Thursday, 2 April 2020
Hand washing and hand wringing: a Lidl liquid soap lookalike, and getting in a lather over lockdown
What else? There has been much talk in the media of people turning more to drink, haha, which amused me. I have always been an 'in-home' rather than a social drinker, but so far this year have stuck to my New Year's resolution of having three days of the week drink-free, a doubling of the tally I managed last year. Then I spoke to a friend yesterday, who said she was drinking a bit more than usual, and was also starting the day by bingeing on Bakewell tart from the local post office. I can't tell you how much she went up in my estimation for admitting that! And I do reserve the right to play the 'unprecedented times' card and progressively slide off my part-time wagon as the lockdown continues...;)
I have also been dabbling a bit more in exercise - I shan't overstate it, as I am a reluctant exerciser at best. I have mauled my 'vintage' Total Gym out of long term storage - a work out in itself, let me tell you - and stockpiled some cardio and resistance training videos, the shorter the better. I even watched a 6 minute introductory video of Yoga with Adriene, inspired by Tara of A Bottled Rose. All you had to do in that video was breathe deeply three times, and listen to her talk about comfy clothing, but I note that the next episode is nearly 50 minutes long, so realistically I may not get past looking out my mat(!). We'll see...I actually completed a ten minute exercise video I found on an NHS website last night, and today my knee hurts like mad, and I appear to have aggravated the arthritis in my other hand I didn't even know I had. So I guess the moral of all that is moderation in all things, hehe.
I am cooking a lot more, which is a good thing, and am also guiding ex-Mr Bonkers in his own culinary endeavours. He has never done more than open a tin of soup in his 61 years, but the current situation is driving him to buy and 'interact with' a whole range of foodstuffs. His first triumph was baking a potato, swiftly followed by an 'assembly' coup, namely putting a cheese and onion pasty and crinkle cut chips in the oven - requiring different lengths of cooking time and different temperatures! - while heating up baked beans on the top of the cooker. I told him that that meal involved complex organisational skills, and that he had done very well to have pulled it off without recourse to critical path analysis and a wall chart.
Now I don't know if you have found this, but all my usual service providers - energy companies, phone providers etc - appear to be hunkering down behind a veil of non-availability, which has led to some comically spun announcements, the first from British Gas:
"So for now, we can only help with prepay meter issues or emergencies (e.g. no heating or hot water). Please don't contact us about anything else. If you do, we've asked our customer service advisers to politely explain that we can't help right now."
And yesterday I was trying to communicate via Live Chat with Virgin Media. The AI bot didn't understand me for several exchanges, and when it eventually grasped my inquiry, I got the message:
"Just to let you know that we won't get back to you immediately, so you can get on with your day."
I am still receiving a lot of promotional spam, also from perfume companies, which irks me, as perfume generally - and certainly buying any more - is the last thing on my mind. Le Jardin Retrouve and Diptyque are the worst offenders currently. Diptyque has been annoying me for years, as some readers may recall, and shows no sign of letting up. Oddly for me, all I have bought since the lockdown began is light bulbs, latex gloves, a couple of masks in case the Government guidance changes, and more probiotics, as in a pandemic like this the gut needs to keep up its game!
I say, have you seen any posters in windows asking questions of the neighbours opposite? A friend put one up wishing our mutual friend Kate a happy birthday, which was a nice touch. There's also the poster doing the rounds on Facebook where someone asks the name of a black and white cat in their neighbour's window (Answer: Walter), and I have just heard of another corker:
"What is the name of that pale Edwardian child in your loft window?"
Moving on, I cut my fringe the other day - with qualified success, it must be said. It is out of my eyes, but looks a bit wonky, and is still quite thick - my hairdressing skills are not up to 'wispifying' aka rendering my fringe 'choppy'. (Picture not available on request. ;) )
Hmm...I am also finding the lack of physical touch particularly hard...it's been four weeks nearly since I touched another person, and it is sad not to be able to put my arm round my elderly friend, which I am sure she appreciated. I can't even cross her threshold.
Oh, there was another happy consequence of the current situation: the gentleman with a keen interest in genealogy who kindly spent several years researching our family tree, decided to cast his net one more time and scooped up a bunch of Very Old Mussons from Freeby in Leicestershire, a village not previously on his radar. We are now back four more generations to c1550 and I have a new great great (etc!) grandfather called Valentine. A family tree 'freebie' indeed. He went on to recount his elaborate quest to find yeast, bemoaned the complete lack of eggs and sketchy supply of blueberries, and gave me a tip about 'ply splitting' paper proucts, assuming they are thick enough to start with. (FYI, I still haven't seen loo roll in the shops, though I believe there have been further supplies delivered - and possibly gone straight out again. Hand sanitiser is also something of a retail unicorn.)
Which leads me finally to the aforementioned Lidl Citrus & Herb liquid soap, a cunning fusion dupe of The White Company's bottle and the classic Jo Malone 'Lime, Basil & Mandarin' fragrance. It doesn't smell of much - which may be less an indictment of the product and more to do with my having symptoms of the coronavirus, though I hope not! - but it is incredible value for the not very much money it cost, whatever that was.
I would be most interested to hear your own lockdown stories, whether you are coupled up or on your own and not doing very well either! How you are passing the time, whether you are washing your shopping, leaving post for three days before opening it, and implementing other strange but strongly recommended Coronavirus measures.