Autumn in Amersham

Saturday and despite the weather forecast, we decided to get out of town before we get locked down (again).

We set off to Amersham where we trampled through glorious Autumn leaves and then got drenched to the skin in horizontal rain.

Agnes was beside herself with sheer joy as she loves jumping in the rain, us not so much but we all soldiered on for a couple of hours enjoying the change of scenery and fresh air.

We made it back safely to a pub for lunch where we peeled off a layer or two of sodden clothing. The hard part was putting cold wet clothes back on for the walk back to the station. Ugh.

Arriving home it was hot baths and showers for all and nice warm dry clothes.

Despite the rain we had enjoyed the day and if we can get out, hope to do more days out of town.

Agnes put herself straight to bed.

Covid Negative

I was randomly selected to participate in a government research test (I suspect it’s another way of tracking and tracing which they haven’t managed to work out yet) but given that it was a free test which didn’t involve leaving home, well, why not?

It was a finger prick, a tiny drop of blood and ten minutes later my digital test (a lot like a miniature pregnancy test) disappointingly showed negative.

I’d been hoping for Covid antibodies but apparently no such luck. I’m untainted so will have to continue to take precautions. How dull. I was ready to rip off my mask, run through the streets or even go out for dinner!

Oh well, back to the mask and handy sani. Move along people, no Covid here!

Soup Kitchen

As we inch closer to winter and another full lockdown seems inevitable, I’ve been making soup. It seems like the solution to everything.

Feeling sad? Celery soup. Need spicing up a little? Black bean’s your man or for a change of pace, try cauliflower and garlic, a nice surprise in the soup choices.

These are three of my favourites so far. So easy with literally four ingredients (onion, garlic, celery and a potato, simmer and blend) and so warming as the days are getting colder and now, with the clocks going back, darker.

What’s next on the soup list I wonder?

Mr & Mrs Morris’ Millionaire’s Flapjack

Big T took his first foray into baking and made flapjack for the first time ever!

I haven’t had flapjack for many years so it was a bit of a treat.

But even better was the invention of Mr and Mrs Morris’ Millionaire’s Flapjack where we microwaved a square of Lindt dark chocolate with sea salt on top of a square of oats and golden syrup.

It was an invention of pure decadent deliciousness and if times get really tough we have a new product to bring to the market!

Holding back the Tiers

Or perhaps it should be Tiers for Fears?!

Today was the day we became Tier 2. There are three tiers: shit, shitter and really shit. As we’re Tier 2, we’re in Shitter so let’s hope we don’t go up to Really Shit.

And so London Lockdown begins again but this time it’s so much more confusing.

As far as we can tell, we can’t meet with any other household inside a building, we (our household) can go to pubs or restaurants but we can’t meet up with anyone and we can go outside with a group of six people. Confused? Yes, apparently so is the rest of the UK.

The other question is, what the fuck is a bubble? It used to be so easy to answer, a bubble was just a bubble, now it involves a household with only one adult.

And so, just like that, gone are our Sunday lunch plans with family where I was planning to cook confit de canard (I think I’ll make it anyway). gone are holidays, weekends away and Halloween was cancelled a long time ago. Boo!

And as for Christmas, I imagine that will be just another day of isolation watching yet another bloody box set.

So the only thing to do is stay warm, eat well and try to stay sane for the foreseeable future.

And be glad we’re not in Manchester!

New routines

It’s been hard to get a routine organised over the past six months. Cycling to work gave me a structure that I haven’t been able to match. I left for work at 9am and came home at 6:30pm. There were clear boundaries and my work didn’t intrude much beyond those hours.

Working from home since March has meant “flexible working” which basically means that you’re never offline. Without the boundaries and with people worrying about job security, there’s a fierce competition about who can look the busiest and be most essential to the business. I recently heard the term “land grabbing” which pretty much summed it up.

Returning now for the winter, I am determined to get more structure into my day and so this morning I used my half an hour cycle time to do yoga in the little bedroom. I closed the door so Agnes was unable to plonk her furry self in the middle of my mat and spent thirty minutes doing basic poses to get moving physically and slow down mentally. I think it helped but why it’s taken me six months to discipline myself to do this is a mystery!

Let’s see what happens tomorrow!

And on the seventh day

It seems like it’s raining everywhere.

The South of France has been decimated by torrential storms over the past few days. Luckily the house is ok (even the roof which is a bit of a miracle) and London had seven solid days of rain which meant we started working our way through the entire Hitchcock catalogue for something to watch. Wellies are on and flip flops are packed away.

It’s fair to say we’re all still transitioning as Agnes gets up at 6am asking to go in the garden and then wonders why she can’t and we’re all a little bit cold as our heavy winter clothes are already out of boxes, the heating is on and summer seems like a distant memory!

We’ve decided to think like Scandinavians and go out whatever the weather otherwise we won’t leave the house until next summer even without lockdown.

2020, the fun continues!