That was a good week (19.2020)

Yes, it was a pretty good week. I guess it helps that I had a three-day working week and a four-day weekend. (*Sigh* If only every week could be like that.)

This week’s yoga mood: good, but I only managed to ‘get to’ two classes. I went back to the Wednesday morning class I walked out of a few weeks ago. I guess I was in a different place this week because I got through it without any bad feeling.

This week’s preferred exercise method: long walks. Ah, it almost sounds romantic if it weren’t for the quarantine thing that means this is pretty much our only way of getting around. Thursday, my annual leave day, we did a two hour walk around the neighbourhood, stopping to get coffee from a cafe on the way home. Friday, the public holiday, we did a shorter walk (also with coffee) with some food shopping. Saturday we did a walk up to Epping Forest and through a part of it we haven’t been in before. (Happily this time there was no mud.) (However there was also no coffee.)

Epping Forest

Book week: Having hardly read anything since we went into lockdown, I took advantage of the longer long weekend to take some sitting down in the sun time and catch up on reading. (Although I had promised myself that I would spend some of my down time writing, which I didn’t do AT ALL). I managed to get through two books over three days, which therefore fully justifies my purchase of another nine new books. Oh dear how did that happen? I had been thinking about how to support small businesses, and I thought about what small businesses needed the most support, and I immediately thought of independent book shops, so I made a large purchase from Pages of Hackney. I will admit I don’t know much about some of these books but that’s all part of the fun of the journey.

Happiness is a big pile of books to read.

This week’s TV: Last Sunday night I watched a documentary on Duran Duran There is something you should know. I just knew it would prompt me to listen to some of their old albums again (so at least it stopped me listening to Scritti Politti). The documentary was interesting, and certainly with the passing of time I had forgotten just how huge they were back in the day. It was also interesting to hear some of the back story, like who had the drug problems (“supporting South American countries” it was referred to), when did the relationships in the band break down and why.

We watched a few more episodes of Non Uccidere (Thou Shalt Not Kill), and continue to be perplexed at the poor policing procures and lack of sixth sense displayed by the lead detective despite this being the tag line for the series.

This week’s food mission: freezer stockpiling and pantry emptying.

Someone must have mentioned slow cooker recently because we have just spent three days batch cooking a load of food in the slow cooker to stock up the freezer. We have three boxes of beef pie mix, four boxes of pea and ham soup, and four boxes of lamb for curry. The soup was mostly because I found an unopened (but almost due to expire) packet of split peas in the pantry, and on flicking open my slow cooker cook book (a Christmas gift) one of the first pages said “Split Pea and Ham soup”. I still have an almost full (and possibly expired?) packet of urid dal in the pantry I have to find a use for. That will be next week’s mission.

Fermented beverage of the week: Hard to pick one when we have some fermented beverages ongoing all the time now. Certainly the pineapple kefir we had after Saturday’s walk was refreshing and fizzy (if not very pineapple-y). Inspired by my success with the kvas and kefir, my husband wants to try making a batch of ‘natural wine’, Georgian style. He’s mushed up some grapes with water and sugar and put it in a jar to ferment so I’ll report back on that in coming weeks (or maybe not, if it’s not a success). I’ve ordered a book on fermented foods to try and expand my repertoire beyond drinks. Not sure when the book will arrive but that’s OK, I can wait.

Work win of the week: an actual win, as in I won (jointly) the team Zoom meeting costume competition. This week’s challenge was to dress as a character from a movie. I sat in the meeting in a Darth Vader helmet for an hour and a half. If I hadn’t won, I would have been very annoyed.

#Winning

As (joint) winner, I got to set the theme for next week’s meeting, which is Eurovision. There will be no Eurovision Song Contest this year, which is sad, because it’s usually a night to get together with friends, eat pizza and drink cocktails while laughing at the appalling costumes and awful songs and bemoaning why is it the ones we like never win. Unhappily this won’t be possible this year. I guess we can still have pizza and cocktails but just without the music.

Garden update: another of my “taking a day off to…” plans was to get back into the garden, which needed some care beyond the occasional sprinkling of water I’ve given it to stop things from dying after a spell of hot, dry weather. No, this weekend I actually got on my hands and knees and did some weeding, pulling out the grass that was colonising the garden beds, cutting back plants that were getting overgrown, and finally planting out some of the baby plants that arrived as sad dry sticks in the post back in February and have been slowly sprouting into sizeable plantlets in pots on the patio every since. Now I just have to hope the snails don’t get them.

New Challenge: I’m taking up mediating. Not as a full-time sport, (I still have to work and eat and things like that) but I am going to try and do 10 minutes a day in the morning to see if it helps with… something, anything. Ruby Wax’s book Sane New World (I’m just a few pages away from finishing it!) lists the many mental and physiological benefits of meditating, so I am feeling inspired to try it. So far I’m finding 10 minutes is not very long and I’m wondering why I didn’t try this sooner. I’ll try and keep this up for a month and see if I notice any difference.

I will end with a thought from a friend of mine:

“Before lockdown there were things I wasn’t doing because I didn’t have the time. Now I have the time and realise they were things I didn’t want to do in the first place.”

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