It’s Sunday evening and so time for a new episode in my Weekly Blog series. And it’s another week of things being pretty samey in my world, as I’m sure it has been in yours, too. The joys of lockdown.
I want to start this week by saying say thank you for the nice feedback on my weekly blog episode last week (read Episode 61). It turned out to be a long and nice one to write despite life feeling a bit dull and dreary. It was also lovely to chat with a few more of you on twitter this week, thanks for saying hi.
I’m still feeling a bit down in the dumps about things, I have to admit. Especially as I’ve just heard on the radio that restrictions, including social distancing and mask wearing, will need to be place for many years, and that travel to other countries cannot take place until the whole world is vaccinated. And there I was starting to feel optimistic about our planned motorcycle adventure to Iceland. I get it, I really do, I am just so desperate for things to feel fun and free once again.
But, still, I am at least trying to do my best to make something of the things I can do. And for this weekly blog that includes the most comforting food I think I’ve ever cooked, watching a volcano erupt live on YouTube, and a radio dramatization of The Day of the Triffids. But first, about that 10,000 steps a day for Lent challenge I set myself…
No Walking For Me
I mentioned in Weekly Blog Episode 61 that my foot is causing me issues at the moment. In short, the base of my middle toes is a little swollen, pushing my toes apart, and causing considerable pain when I walk, especially down hill or down the stairs. It’s just really sore, like it’s bruised and my toes are out of alignment.
It’s not the first time this has happened, and last time the medical advice (following several consultations and x-rays showing nothing), was to rest it. Which did work, eventually. And so last weekend I was persuaded by my husband to rest it completely this week, all week, in the hope that it would sort itself out without needing to get it looked at again.
I have been mostly good. I’ve not been out walking much at all (I even took the car to do the top up shop), haven’t done any at home workouts involving my feet, and have spent an awful lot of time with my feet up to encourage healing. It’s not completely better, but it is certainly less painful. I guess I’ll be resting a bit longer still, in the hope that a trip to the Doctor isn’t necessary. But you know, this hiking lover is struggling a bit with the lack of walking going on right now. Life just isn’t as enjoyable without my regular walks in nature.
This, of course, means that the 10,000 steps a day for Lent challenge I set back in Weekly Blog Episode 58 is no more. Which feels more than a little bit pants, if I’m honest. I know it was my own challenge, I’m not answering to anyone else here, there was no charity fundraising or even personal reward involved. But still, it felt like such a good challenge for me as lockdown eases and Spring gets going. Rubbish. I shall have to make up for it when my foot is better. Which I hope will be in time for the long Easter weekend. Please?!
With the risk of inviting Dr Google along to the party, I’ll happily hear your advice on my mystery foot injury… any tips on how to rest it up properly or what else I might be able to do about it?
Fascinated by Volcanoes
I am completely and utterly fascinated by volcanoes. The photos and videos coming from Iceland at the moment are mesmerising. It might be relatively small in volcanic terms, but it’s just utterly stunning – demonstrating both the power of nature and the fragility of the earth.
Have you been watching the live stream of the Fagradalsfjall erruption? Just me then… Honestly, it’s utterly captivating, especially with the sound on. The low growling brown note really does make me think that the underbelly of the earth is making itself known.
What an amazing thing technology is – not only do we get instant news of these major natural events, but we can even watch them in real time despite being in another country.
I didn’t realise until I was reading about Fagradalsfjall that Iceland has recorded more than 40,000 earthquakes in recent weeks. Wow! Although the majority weren’t strong enough to feel, this activity clearly suggested a volcano eruption was on the cards. The eruption near on the Reykjanes peninsula near Reykjavik is 500-700 metres long, with lava flowing slowly over open land, and reports suggest that it has released the tension and pressure under the earth’s crust.
Thankfully the eruption hasn’t caused any major incidents (other than the obvious lava flow…), this is less of a natural disaster and more of a natural display of awesomeness. Check out thor_photography on Instagram if you fancy seeing some amazing shots (actually any time, not just now!).
American Biscuits and Gravy
Following on from last week’s blog (read Weekly Blog Episode 61 LINK XXX), this week’s menu included a new-to-me recipe for American biscuits and sausage gravy.
If you’ve not come across this meal, American biscuits are very similar to our plain buttermilk scones, and the gravy is our white sauce with heaps of seasoning. It’s not something we ate in the US, in fairness, but it is something I’ve been meaning to experiment with at home for years. Lockdown has definitely given me the motivation to try new recipes, I can’t complain about that.
I used this recipe from BBC Radio Ulster for the biscuits, and this recipe from Whats 4 Easts for the gravy, although for the latter I substituted Lincolnshire sausages, naturally. Both recipes worked very well, were super simple to make, and the timings were pretty much spot on.
What I served was something that was probably one of the most comforting things I’ve eaten for a long time. We’ll be having this again, no doubt about that. Just don’t look at the calories! I honestly can’t tell you how Americans eat this for breakfast, though. Just too heavy a meal to start the day for me.
Oh and I had a request for my paella recipe this week, when I shared a snap of that over on my instagram stories. Expect that in a future Weekly Blog.
Day of the Triffids
Having mentioned last week that I was looking for some fiction to help with a little escapism, this week’s audiobook of choice has been The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham. I actually chose to go abridged this time around and listened to Giles Cooper’s 1968 radio dramatisation rather than the full novel, which I thoroughly enjoyed while I cooked my meals this week.
I’m sure you have an idea about the story even if you’ve never read the book or watched the film, but it’s well worth a listen even if you are familiar. This is a tale of survival in a world turned dystopian overnight; there’s the breakdown of society, a vulnerable humanity, and of course deadly walking plants.
I will certainly have to listen to the unabridged book at some point, but I loved the old radio play version, it was very well done.
I’ve now started Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. This Man Booker Prize winning novel is the first book in the Thomas Cromwell trilogy. I’ve noticed that the reviews on Amazon are quite poor, so I’ll see how I get on with it… have you read it?
By the way, if you’ve not already joined Audible, you can get your first three months for 99p at the moment. Worth a punt! You pay 99p for your first month and get months two and three for free, after which (if you choose to continue) it’s £7.99 a month. This includes one audiobook of your choice each month (which you can keep), plus unlimited Audible Original Podcasts. Find out more and sign up here (thanks for using my affiliate link).
As always, I would really love to hear from you in the comments below. Let me know what your favourite thing about the last seven days has been, and don’t forget to get your One Hour Outside today… whatever day you happen to be reading this on!
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