients to make a raised pork pie. Surly no one is panic buying lard, minced pork and gelatine.

If you are wondering about the garden, then I am now very much in the hands of the delivery. I’m all ready to crack on, but at the moment all I’ve got is the enthusiasm and the time.

STOP PRESS

Just as I was writing that last paragraph I got an email to say that my garden order has been dispatched.

Stay in and stay safe.

Day 7 – Before and after

Today would have been my first day out after 14 days of self isolation, but here we are on day 7 of the Lockdown, still at home.

Outside the traffic on the road seems a lot busier than it has been for the last few days. Perhaps the weekend reduced some of the commuter traffic. Let’s just hope that it’s not down to people venturing out more than they should.

Buzz

Before

Before

I’ve been mulling over for a few days now whether or not to shave my head. I’ve always wanted to do it, but I never really had the opportunity to. Until now.

The prospect of being out of public sight for a few months means that no matter how ridiculous I look, there’s only one other person who has to put up with it.

I did receive some friendly family guidance. It ranged from, “Don’t do it” to, “make sure you put something on the floor before you start”.

I also did a mental check-up of all the implications of having a shaved head. Would I need a nightcap to keep my head warm in bed? Will my glasses still fit properly? How much will I save on shampoo?

I popped my electric shaver on charge. It’s only meant for trimming beards and I didn’t want to to run out half way through leaving me looking like a Peaky Blinders reject.

During

I couldn’t reach the back of my head.

Fully charged and with the bathroom floor covered in black bin liners, I was ready to take the plunge.

It actually felt rather pleasant. Large clumps of hair tumbling from my head. It all was going so well until, I realised that I couldn’t reach the back of my head.

I had to call for assistance and once they stopped laughing and composed themselves, the task was completed.

Most of the hair had fallen to the ground, onto the bags. The hair that didn’t make it to the floor was mostly in my mouth.

Usually when I have a hair cut I ask for a number 2 back and sides with a good trim on the top. So apart from losing all of the top, it doesn’t really look or feel much different.

However there is one small problem which I hadn’t accounted for. My phone. As far as Apple is concerned this is no longer my face.

1 - 3

After

It’s going to be interesting to see how it grows back. Usually after a trip to the hairdressers everything is neatly layered and grows back uniformly. My hair will now grow back at the same rate across my whole head and by the summer I will look like Chewbacca.

Stay in and stay safe.

Day 14 (6) – Status quo

Bee

Bee

By the end of today we will have completed our 14 days of self-isolation. Not that that makes much difference as we will be entering the second week of the Lockdown. Nothing will really change.

We did manage to get out yesterday for some exercise in a nearby park. It was strange to see so few people there, and so spread out. It’s usually bustling with runners and dog walkers and young children riding bikes.

People were creating their own passing places on the pathways to allow others to stay the minimum distance apart. At times it looked like some carefully choreographed performance.

No one spoke, perhaps in fear that an open mouth would let the virus in or out. So just a nod of the head and an expression of ‘WTF’.

Unfazed by any of this, the flora and fauna. Budding trees, spring blossom and frogspawn. Life really does go on. See mini gallery below.

Today, as the weather turns noticeably colder, most of my time has been spent in Animal Crossings – New Horizons. Building a new world far away from this troubled one of ours. Having said that, trying to find iron nuggets does seem to be a problem.

We’ve also signed up for a six month free trial of Disney+. We got this as part of a mobile phone package. Last night we watched The Mandalorian. Wow. Every episode (and so far we’ve been rationed to three) was like a mini feature film. I personally think it has found the mix of humour and engaging storylines that I smooch enjoyed in early Star Wars films. And with the surreal world playing outside, this was a more believable reality, almost comforting.

Sadly I also watched Mary Poppins Returns. I made it as far as them all getting into the bath and decided that putting the clocks forward to British Summer Time was the only hour I was prepared to give up this weekend. No matter how much I beg you to let me watching it again – don’t.

Please remember to stay home and stay safe.

Day 13 (5) – Coronavirus, every day, every hour, every minute

Counting every day. And every hour. And every minute.

Outside where only the brave and heroic venture

Ransom demands come from an unseen enemy.

Our world hasn’t changed, and yet nothing is the same

Normality is being redefined. Every day. Every hour. Every minute.

Away from family and friends and colleagues

Virtual spaces are now our dining tables, bars and water coolers. If

Isolation breeds despair, then

Resourcefulness nurtures hope. But

Until such time

Stay safe. Every day. Every hour. Every minute.

Day 12 (4) – Not where I was meant to be

Tiki's had a hair cut

Tiki’s had a hair cut

While I was sorting out the stones from the soil and pondering on life’s little mysteries, such as who invented meringue*, it suddenly hit me that I was supposed to be in Weston-Super-Mare.

We (that’s me and the Weird Norfolk team) had planned on recording a couple of episodes of a new podcast called Lore of the Land, but obviously the law of the land meant we had to cancel.

So another glorious day in the garden it was, away from all the news and worries and weird stuff that is now a reality.

It’s only when I check my phone do I see how things have moved on and I now know someone who has a family member in hospital with the virus. Even the Prime Minister and Health Secretary have it. The latest figures released today are worrying. And I do worry. So I’ve planted garlic today. It has no use against the coronavirus, but planting it felt good for the soul.

I was also digging for treasure in the garden today. See my Instagram or Twitter feed for details of my haul.

I have been spoilt these past couple of days with the weather, but it looks like it’s going to get really cold again. It may not be practical to be out in the garden, not that I have much to do now other than wait for my plants and seeds to be delivered.

*I have asked this question son many time to so many people. The most famous of which was Charlie Brooker. Although I didn’t get a credit for the question.

Stay home and stay safe everyone. And that includes you Prime Minister.

Day 11 (3) – Childhood smells

Jeys Fluid

Jeys Fluid (other outdoor cleaners available)

I have just realised that ambiguity of today’s title. Do I mean that childhood actually smells or do I mean smells from my childhood? Today it’s the latter. (Although some elements of childhood did smell. For another day perhaps.)

I have a couple of days leave from work. I thought I’d spend it at home (joke). So I have been in the garden for a good part of the day.

The first task was to clean and disinfect the greenhouse. I remember as a child helping my father do this. He always used Jeys Fluid for outside jobs such as the greenhouse and the drains – although I can’t remember if mother was in charge of the drains or not. I remember them being cleaned and then dad would sprinkle some white powder round them. I presumed it was ant powder, but now I think about it ants don’t live in drains. Surly it wasn’t rat poison?

Jeys Fluid is one of those magical potions that would sit on the top shelf of the garage alongside the Swarfega, 3-in-1 oil and a can of WD40. Each had their own distinctive smell and while the smell of the WD40 and Jeys Fluid were occasional treats, dad could find any excuse to wash his hands in Swarfega.

Garden border

Another border cleared

So today all those memories flooded back as I mix up a dose of Jeys Fluid and got to work on the greenhouse.

It’s been a joy to be out there. A total distraction from the troubles of the world. Having said that, from time to time I did find myself consumed by a wave of reality, usually brought on by a distant neighbour coughing or sneezing.

I’ve made some good progress with the borders with more to do tomorrow. I also need to plan where everything is going, so I’m keeping my eye on where the sun gets to through the day.

Sobering statistics

Looking at the news now and it’s all about numbers. Deaths, confirmed cases, monetary support and stock markets. It’s all a bit grim.

Please stay safe.