During lockdown, I've really appreciated the little things I would usually take for granted; sitting outside to read my book (I have a whole post dedicated to my little garden here), watching the plants in my garden and kitchen windowsill grow, sitting down to watch a film (or theatre these days) with the family.
Books and writing have always been important to me, but they've been even more of a comfort over the past few weeks, allowing me to step away from reality for a little while and escape into a world where Coronavirus doesn't exist (I wrote a piece for my local writing group's blog about Coronavirus and what it means for my own writing here) and books have kept me company during the dreaded car park shuffle outside the supermarket (if you're going to be standing around for ages, you may as well do it with a book in hand, right?)
TV and film has been a good way to escape reality too, and they've become a much bigger deal. We don't just sit down to watch a film anymore in this house - we make sure we have popcorn and sweets to enjoy them with, and it goes in my diary, so we have something to look forward to at the weekend. Seriously. All the little things now go in my diary now; I bought some scones and clotted cream so we could have a cream tea and in the diary it went, when a theatre put their panto of Cinderella on YouTube, it went in the diary, along with our rock-painting plans and other little activities that I normally wouldn't think twice about.
I've been downloading box sets from iPlayer and catching up with stuff on Netflix, and I've found some gems I would have otherwise missed. I didn't watch Last Tango in Halifax when it was on originally, but I devoured the whole lot and loved it. I have no idea why I didn't watch it first time round, but I'm glad I've caught up!
With everyone at home all the time, I've been trying to do something different at the weekends, whether it's panto at home or rock painting or baking etc. One great success was the lime loaf the kids and I baked a couple of weekends ago.
I'd been craving a slice of lemon loaf from the coffee shop in town, but obviously that wasn't possible, so I decided we'd give baking our own a go. I eventually got my hands on some flour and eggs, but my local Asda didn't have any lemons. They did have their green cousins, so we thought we'd see how a lime loaf would turn out...
It turned out AMAZING! I'd never made any kind of loaf before, so I was really proud of our efforts. It was lovely, especially the lime icing.
I used this recipe, substituting the lemons for limes. For the icing, I mixed 100g of icing sugar with the juice from a half a lime (I'd make a bit more next time though!)
This of course went in the diary.
Other family 'events' have been the community-style games of Scrabble we've played, where you have one set of tiles and take your turn whenever you get the chance. It's a more relaxed version where you can take your time, but still competitive! We set our board up in the kitchen with a score sheet and each game lasts a few days.
Other 'little things' that have made me happy are my plants. The raspberry plant we planted last year has grown back and is shooting up, so we should have some fruit during the summer.
I've also sown dahlias for the first time (and sown seeds indoors for the first time - I usually throw them in the big pots outside and hope the best!) and they're growing nicely.
I've re-potted some of the bigger ones into their own pots. My local Asda didn't have pots (it's only a little store, bless it) so I've used anything pot-shaped (or anything that could be cut into a pot, like the bottom of plastic milk bottles) and poked/drilled holes in their bottoms. I like the idea of reusing stuff I'd normally throw away, and I'm going to keep doing this even when the lockdown has ended.