Saturday: I’m rather proud that my daughter who is way more qualified than I am, occasionally asks me to proof read the academic papers she writes, but when I responded to the latest request I hadn’t bargained for seven thousand words of a socio-anthropological study of a footballer’s motivation arising from specific turning points in his career! Why, Daughter dear, could you not have studied something that actually interested your mother?
That was my second task on Saturday morning. The first was to take Husband for his first Covid vaccine. He received the call from his doctors’ surgery on Thursday afternoon. It was to take place in a multistory car park a mile from home. As it was intended as a drive-thru clinic they preferred that he was driven there by another person so that they could administer the vaccine through the window and then drive off. It was super-quick and very well organised and we were back home in no time. Although there is a 15 minute wait after the Pfizer version, no wait is required after the Astra Zeneca one.
In the afternoon I tried a new recipe…what a success! I based it on an ‘Australian Five-Cup Fruit Cake’ recipe which appears on numerous websites but I tweaked it. I added half a mug of chopped walnuts to one mug each of:
- Desiccated coconut (you can use porridge oats instead)
- Sultanas (any other dried fruit will do)
- Self raising flour
- Sugar (I used half sugar, half plant sweetener)
- Whole milk
Mix it all up together and bake at 180 degrees until skewer comes out clean. It took 35 minutes but I had to cover it with foil after 25 as it was done on the top. It makes a sizeable, quite dense cake and tastes really good. I’m not sure I’d have liked it so much if I’d chosen the porridge oats option. Now, having tried a small piece yesterday and another thin slice today, I have to do my usual trick of trying to forget that it’s sitting there in the tin! With no eggs or fat, I guess it might be worth trying it with a plant milk to make a vegan version. The actual quantities don’t matter so long as the volume of each is the same.
Sunday: There’s not a lot to say about Sunday. We woke up to snow – quite a lot of it so no taking of food to my brother (I usually drop off meal or two on a Sunday) or my friend, but even though I don’t like it (have I mentioned that once or twice!), I received some lovely photos of the children with their snowmen or going sledging. I spent most of the day reading or writing and then had an early bath followed by watching the second episode of Finding Alice on TV. I usually like Keely Hawes but haven’t warned to her character in this. It’s watchable in the absence of anything better but not great. One of my favourite actresses is Morven Christie and we started watching the second series of The Bay. It was so good that we watched the whole series on ITV Hub. If you’ve started it but only seen the first episode, you’re in for a treat!
Monday: Today’s newspaper makes clear that lockdown restrictions will be ongoing for some months yet. Even when they are lifted I think many of us will be wary of letting down our guard for some time. The long-term plan to take a cruise of the Norwegian Fjords this summer for my special birthday is a definite NO! I veer between feeling full of negativity and then (not quite) full of hope. I never really get bored though I do sometimes have to actively think about which activity might best lift my spirits. Even with limited options, the days still fly by. I read and write, cook and make cards, play Scrabble with Husband and generally potter about the house finding things to do, and of course I work three (long half days) a week, but as time goes on I am missing my family and usual social life more and more. My daughter in Law suggested that I make a post-covid bucket list of all the things I want to do, but as I told her, my wants are few – I want to hug my family, drink coffee with my friends and look forward to seeing the sea. For now, that would do nicely.
Also in the newspaper this morning are concerns that the costs associated with the excessive paperwork and haulage costs that Brexit has resulted in could add £1.50 to a bottle of wine. We have far more to be concerned about the increasing cost of wine. I know only too well from working for a transport & logistics company that these costs are very real. Our staffing has already had to increase by 8 people (10%) to take account of the administration and experienced export staff do not become so overnight. I fear for the rises we will see in food prices (as well as many other goods) as a result. Talking of food, I forgot to mention in earlier posts that we had a Christmas raffle at work raising £225 which we donated to the local foodbank. It was a nice feeling when I posted the cheque through their door.