I have to admit that with the lack of adventure (whatever that is) in our lives at the moment, it’s difficult to feel like life is anything other than super boring. There are no reports to write on nights away, iconic day hikes in the hills, visits to the seaside, motorbike rides and yummy cake stops, or even our favourite midweek burger and cinema nights. When I started back in January (read episode one here!) I always intended my Sunday evening weekly blog ramblings to be about normal life, a journal to fill in the bits between the other posts I write you might not normally get to hear about, and I’m sorry to say, at the moment, it’s all a bit samey.
There are so many ideas out there for how to have mini adventures at home during lock down – I have a post of my own on that topic coming very soon thanks to some input from my fellow GetOutside Champions, and I am working on my own virtual hike idea which I will write about when I’ve found the words to explain it. But the fact is I haven’t got myself into the right headspace to actually do anything real and therefore sharable with those ideas yet. I’m still in the stage of grief for normal life that involves all the moping and snacking. And as I am still working full-time – albeit from my home office rather than my work office (which I know is a blessing as lots of people can’t) – I don’t actually have any extra time to play with.
Anyway, enough of the excuses and moaning, now I’ve got that out of my system I’ll get onto my weekly blog…
The Adventure of Supermarket Shopping
In all honesty I think my biggest adventure this week was heading to Sainsburys to do my big shop. And that in itself makes me feel quite sad. Leaving the house for over an hour, and getting to drive my car, felt like something akin to freedom. What a truly odd time we’re living in when a much needed visit to the shop is freedom! In all honesty, I haven’t done a big shop in a supermarket for years, preferring to get the cupboard essentials delivered to my front door every three or four weeks, and topping up with the fresh bits at local shops in-between. But need’s must – I couldn’t get a delivery slot from Sainsburys and started to do an order with Tesco but it was surprisingly much more expensive, so I summoned up the physical and mental strength required and braved the actual supermarket to fill a trolly with tins and cans and packets and the rest.
Thankfully, there was only a short queue to get in, the supermarket itself was quiet and easy to navigate, and they had everything on my shopping list. Although I’m not sure why bog-standard basmati rice is much cheaper in the world food aisle than it is in the normal rice aisle?! Glad I spotted that. I even managed to pick up one or two treats, including a very reduced Easter Egg, to help me in my snack to snack living over the next week or two.
They say adventures are made by the people you share them with, and the best part of my supermarket shopping adventure was the staff I interacted with (from a distance… of course). The guy at the door to Sainsburys, allowing customers to enter one by one, had an infectious cheerfulness despite the rain, I had a lovely chat with the lady who was working the checkout about our favourite flavours of ice cream (salted caramel, if you’re interested), and then the lady cleaning the trolleys at Marks and Spencer (Percy Pigs are an essential… don’t judge me too harshly) was telling waiting customers jokes and making us all belly laugh. It was good to see that even though I had to psych myself up go in the first place, there were people there who made it a pain free experience, and meant I did my shopping with a smile.
The Pain of a Twisted Ankle
On our Easter Sunday walk in our local countryside (read last week’s weekly blog here), which is probably the nicest walk we’ve done during this lock down period so far, I managed to catch my foot in a rabbit hole and twist my ankle. Only a little bit, I know twisted ankles can be as painful as a sprain or break sometimes, but still, rather painful and more than a bit annoying. I walked home, and although it was sore, continued to go out for my daily government-approved walks on Monday and Tuesday. Unfortunately for me, said ankle just got worse and worse, swelling up nicely and shouting at me first just when I walked and then constantly, forcing me to spend two days using it as little as possible.
Dealing with pain has never really been a problem for me, I’m blessed with a reasonably high pain threshold, but being forced to stop and rest is not my best skill. I know I’m not alone in that. And with my emotions being particularly heightened at the moment, the pain just made me really sad. I should have rested it straight away through common sense rather than waiting until it was so bad I had no other choice, of course, I know that, I guess I thought it would just go away. I’m grateful that it’s fine now, just a bit of a dull ache from the stiffness, I’m fortunate I did no actual damage, and I’m back to enjoying my daily government-approved walks from home. I said life was dull, you know it to be true when a silly twisted ankle is important enough to be given a whole section in my weekly blog!
