Reflecting on the last 6 months…

It’s July – where has the year gone?! 

I’ve been very quiet on the blog front in the last few months, which is not what I intended when I started the year. I changed my domain name a couple of months ago and really wanted to put more effort into the blog. Since lockdown though, it’s been difficult. The living room has now become my ‘office’. The separation between work and home has blurred, and I’ve found it really hard to concentrate on writing after work. I have also struggled with deciding what I want this blog to be – is it more about food? Travel? All of my hobbies? I have to remember that this blog is meant to be fun and a way to practice writing; this post is meant to be a reflection of that. No overthinking, no pictures, no hours of editing – just my raw thoughts for once!

So to relax I have been concentrating more on hobbies where I can switch off my brain. For me, that is cross stitch and … Animal Crossing on the Switch. LOL. I have put some serious time into the game – like 250 hours, which is a LOT for me, but probably pales into comparison to how much time other people devote to the game!! Seeing other people’s islands on Instagram and Pinterest is great for inspiration but I can get a bit obsessed with the detail. I want everything to be symmetrical and in the right place but I have to remind myself – IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE PERFECT!

Lockdown has been really good in many ways though. We have been wasting much less food, cooking way more and saving money because we’re not eating out so much (one of our major vices). All good things. And obviously we have been very lucky that our jobs allow us to work from home. The number of deaths in this country is a travesty and I do worry that we will have a second wave. Only time will tell. 

On the cooking front, we have made a whole array of things. Desserts like chunky cookies, brownies, chocolate cake, fruit crumble, lemon posset, all from scratch. Proud face. I guess everyone else had the same idea because flour and eggs were all in scarce supply in the first few weeks of lockdown! We’ve even dabbled in things that we would normally be too lazy to make like custard with real vanilla pods and panna cotta using gelatine. Not everything has worked – my Japanese baked cheesecake the other week rose beautifully in the oven but then promptly turned into a pancake… But it is super fun experimenting and trying something different in the kitchen.

We’ve branched out in our savoury cooking too – curry is the latest thing we’re practising. I always thought it was too hard to do, and I’d never have the right spices so we’d just buy it pre-made because we’re lazy. But it is actually not too hard! We made the Wagamama chicken Katsu curry which tasted amazing! We’ve also stocked up on all the different spices to try more curries in the future 🙂

Places like restaurants and shops have started to open up in the last few weeks. I don’t know exactly how I feel about going shopping again. Which is strange for me because I LOVE shopping. Growing up in the North East, we made a trip every week to Metro Centre every week so I love a good shopping centre. But a big part of shopping is just wandering around slowly, looking and touching things, for example, my sister and I spent about 2 and a half hours just in Don Quijote (Japanese discount store) in Osaka and still weren’t finished…! I feel like shopping has changed now, it’s less of a browsing slowly experience and more of a get-in-grab-what-you-need-get-out which feels very sad and weird for me (good for my other half though, haha).

I can’t wait to see my family properly either. This is the longest time in my whole life that I’ve gone without seeing them. My parents did a drop-off care package a few weeks ago when the rules were lifted to allow people to drive a distance. They literally reversed into my drive, opened the boot so I could grab the boxes of Chinese food, rice and the 36 pack of loo roll (all tres important LOL) and then drove off in the pouring rain after a short bye. I cried because of the shock of suddenly seeing them after 3 months, and feel quite emotional now!

Who knows what the next 6 months will bring? More C H A O S probably…. until then, stay safe and if you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading! 

How have you coped with lockdown?! 

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