Monday 11th May 2020 - Online Shopping, Quest and Layers
I am sitting here in our lounge, laptop on my lap (good a place as any!), writing this while we wait for our next online grocery delivery. Since lockdown we have kept away from supermarkets, even though I am assured by other villagers the stores are geared up for social distancing. I think I would lose my rag if anyone came too close while we were selecting our groceries. I suppose I could break into The Police’s song, Don’t Stand So Close To Me, which with my singing would probably empty the entire shop! Initially it was not easy to get slots for deliveries of online groceries; with some supermarkets it was impossible. I tried all sorts of tacks, including logging in after a trip to the bathroom during the small hours of the morning. How sad is that? But now I seem, touch wood, to have sussed out the time when the next deliveries are posted and since then we have been able to book a slot each week. Orders are a bit hit and miss if you don’t opt for substitutes, which currently cannot be returned. We have missed out on various items, fortunately none of which were essential, that were out of stock at the time of the order being picked. Overall, it has been successful; in fact I am quite impressed with the service.
A bit of a pause here, the delivery van has just pulled up. Right, all checked off, put away, hands washed and back to the blog. Following on from my Baking Tales (3rd May), I was contacted by a villager with some advice, not to use plain flour and bicarbonate of soda for scones but instead, self raising flour and baking powder. Grateful for this suggestion, I needed to source baking powder. Once again the village shop came up trumps with fresh stocks on the shelf. I am now on the quest for the perfect scone (there seem to be 101 different recipes) starting with one of Delia Smith’s recipes. As for the bicarbonate of soda, this will be mixed with vinegar and used to keep the kitchen sink drain clear.
There has been a gradual increase in the temperatures resulting in me putting on fewer layers of clothing each morning. We had a real taste of summer on Friday and Saturday when I was almost tempted to put on shorts. We spent a fair bit of time in the garden and I considered pulling up the winter pansies and starting to plant out the summer bedding, but I didn’t. What stopped me? It was Fisherman Andy, who told us with a forecast of strong 50 mph winds and high tides, they were bringing up the boats; a sure sign of hostile conditions. Sat in the garden, enjoying a cuppa and cake, it seemed impossible there would be such a radical change, but there was. By ten yesterday morning the winds picked up, it was darn cold and I put on those layers of clothing, I thought I had discarded until the autumn. Anything moveable that could be spoiled was relocated to a sheltered position or inside the workshop or greenhouse. It’s still blowing now. This afternoon we saw freshly opened leaves littering the lane, along with twigs, branches and wind burnt leaves still clinging to the sycamore trees. Peter has protected the area of the vegetable plot where the broad beans are growing with windbreak but despite this the plants have been swaying about and could have suffered some damage. The wind should subside this evening so tomorrow we will be able to take stock. I am just thankful I did not fall prey to temptation, otherwise I would be watching the tender vulnerable young summer bedding plants I have carefully brought on - decimated.
Today’s photos show a contrast, the may (hawthorn) now open, signally we can ‘cast a clout’, and the wind burnt leaves on a sycamore.