Well! Nine weeks ago today the Australian Capital Territory (i.e. Canberra) was plunged into COVID lockdown. It was initially supposed to last for two weeks but the cases kept happening and are still happening. We've barely left our suburb in the past nine weeks and are forever grateful that we decided to upgrade from a townhouse to a free-standing house in 2016, as the garden is a delight if we must be trapped at home. So, what have I been doing lately …?
So many books! I've barely bought any paper books in the almost ten years since I first got a Kindle. Whenever I want to read a book, I first check whether our wonderful local library service has a copy (and order it online if it does), then consider whether to buy it on Kindle if it doesn't. I usually have a massive pile of library books on my bedside table, and read vigorously to finish them all before they're due back. Of course, that plan has gone pear-shaped since the lockdown was announced as the library is locked down too. So, I've been reading the backlog of books I'd accumulated on my Kindle. It's been great. Some recent reads include Ladyparts: A Memoir by Deborah Copaken, Redhanded: An Exploration of Criminals, Cannibals, Cults, and What Makes a Killer Tick by Suruthi Bala and Hannah Maguire, Men Who Hate Women: From incels to pickup artists, the truth about extreme misogyny and how it affects us all by Laura Bates, Weird English by Evelyn Nien-Ming Ch'ien, Last Tang Standing by Lauren Ho, The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner's Semester at America's Holiest University by Kevin Roose, and All About Yves: Notes from a transition by Yves Rees. Oh. My. Goodness. That's a lot of books. All of them have been excellent. I may get a rude shock when the library reopens, too, as my reservation list is up to 20 books. Fingers crossed they don't all arrive at once.
Listening to podcasts
So many podcasts! So little time. Some current favourites include Bad Blood: The Final Chapter, Catfish, Cautionary Tales, Hunting Ghislaine, Killer Psyche, Ms Represented and The Trap. I really only listen to podcasts when I'm doing housework (washing dishes, gardening, walking to the shops) and the time available for podcasts tends to vary depending how much editing work I have.
When we're allowed to go out I usually try to watch at least one film, at the cinema, each week. While the cinema's been unavailable, Andrew and I have been watching old movies at home each Sunday afternoon. He even makes popcorn. Woo hoo.
Gathering and cooking and eating food
When I'm feeling anxious (and, y'know, there's a pandemic on) I tend to hoard food. Not to the point that any gets wasted, but our cupboards and freezer are pretty full at the moment. Not to mention that I spend even more time than usual dreaming of food and planning meals. Aaaargh. I have tried a couple of new recipes lately: chana aloo (chickpea and potato curry) and warm French goat's cheese salad. Both were delicious. Oh, and I've discovered you can use a stovetop jaffle maker to cook mini pies, using defrosted pastry sheets. And that if you stud the top of a chocolate mud cake with chopped up Mars bars, it's even more fun. Yep. Terrible photo but yummy cake.
Last but not least. The garden is, and will always be, a work in progress. Here are some of our spring flowers this year.