Day 7: the sun returns

The sun returned in full force today. Its been beautiful. I completely misjudged the weather today and set out for my walk in a completely black outfit and too many layers. Its my own fault of course because I also left an hour later than normal.  The mornings have been chilly even with the sun out, but not today.

Should not have gone out in all black

My walk today took me back up to Wandsworth Common as I was feeling nostalgic for the old hood and I have decided the riverside in the sun is just far too busy. It was lovely there today, the blossom out and blowing in the wind.

Wandsworth Common in the sunshine again
the blossom around Wandsworth Common

Its been quite an unproductive day, although I did try out a new work out video on YouTube to try and make up for the lack of cardio –  I am so out of condition with no regular spin classes.

I have been between Netflix shows been researching how to make gluten free dumplings as they are one of the foods I miss the most being gluten free, There are a couple of wrapper recipes online so I thought I would give one a go, the wrappers themselves came together nicely but I obviously left them too long between the rolling out and making the stuffing as they dried out too much and couldn’t be folded  – so dumpling fail.

the dumpling wrappers before they dried out

Luckily I only made a little batch so I can try again tomorrow as the filling is now sitting in the fridge. Wish me luck!

 

Day 6: A walk in the rain

It may have been raining this morning but I felt oddly chirpy going on my daily walk, perhaps it was the lack of people out, having to dive off paths to avoid people and I could actually relax and enjoy the walk.

Morning walk in a quiet park in the rain
Spencer Park quiet in the rain

The rest of my day has consisted of cleaning the bathroom to an inch of its life and doing two yoga YouTube videos.  I have really been enjoying Yoga with Adriene. Her videos are light in tone and good exercise. They are also varied in content and length which means you can pick and choose depending on mood and time.

Morning and evening Yoga with Adriene today.

A small joy was sitting on the balcony this afternoon with a cup of tea and a new book that I am reading for our furlough work book club, ‘My sister the serial killer’, only a few pages in so we will see how I get on.

A relaxed afternoon on the balcony

Only a short post today, but feeling quite positive. Its a short week for those still working, which means a long weekend of wine and chocolate eating. Huzzah!

Day 5: Cookies!

Today has all been about food: cooking, looking at recipe books…. eating!

No daily walk today but we did enjoy the sunshine on the balcony this morning, where I sat flicking through some recipe books looking for vegetarian inspiration.

Cook books on the balcony

So cooking was the main activity for today, first stop,  a treat with cookies. I tried a new recipe from Gluten Free Cuppa Tea’s website for chocolate chip cookies. Mine didn’t flatten like the recipe suggested but they were still tasty. I have lost count of how many I have eaten today… oops!

Yummy chocolate chip cookies

I also got my bulk cooking on and made some butternut squash soup for lunches this week and a vegetable massaman curry for dinner this week and the freezer.

And the food continues as I made a rather yummy cottage pie for dinner, with a cheesy mash top! Yum!

Cheesy top cottage pie

So a lazy food filled day was enjoyed by all in the flat. Sorry for all the food spam.

 

Day 4: Sunshine and Pizza

Well what a gloriously sunny day it has been in London town today. Pulling back the shutters this morning and being hit by warm sunshine was just lovely. I hope everyone got to appreciate a little bit of this sun today  – at a safe social distance of course!

We enjoyed a proper lazy morning today, no alarm, no rush and it was delightful. With an early lunch behind us we headed off on our daily walk, this time heading to an old stomping ground Wandsworth Common. It was of course busy with everyone taking advantage of the sun but I was pleased to see everyone behaving and keeping well away from each other. Weaving our way around people we did a horse shoe of the common ending in Spencer Park which was our local park for a while. Here we decided to steal 10 minutes and lie down on our coats and take in the gloriously lovely weather. For that blissful few minutes it like life was normal again.

Wandsworth Common
Spencer Park in the lovely sunshine this afternoon
lazing in the sunshine in Spencer Park

Home again and it was time to think about dinner. It was time to whip out Naomi Devlin’s River Cottage Gluten Free book and make some of her marvelous pizza dough. Its not a quick recipe as there are two different times you need to leave it for an hour a piece to ferment and rise so a sunny afternoon with nothing else to do was perfect. This time around they have turned out pretty well.

Pizza dough resting patiently to go in the oven
fresh out of the oven!

During all the waiting I decided as we had a glut of tomatoes in recent vegetable box deliveries to roast some off and make a pasta sauce that we can freeze. There is a simple pleasure of  just tomatoes, onions, garlic and basil. Yum!

Yummy home made tomato pasta sauce

Today felt like a normal Saturday, which has been nice, and to make it even better we did video drinks with friends tonight. Lush!!

Day 3: Fritter Friday

Its Friday! Hurrah! Day 3 of the keeping up my furlough routine and decided to head towards Parson’s Green. Over the bridge I went and came across South Park Fulham. It is a walled park, so if you see an entrance dive in because I didn’t and ended up walking quite a way to the next gate in the wall. Maybe it was the grey clouds but it was not the most impressive of parks, I expected more.

