This lockdown is much more boring than the previous one was. On one hand we’ve got used to staying in, so there’s a little less mental strain on not being able to go anywhere. On the other hand the weather is cold and wet, then it gets dark early. So there’s less happiness to be got from being out in the garden. It’s pretty easy to sit outside on the patio and be with nature when it’s moderately warm and daylight after dinner. It’s entirely different when it’s the same temperature as your fridge, drizzling and dark.
The highlight of my day was a walk with Lucy to the local co-op. We went the long way round to get some exercise, and played three rounds of the A-Z game. One on things you can wear, one on animals, and one on things you have actually eaten. The items you can wear was the hardest of the three. Although things you’ve actually eaten is quite tricky for the fussy eaters….
At the co-op Lucy chose a packet of Rolos as her treat for going on a long walk (by her standards). On the way there she’d told me all about a wedding planner game she’s been playing in her tablet. On the way back I explained to her about the last rolo. I also told her that we’d had a single rolo wrapped in the end of the roll in our wedding favours. I had to eat a lot of Rolos in the weeks leading up to our wedding!
I did manage another trip out. We had some parcels that needed dropping off at the post office. This included the replacement control circuit for the Kenwood Chef that I ordered in error. Even with four parcels, including one to Belgium that turned out not to fit through the large letter slot, it took me about ten minutes. What was a bit of a surprise was that the postage of a hardback book to Belgium on the cheapest option was £8.70. This takes 15-80 business days according to the time estimate. Maybe someone is walking there with it? Fortunately there’s no rush for it to get there.
We had snow and ice overnight, although by the time we’d noticed it the rain had turned it into slush. I think that’s a sort of metaphor for 2021 so far, the promise of something good that doesn’t quite turn out to be as pleasant as we might have hope for! It would be nice to have a couple of proper snow days though, it would redeem the winter.
I took a couple of pictures on the way to school with Lucy this morning. There was evidence of a strong snowfall on the grass and the cars. It looked like there was an inch, or maybe more, of snow. The rain had removed it all from the ground though.
I finished off a short story for the Write Club Surrey January session. The Mother’s Dream is a creation myth for the world I built for Fierce, the fantasy novel I finished in November 2020.The world starts off in ice and darkness, and warms up as it is populated and the movement of things heats it with friction. Eventually one of the goddesses sets a small sun going.
Somewhat mysteriously the Kenwood Chef stopped working a few days ago. I used it on New Year’s Day, and the next time I tried to use it nothing happened when I turned it on. So I watched a YouTube video on how to disassemble it. Having done so, along with some general web searching, I identified that the controller was burnt out. Very literally, you can see the carbon scoring in the picture.So we found a replacement part. It looked like an easy fix given the modular nature of the components.
Unfortunately in trying to find a better price for it I managed to get slightly side tracked. The link I ended up on looked like it was the same one, but turned out to be for a slightly different model of Kenwood Chef. So when I had it all apart to fit the replacement I discovered that it didn’t fit. So it’s all packed up to be returned, and we need to wait longer for the replacement to arrive.
Food – National Shortbread Day
According to Lucy today is National Shortbread Day. I guess in honour of all the packets and boxes of shortbread doing the rounds for New Year. At school today Lucy made shortbread, and it was very nice indeed. It went down well after dinner. I do really wish she’d been able to make more, or at least brought the recipe home too.
Another Scots delicacy that I managed today was some fried clootie dumpling. There was the end of a piece I’d made in the bottom of the bread tin. It was fairly small, and I was very hungry, so I decided to shallow fry it with a small knob of margarine. The margarine wasn’t the right stuff for that, butter would have been much better. That said, I suspect that when I had this as a kid it was probably fried in a mixture of bacon and Lorne sausage fat. Practically lard. The margarine burnt a bit, but the dumpling was still good to eat.
As of midnight we’re back in Lockdown. I think it’s our third time, but seeing as the brief spell in November was both short and the schools stayed open we’re not counting that one.
Lockdown 2 School
Schools are closed, just like in Lockdown 1. However this time round things are a bit more organised. With Tracy working for the NHS we have the option to send the children to school. We didn’t need to ask Lucy. She watched the announcement with us and noticed that key workers’ children were allowed to go to school. So she decided that meant she would go to school today.
Lucy didn’t enjoy school from home, even though she got really good with Lego and read lots. So Tracy took her in this morning. When I picked her up she was pretty excited about her self-described ‘best school day ever’. She had seven class mates today, and they talked a bit about Covid-19, did a worksheet, and then played and watched a video. She’s keen to go back tomorrow.
Planning Lockdown 2
As it happened neither Tracy nor I were at work today. We’d previously planned our day to pick up things we needed for later. Those plans got cancelled, and instead we did the shopping at Priory Farm.
We also spent some time thinking about how we help us all get through the lockdown. The key was something to look forward to. So after a bit of back and forth we decided that the plan is for themed days every fortnight. Starting on 16 January we will do a movie themed day with food, clothes, and viewing related to the movie or show in question. In the intervening weekends we’ll do a local takeaway.
This way helps sort some of the stress we had from the country themed meals we did last time round. Although we’re taking turns picking the theme we can all help with preparation. We’re also only doing it every other week, so there’s more time to get ready. As themes we’ve got