Cooking up a Storm
My social media feeds are absolutely full of people sharing their amazing bakes and home cooked meals at the moment, and that is something I’m very much enjoying about lock down. I’m a big fan of proper home cooking and have always done my best to make sure our meals are as “from scratch” as I have time for, using fresh meat and vegetables rather than serving up processed food as much as possible. And, as I’ve been living from one snack to the next, you won’t be surprised to know that I’ve also been buying more flour than normal (sorry!) and doing a spot of baking to help pass the time.
On the savoury side we’ve had homemade cream of mushroom soup which has gone on my to-make-regularly list, a hugely calorific sausage and apple tart which we should probably have eaten over two days rather than in one go, beef stew and dumplings, actually my first attempt at dumplings in the slow cooker, and a slow cooked Mexican style chicken fajita dish that is one of my go-to batch meals. It’s been good to try some new-to-me recipes as well as have time to cook some old favourites. It is not all my doing, I’m grateful that my husband is a willing kitchen aid too, he made some very tasty from-scratch burgers that were a more-than suitable alternative to our usual burger date nights.
For sweet treats, I’ve made a couple of batches of chocolate chip cookies (which don’t last long in our house), and will be continuing to perfect my recipe – the next batch will include some peanut butter chips I spotted in Sainsburys. And my husband made possibly his best Victoria Sponge yet, light and fluffy sponge cake complete with oodles of super vanillery butter cream and strawberry jam. Even with my daily walks I’m definitely going to be one of those people who comes out of lock down several pounds heavier than I should be, but to be honest at the moment I’m not particularly bothered about that, as food is the thing that is keeping me sane and happy.
Oh dear, so much Disney+! Another reason I’ll be much larger at the end of all this. I’ve taken to having films on in the background while I do other things that feel slightly more wholesome, such as painting pebbles (something I discovered at Comms Unplugged and find very calming) and colouring in the pages of my Ordnance Survey Great British Colouring Book (find it here at Ordnance Survey, here on Amazon). This week I’ve been re-watching some old classics that have been making me smile (and sing loudly), such as the original 1951 version of Alice in Wonderland (we’re painting the roses red), Sword in the Stone (I’m the magnificent, marvellous, Mad Madam Mim) and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (hi ho, hi ho…). I definitely prefer the more modern Disney stuff as they have got their act together when it comes to equality and other related things in recent years (I’m not really a “Disney princess” fan), but the originals do take me back and I can’t deny my love of Disney music.
On the audio book front I’m so very nearly done with Help Me by Marianne Power (here on Audible), and so I’m looking for suggestions of what to read next. I’ve got Chris Packham’s Finger’s in the Sparkle Jar (here on Audible) lined up but I’m open to ideas. I rarely listen to actual stories but I fancy a bit of fiction, and would love to hear your recommendations of audio books that might make me smile (nothing to taxing!) while I paint the fence or clean the house.
This Week’s Question
Because I had a fun supermarket adventure this week and have been spending more time in my kitchen cooking savoury dishes and sweet treats, I have a related question for you.
What’s on your menu this week?
We’ve got fresh pasta and sauce tomorrow evening, and then I’ll be using my slow cooker to make a sweet potato and chickpea curry that should do us a couple of days with spare for the freeze, and either a beef and bean chilli or rich bolognese depending on what we fancy towards the end of the week. I might give the cookie baking a week off and make some flapjack instead, Boston Tea Party do a super tasty one with berry jam in the middle and a yogurt topping which I might see if I can find a recipe for. Or maybe it’s a chocolate brownie kind of week. Will you be baking?
Thanks for coming over to Splodz Blogz to read my weekly blog. If you enjoyed reading this blog, if you think my weekly blog series is a good idea, and especially if you got to the end of this episode, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. And I mustn’t forget the vloggers’ catchphrase, seeing as I stole the “weekly” premise of this post from them – please like and subscribe for more posts like this in the future! Come on by next Sunday at 6pm (ish!!!) for the next in the series.