Week 25.2020, the week when things opened again

What excitement! This was the week when we were able to start meeting people and doing non-essential shopping again. I have to say I was not super thrilled about the non-essential shopping thing, but meeting people, yay!

This week we had two people from outside our household come visit. One was an outside visit in the afternoon – we had a DIY job that required a small piece of wood but we did not have any small pieces of wood in our collection that matched the job, so a friend of ours who also collects small pieces of wood came over with a selection and we were able to finish the job and have a beer outside in the garden with a friend, face to face.

And as we are also now allowed to form a ‘bubble’ with a single person household, we had another friend come and stay for two nights. Not that we had a huge party, the three of us. We basically just watched TV and movies and ate together. But after three months of conversing mostly between the two of us, it was great to have someone else around to talk to and watch TV with and eat dinner with.

And although I said I wasn’t excited about non-essential shopping, while out picking up some food on Saturday, we did find a high street charity shop open and bought a book, a decorative jug and a new cat food bowl, just because we could. And we stopped by a local shop on our way home which is part Aladdin’s cave, part emporium, part plant shop. He’s not open for inside things just yet, but he did have plants for sale outside so I got some snapdragon seedlings. Or antirrhinums, if you must use the latin name.

So it feels like things are returning a little bit towards normal, except for all the people wearing face masks and all the shops still having 2m gap markings on the floor.

This week’s weather We had some proper rain at last! Even a kind of thunderstorm which is rare here in the UK. But enough rain to fill up my rainwater storage tanks so I have 440 litres ready to see me through at least the first part of the summer. I’m expecting the garden to go beserk this week after a good soaking of rain and some predicted hot weather to come.

This week’s book I finished Queenie by Candace Carty-Williams and as I read it shuddered at the memory of a (white) colleague who regularly used to come up and touch a (black) colleague’s hair. So bad to do this! I really enjoyed the book although at some points I really wanted to grab the title character and say “Don’t do that! Why are you doing that? Please don’t do that. Oh not, I can’t believe you did that.” But there lies the skill of excellent writing, to draw you in and have you follow the character for good or ill.

This week’s music This week I’ve been listening to Dolly Parton, because there’s something in Dolly’s music for everyone – people falling in love, people falling out of love, people cheating on love, people worn out by love, people giving up on love, people in love with life. And of course, some songs that are just about people.

This week’s food As we had ‘company’ for dinner this week, we made Chicken Mole (pronounced mow-lay, the Mexican dish, in case you were wondering). We have two tubs of spice mix we brought back from Mexico (over a year ago now – ack!) – brown mole and yellow mole. We haven’t tried the yellow mole yet but we did have some leftover sauce from the first attempt at brown mole, which we used as a base for this second attempt. And having a friend who loves Mexican food helping us cook meant we made a much richer sauce than previously, adding some cocoa (Husband wouldn’t allow the use of actual cooing chocolate), a tin of tomatoes and some miscellaneous chilli spice mix (also possibly purchased in Mexico) to make a thick and sticky, dark and aromatic sauce. So now we know how to do that, next step is to figure out what to do with the yellow mole powder.

This week’s exercise No yoga. I think I’m saying bye bye yoga for now. I don’t know what I’m going to do instead but I need to do something because going for a walk in the morning only works on mornings when it’s not raining. Or when you don’t have house guests. Back in The Before I used to do a four minute tabata routine in the morning before work. I have plenty of time to do two or three rounds of four minutes now. Or I could try the Couch to 5K running programme, which one of my colleagues has done, although running isn’t great for my knees. Or my back.

This week’s dreaming Some nights when even watching TV is too much, we like to do some dreaming and look at property for sale in my hometown and imagine where we would buy if we had an unlimited budget. This place by the river looked very appealing, with its four bedrooms and four bathrooms, and its price tag of AU$ 3 million (for readers in other countries, that’s US$ 2 million, €1.9 million, or £1.7 million). Riverside living does have its appeal (although this house doesn’t have a boat parking space – not that I need one, I don’t know enough about boats to even know what the proper term is for a boat parking space), but the Brisbane River has been known to flood so, hmm… high insurance rates. But still, think about enjoying those sunsets.

Our second property of choice was a three bedroom apartment across the river from the city centre. This apartment comes with a 20 metre balcony and uninterrupted city views, which were what sold us on it, really. (Because this place is “only” 2/3 the price of the house mentioned above). I was not too keen on apartment living but I think I could suffer it to live here with this view.

Does anyone else do this? Look at property way beyond your budget and dream about what life would be like to live there?

But for the meantime I’m staying here in old London town. Have a good week wherever it is you find yourself.

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