Most of my stories on the blog are the stories of the more or less distant past. Stories that happened. Stories that I want to remember. Stories that need to be retold. This story is happening right now. This is how I want to remember it. And hopefully, this is what I will be able to retell in a few years time.
Each of us has their own way to cope in what they call strange, extra-ordinary and unprecedented times. On one hand there is panic and constant worries and concerns. On the other there is appreciation of good health and safety of those nearest and dearest. I surely became more grateful these days. The fact that I live my life day by day with most plans postponed for the foreseeable future means I focus on here and now and enjoy every meal, every walk and every message that those far away send to say they are safe. Over the last two months we got used to hearing of social-distancing and self-isolating and now we are all practising that at our own homes. Though in my house not all are overly upset because of that – our dog has always been very keen to keep his social distance snapping at anyone who breaks the 2 meters distance and our cat is a real master of self-isolating spending days in the furthest corners of our attic.
We might be in what seems an uncertain place now yet I try to see the brighter side and focus on the positives. After all, I am quite comfortable in my own house, with my family around, facilities at disposal and supplies at the nearby shop. And so as they say in the daily COVID-19 newsletter that I receive from journal.ie wash your hands, sneeze into your elbow, and read on…
We had to redefine our essentials – essential travel, essential shopping, essential jobs and suddenly the important things seem to have lost their value. For us eggs were very high on the priority list and we got a nice hearty supply of 3 trays from the farm. Lemons topped the list as well as we do use a lot of them to make the lemonade each day. Thankfully, there is no spend or 10 items only limit at the shops as it would be really difficult to choose between carrots, apples or canned tomatoes.
Acts of kindness
One day my 68 year old mother found a packet of biscuits with a note that her neighbour left for her.
#WeInThisTogether brings us all closer on the very local level, as bigger communities of work and school and as a nation. Last week all Europe clapped at 8 pm to say thank you to the healthcare workers. Schools provide distance learning and neighbours invent social-distancing activities to keep the spirits up.
Now it is a good time to think of all the things that we put off: of spring clean, of art and craft projects and of home DIY. I made my list of little tasks on the kitchen board and tick them off one at a time. Hopefully, in a few weeks my house will be sparkling clean and super organized. We have also ordered loads of books online including Love in the times of cholera and I am really looking forward to some quiet reading daily time.
Keeping in touch
While I mostly exchange messages on Whatup or Messenger I still pick up the phone and call my mum on the landline and I absolutely love the AnPost idea sending love Ag seoladh grá postcards that are free to send anywhere around Ireland.
I am so grateful that we can still go for the daily walks to get the essential amount of exercise. This is one of my favourite time of the day and it really cheers me up and makes me feel good.
Work and personal life blend
If you imagined that working from home is easy and involves less work, think again. If anything, we are more busy and work harder and school@home is intense too not to mention juggling all the household chores that are also more intense with a full house. I try to keep to my routines and my times. I take breaks and then at the end of the working day I switch off my mailbox till the next morning.
I have never heard of Zoom before and here I am using it to take part in the classes and meet the staff. I am finally exploring Teams and I discovered Borrow Box linked to our local library and even read my first e-book.
First we baked the bread rolls from the recipe here. Then my cousin Eva sent me a great simple recipe for homemade bread and at last I found a good use for the leftover spelt flour and bran that were sitting in the cupboard for a while. And in the meantime my daughter baked her very own nut cake with chocolate chips. I will probably not be baking daily especially as the proper sourdough would still be a challenge but it is very rewarding and encouraging to have your own bread served for breakfast.
I have always preferred natural remedies such as dandelion cough syrup, and good old garlic and lemons. When we go on our winter skiing holidays we always have a little shot of freshly squeezed lemon juice to boost the immune system. These days we have a tumbler of turmeric, ginger, grapefruit and honey smoothie in the morning and some homemade lemonade at dinner.
5 tbs of sugar
3/4 l of sparkling mineral water or tap water
Roll the lemons first to make them more juicy.
Halve the lemons and squeeze into the jug.
Add a few tablespoons of sugar and mix well.
Top up with sparkling or tap water and serve with a few ice-cubes.
Keep well and stay safe