South Park Fulham

However, there are some pretty houses around the area, and who doesn’t love a gander at lovely houses. One very pretty building I found is the photo below. I am not sure what it was/is but its all locked up with a developers signs around it. Alas, snazzy flats ahoy I think.

Historic building find

Today I decided to keep myself busy with some cooking. We had a swede going soft in the fridge and a couple of days ago I found a recipe on Melissa Hemsley’s Instagram page for root vegetable fritters. I hate food waste so love it when I find a recipe that uses things up in a new and interesting way. They were super easy to make and we have left overs for another day. It was quite nice making something without  being rushed.

Melissa Hemsley’s root vegetable fritters

So with all this time on my hands it is giving me chance to check out some shows that have been on my watch list and find some new exciting things. I am trying to limit myself to a couple of shows a day so I do not spend all day slothing about glued to the Ipad.

What I am watching….

  • Unorthodox : this is a great show on Netflix based on the autobiography of Deborah Feldman. Its really interesting, and it being mostly in Yiddish and German, having to read subtitles means I am not playing on my phone.
  • Kingdom: This is a Korean period show, but the difference is it has Zombies! Its a little strange but its good fun ( and having watched Parasite recently loving the comedy hidden in Korean drama). I am also loving the lavish silk Korean costumes!
  • Schitts Creek: I was a late convert to this show. I watched the first series ages ago and though it was silly, then back in January after a couple of days off sick I was hooked. I am now on the 5th and final series, what am I going to do without this kooky little show.

What are you watching? Always up for some recommendations!

Righty ho, I am off, its nearly virtual wine time with my fellow furlough work colleagues. Will be nice to speak to people and hear how everyone has gotten.

Day 2: Walking and Sorting

Here we are again! How is this only day 2 of an unknown number of days?!

Anyway, the sun was shining this morning so getting into the new routine was easy.  As Mr Life London Food, set himself up for a day of work at the kitchen table I took my cup of tea and decided to walk to Battersea Park. As it was early-ish, it was still fairly quiet, making it easy to avoid people, swapping to the other side of the paths if necessary. We had visited the park last Sunday afternoon as our escape from the flat but it was full of people, like a summers day! The walk back today was much busier. Note to self must leave the house by 9.30 at the latest to avoid lots of people, especially those who have no concept of social distancing on a path.

The pagoda in Battersea Park

Having the sun out makes such a difference. I have never really thought of the weather as something that controls your mood, but the last couple of weeks have shown me how important it can be. Last week for example, being able to take regular breaks to sit in the sun, even for 5 minutes, made all the difference.

With all this time on my hands I am going to end up becoming a feeder. I find myself flicking through Instagram posts looking at recipes and food blogs wondering what to make next. One blog that I found recently and am loving is The Half Baked Harvest.  Not only is it really well written with lush looking photos but the author Tiegan posts what she is cooking on Instagram so you can see how she makes the yummy looking dishes. Its a great website for inspiration and ideas. This week I made her spicy peanut noodles, which were delish. Not being able to stick to a recipe I topped it with sticky aubergine which is a favourite in our house. Although saying that with the peanut noodles being so damn easy to make it will be a regular as well!

Spicy Peanut Noodles

 

I have a list of things I would like to achieve during furlough. All those annoying little organisational bits you never get around to doing at the weekend. Things like sorting out the bookcase. Its rammed with books, including way too many cook books. I would also like to learn how to use my camera. I got a digital SLR from Ebay years ago, after I came back from South Africa with the worst wild life photos ever. Squint and you will see a small blur in the distance – its a lion! Having had it for years all I do is point and shoot, I have no idea how to use any of its functions. This is my chance, I am going to find a YouTube video and learn.

Anyway, that’s my mission for life in Coronaland, learn to use my camera and tidy up the bookshelf, oh and make way too much food!  Tonight is Thursday, so hoping to round up the family via various video messaging services to do the Virtual Pub Quiz. Its great fun.

Righty, off to go and find something on my list to do, or make a risotto.

Day 1: Furlough in Coronaland

So yesterday was day 1 of life in furlough. This is a strange time, confined to home with one trip out a day, at least I had work to keep me busy during the day, now, not so much. After being told on Tuesday that I would be put on furlough I felt sick, I knew it was coming but I still felt sick.  After a little while ( and some chocolate) I became more positive. I was lucky to be in a position where I could be put on furlough and not out of a job completely. At least money was still coming in. I was luckier than many others would be in these times.

This is week two of the lock down in the UK, and it is strange. Not knowing when the end will be, when life will return to normal, but I hope that positives will come from this dark time.

Part of my plan for keeping sane during furlough is my daily walk. As someone who walks to work every day ( 50 minutes each way) its a bit part of my routine. Walking allows me to clear my head and get my exercise. Keeping positive it will give me an opportunity to explore some areas I would not normally wander. So day 1 I headed off in a new direction and found myself a new park.

So here is to keeping sane in this mad world!!