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Yesterday’s lie-in seemed like such a good way of making weekends feel special again we had another one today! With days not deviating much from a set routine it seemed like the most sensible thing to do – although I eventually persuaded to rise as the sun was shining. The day promised to be the warmest of the year so far, so it would have been a shame to waste too much of it, especially as I had plans for some gardening, which would allow me to make the most of the weather. I still managed to get a few slides set up ready for scanning, but I’m tryig to keep that activity to the week as a way of structuring my days.

After breakfast Dawn kept herself busy with chores around the house whilst I finished off reconditioning our wooden bench. Rather than using my electric sander I decided to get some exercise by doing it the old-fashioned way, with a sheet of sandpaper and plenty of elbow grease. It looked pretty good when I’d finished, but there was one slight problem which I discovered when I went to unlock my phone which is protected by fingerprint recognition. I’d effectively sanded my fingerprint away and the phone wouldn’t recognise it! Thankfully, the phone has a password back-up, otherwise it could’ve have been rather embarrassing. Imagine having to explain to people why I never answered my phone, “I was waiting for my fingerprint to grow back”…

With the bench completed I dismantled a little cloche-type greenhouse we’d had but that I realised was rotten with rust. We only used it as a shelf anyway, so scrapping it freed up quite a bit of space and and allowed me to move some plants around. I really enjoy gardeing, it’s great therapy and there’s something about getting soil under your fingernails. My garden here is tiny compared to the space I had in London, but even so, I try to make the most of it (although I do miss my pond)!

I managed to catch a few peaceful moments on the bench afterwards, checking the news. Of course, the pandemic dominated. Even the news that the Labour party had elected Keir Starmer as their new leader by a landslide didn’t make much of an impact. Thank God we’ve finally got someone who could turn the basket-case the Labour party became under Corbyn back into an effective opposition party and possible contender for Government. It’s early days yet and we don’t know who will be in the Shadow Cabinet, but it’s certainly cause for something we’ve not had after 5 years of ‘Magic Grandad’. Hope.

As I was on cooking duty this evening and we needed a few basics the pair of us combined our daily exercise with a trip down into Sowerby Bridge and a visit to the supermarket. On a sunny Sunday in the run up to Easter you’d normally expect to find Sowerby buzzing with people visiting the canal basin or one of the local cafes or bars. The reality was, it was deserted.

Most people are taking the message to stay at home seriously. We passed a couple of dog walkers, a handful of families walking kids, not pets, and a few people like us who were walking rather than driving to the shops. The small queue at Tesco’s delayed us by only a few minutes. What caused more hassle was the one way system they’ve devised which means everybody’s walking in the same direction as you zig-zag up and down the aisles. Well, that’s how it’s supposed to work, but some people were clearly struggling with the system. If your shopping list isn’t written in the right order you probably will!

Yomping back up the hill to home we both sat outside in the garden and enjoyed my handiwork and the late afternoon sun before retreating indoors. Dawn amused herself phoning friends and watching TV whilst I cooked a chicken Korma both for us and for the freezer. A couple of years ago we bought one of those American style twin door fridge-freezers. To be honest, it’s been one of our best investments as we can batch-cook and have a range of fantastic home-cooked meals ready for whenever we need them – like the circumstances we find ourselves in now.

Cooking is another of my therapies. I really enjoy doing it. I’ll never get on MasterChef, but that’s not why I do it. I enjoy finding great recipes but I’m not afraid to tailor them to our tastes but with the Korma there’s no need. The recipe was given to me by Meena, an Indian friend in London many many years ago and it’s still unbeatable.

Dawn reckons it’s the best Korma she’s ever had, so I always try and make sure we have one stashed away in the freezer. We’re now set up with meals for the next fortnight, so during the week we can concentrate on work and other things, as I suspect we’re going to be in Lockdown for quite a few weeks yet. At least we’ve now got a lovely garden to sit out in and watch the world pass by if we find the Government do tighten the restrictions of getting out, although I’m remaining optimistic that they won’t. Time will tell…