My first action today (after spending a few hours online from 7am, reading the overnight news from America, and answering hundreds of DMS on Instagram) is to liberally spray my front door lock with WD-40. I can’t bear the stress of being locked out again.
I FaceTime my mother to ask for advice on storing daffodil bulbs from my indoor bowls for next year. They are going to be planted out in the garden until the leaves go yellow, (this allows the bulbs to absorb the sunlight they need), then uprooted, trimmed, and stored dry in a dark place.
Lunch today is spaghetti with green vegetables, chilli, garlic and olive oil. I’ve decided to film one meal a day to put on Instagram Stories, so consequently making and eating lunch takes over an hour. I’m usually very good at the immediate useable take, but I find myself flubbing my lines again and again. I think maybe not talking to anyone all day makes my speech less precise when I start talking on camera.
I’m annoyed to find a random package of steak mince on the back of a shelf fridge. After cooking for hours on Tuesday and on Wednesday morning, I’m not particularly thrilled by the thought of chopping yet more onions.
Still, it doesn’t take long to fry off a sofrito (onions, carrots, sadly no celery), brown the mince, and add it to a wide pan with cans of crushed tomatoes to make a Bolognese sauce.
I rapidly cool down the sauce by spreading it thinly in a sheet pan, and placing the pan in the garden with a board over the top. (I do not trust London squirrels, or pigeons, come to that.)
En route to lob the two tubs of Bolognese at my sister, I drop off two bags of gluten-free pasta and GF frozen bread that I’ve culled in Wednesday’s great larder audit. I found the coeliac beneficiary who is taking it all via NextDoor and, handily, she lives two blocks from Holly. I ring the doorbell with a gloved finger, leave the bags on the doorstep, and beat a hasty retreat back to my car. Her husband appears and we admire each other’s dogs from a distance. (His large greyhound is about ten times the size of Lettice.)
We continue, via the Bolognese drop off on Holly’s doorstep, to the Heath for our sanity walk. The runners are still pounding the tarmac paths, they are not so great in number now, but they are still spraying sweat across passers-by as they thunder up behind unwary walkers. I’ve taken to screaming at them to self distance.
One would have thought these people would be totally into the idea of self distancing, considering it includes the word self, and they are clearly all about themselves.
One man actually made the brushing off signal at me. His group look at me as if I’m the one who is mad. And I think well, I’d rather be mad than dead.
An extremely attractive and very well-dressed man thanks me for waiting for him and his dog to cross a path, (ah, courtesy is so beguiling after the bastard runners) and I smile back, before realising I am sporting birds-nest hair pulled into a topknot, no make up, and silk yoga pants tucked into hiking socks, worn with rubber clogs, and a knee length puffa. I feel this may not be my most alluring look.
My blood pressure is raised again by the sight of a pile of dog poo bags that have been thrown on the ground. The bins have been removed because of maintenance. I fear that the current situation is not bringing out the best in MANY of the people who frequent the Heath daily.
However, I cheer up considerably when I spot, first, a tiny wren, and then, second, my first bluebells of the year. (Picture at top.)
Self distancing is very easy on the Heath, so long as you avoid the tarmacked paths and the idiot runners. Not a soul to be seen.
Most of the evening is spent scrubbing the kitchen, piling every single implement into the dishwasher to remove the layers of grease from frying meat and onions all week, and washing up piles of pots and pans. I quite enjoy triggering hundreds of people on Instagram by posting a picture of my dishwasher, into which I have basically just thrown everything with no thought to stacking or intelligent use of space.
Supper is a bowl of fried rice. I want to use up a small piece of tofu that was left over from making my Not Delicious Pad Thai on Tuesday night, and the scant bunch of wild garlic that I picked on the Heath today.
I cooked some rice, and left it to steam dry, whilst I air fried the tofu. Then I fried some sliced chestnut mushrooms and spring onions (scallions), threw in the cubed fried tofu and some sweetcorn for crunch, and cooked for a few minutes. Then I added two generous handfuls of rice, stirred it together and left it to get a crispy bottom. A lot of black pepper and crunchy sea salt to finish.
Then I set up the projector in my bedroom, balanced at an angle precariously on top of my Dyson Humidfier so that the picture beams onto the wall and not onto my bed. I watch MasterChef whilst editing hundreds of photographs on my laptop. There are over 77 000 on my iPhone, 5500 on my Samsung Android, and 31,700 on my laptop. I am determined to make a dent in these numbers before lockdown ends.