Corona Diary: One Week In

Things I’ve done this week for the first time in my life:

  • attended a webinar about what older women want to read (unfortunately I kept losing my internet connection).
  • went to my writing fiction class via Zoom (never heard of it before).  Overheard comments: “I should’ve worn make-up!” “I’m not switching my camera on because I’m not fully dressed.”
  • tried to learn a TikTok dance with  my daughter (I made up my own steps.  She gave up on me!).

Things that have happened this week that don’t normally happen:

  • Andrew suggested I help with the gardening as he noticed I was reclining on the sofa with my notebook.  I interrupted *my writing* to read him Seamus Heaney’s poem ‘Digging’ and he decided he’d manage without me.
  • As a family we watched the very first, 2002 episode of ‘Spooks’ (available on BBC iPlayer – all 86 episodes) the BBC series about spies.  Fell off our chairs laughing at the scene of cat escaping while a bug was being planted in a house, so that the operatives needed to blowdry its fur with the hairdryer.  You don’t see that kind of thing much in movies these days!  Other than that, the series seems to have aged really well and we’re enjoying it.
  • I couldn’t find any pasta in the shops.  My daughter said she’d heard that willy-shaped pasta was 3 for 2 in Ann Summers shops.  Er, thanks. I managed to buy some regular-shaped penne eventually.

The new normal is continuing and evolving.  Things are more serious each day as the numbers infected grow but we have to find ways to laugh.  In our street, neighbours have exchanged telephone numbers with each other, we call greetings from a safe distance.  In food shops, people seem to be following guidelines of standing 1.5 metres apart from each other.

Meals  I’ve cooked this week include

  • a big minestrone soup – a version of Felicity Cloake’s Perfect Minestrone Soup
  • a vegetable lasagne – something approaching Justine Pattison’s Veggie Lasagne.
  • lentils and spring greens with improvised seasoning and pasta  – the seasoning was many things I could find in my store cupboard, plus some finely chopped fresh ginger and garlic – ginger and garlic is going into nearly everything.

My family are still talking to me.  Wild garlic has started to grow in our garden (it’s grown every year since we moved into house – the previous owner planted it) so I’ll be using that for seasoning soon.

My daughter has taken over my writing space to finish her dissertation.  I’ve moved to a corner of the kitchen table and find early (ish) mornings a good time to write, when the house is almost silent and hardly anyone is up.  The chair by the window is a favourite reading and thinking spot.

How are things with you? What are you cooking, reading, watching? What are you doing? Are you managing to get some fresh air every day?  Take care, everyone.

10 thoughts on “Corona Diary: One Week In”

  1. Just finished watching the whole series of Anne with an E (best thing I watched for ages) now looking for something to take its place. Just enrolled on a creative memoir online course with Lily Dunn. Sleeping better as mixing with people makes me anxious. Going to order a new cheap tablet so I can resume playing Words with Friends. Still cooking, sorting my poems, looking forward to the allotment. Missing my dog who had to be put to sleep last Thursday. Wondering how my daughter with mental health problems is as I haven’t heard from her for a while..Will attempt to contact her key worker later today. Began writing snippets: #actsofaltruisim on my Facebook page.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for this update, Maggie. I love the word ‘snippets’. I will look for your posts on Facebook but I have to confess to not going there very often. I’m sorry about your daughter – yes, must be worrying and difficult for you and her. We are going to try to grow vegetables again this year but we have marauding badgers here – we’ve never actually seen them, as they are notoriously elusive, but they dig up our grass (and last year, the vegetable patch) something rotten. We realise they were here first, in the area that is, and we certainly don’t want to harm them. They have come in from fields which have been used for housing over the last few decades. Love and best wishes to you in these strange days and thanks, again, for commenting here. J x


  2. Interestingly, ‘willy’ in Italian is ‘pene’. So you have to give the double n in ‘penne’ its full value…
    Gardening by day, cooking and reading in the evening and involved in a huge number of phone calls and emails. A couple of workshops I’m involved in are setting up to continue via Skype. Stay well! xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Whilst still making my way into work 2 days a week to support students of key workers, today I managed to wash and hang out anything in the house that was made of fabric. Living on the top floor of a block of flats, I performed an exemplary demonstration of social distancing. By leaning over my juliette balcony, I was able to chat with all my neighbors at once; delightful. I’m currently working on designing literature displays for the English faculty. Looking forward to concocting dishes from slim pickings in the pantry 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for supporting these students and helping the wider community as you do this, Sarah. Sounds like you’ve been impressively industrious at home, as well as imaginative. Stay well! (the sign off of our times, it seems). J xx


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