Wow it has been a long time since I have written in this space. How are you friends? Is anyone still out there? We are now well into our 3rd national lockdown here in the UK and under a stay home order. The last few months have been a whirlwind, strange, sad, quiet but with a little bit of hope for the future now that the vaccine is being rolled out. I haven’t felt the pull to write in recent months but thinking that my future self or family might wonder what was going on during the pandemic, I decided I’d better start again!
DOING: Walking & outdoor swimming. Living by the sea means that we get lots of swims in as often as we can but this past year, I feel as though I have made a lot of effort to go as often as possible. Because of lockdown, and not being able to swim for so long, it has been a tonic in this crazy year, swimming no matter the weather, finding secret spots away from the crowded beaches in the sunny summer, returning to the beautiful lido on the seafront in August and feeling the water take the weight of my tired body after days feeling like a coiled spring. After each time, I feel refreshed and amazing, like the reset button has been pressed and also a little bit cold. In 2021, I decided to try and swim once a month if able (under restrictions) and so far have actually managed January and February – February was definitely colder but each time I swam out to a buoy and stayed in for about 15 minutes. I am really able to turn off my brain when swimming as you cannot think of anything except how cold you are! I always have a flask of tea post swimming so that helps a lot. It’s been a fun challenge and will definitely get a lot easier and more frequent as the months go on.
HEARING: a lot of podcasts!
DRINKING: Tea. So comforting, so lovely, all the time.
EATING + COOKING: I have cooked a lot this year, it has definitely been my mindfulness activity of choice the last few months. Recently, it’s been lots of soups; lentil and red pepper, leek, ginger & sweet potato, parsnip & carrot. Also, tofu stir frys with miso & sesame seeds, coconut milk curries, pesto pasta, ramen bowls and sunday roast dinners. I have been turning my hand to food photography during this time and have enjoyed making delights just for that, so far; pancakes, lemon drizzle and fancy pasta. Hoping to do a bit more of that over the coming weeks too!
MISSING: My parents…There is so much I miss from pre-pandemic life that range from the trivial to the not so trivial; the spontaneity, train travel, not feeling worried every time I interact with people outside of my bubble, working in coffee shops, cheap flights to europe, family gatherings, hugging my grandparents, walks around london, taking the tube, freedom to wander around cities, random conversations with strangers, cosy pub trips and travel. This things make me realise how lucky I was/am and how much privilege I had to do whatever. But of course, the main things and most important thing I is my loved ones and being separated from them with no date in the diary of when we can next hug or see each other and no easy way to get to them. My parents live on the other side of the world and in a country where controls are much stricter so we have no end date in sight and though it is hard and I miss them, I am mostly just grateful that they are safe and well currently. I know so many people have suffered terribly, so I am trying to be extra grateful for this time even with all the hard parts. And I know that this time won’t last forever.
READING: Lockdown 3.0 and a rainy winter have given me lots of time for reading. My reading goal for the year is 55 (last year I managed 62!). Some favourites this year so far: ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’ By Delia Owens (gripping, moving and a page turner once I got into it), ‘Homesick: Why I live in a Shed’ By Catrina Davies (A memoir about housing inequality, the meaning of home and cornwall) and ‘Rodham’ by Curtis Sittenfield (Fiction based on the question ‘What if Hilary Clinton never married Bill?). Next up: Hamnet by Maggie O Farrell – have heard good things!
WEARING: Leggings, scarves, winter coat and walking boats – it’s still pretty chill around here. Also trying to wear dresses when I can because I miss them, they are pretty comfy for home working too.
WANTING: to share more photos and posts here. I still love reading blogs and I take a lot of photos. However, I had filled up my WordPress storage (cause I never used to scale down my pictures) so every time I logged in, it wouldn’t let me save anything. Finally have sorted it and so glad to be able to share and write again!
LEARNING: To trust in the process. Things are all feeling a bit wacky around here with a bit of change on the horizon potentially. Trying not to overthink it or worry and just trust that things will work out how they are meant to be.
LOOKING FORWARD TO: The blossoms! My favourite time of year is approaching when the trees get heavy with blossom and blooms. S jokes that walks are no fun with me at this time of year because I just want to take pics of blossom. It’s kind of true. The magnolia is starting to bloom and next will be the fluffy blossom trees. I find them so beautiful and the fact that they are so fleeting makes them even more special. We also have a blossom tree in our back garden but last year it didn’t bloom until april.
COLLABORATING: Still loving the quarantine photo projects my sister and I started at the beginning of the first lockdown. You can find it @storiesofdays on instagram. It’s so fun finding similarities in our images – we don’t ever share with each other what our picture will be so it’s always a surprise when I put the two together.
SAVOURING: The lighter evenings. It’s the best to able to go for post work walks in the light and feel the spring sun.
GRATEFUL FOR: The seaside, video calls with family, good food, dogs, hot water bottles, yoga, S, good light, smoothies and my camera.
Sending you love and light friends, take care & stay safe. Let me know how you are doing?