Tuesday, 5 May 2020

Lockdown Day Number 4751

These days, excitement comes in the form of two things: deliveries, and food. Deliveries of food are even better, and so I treated myself to a 3 kg box of tomatoes from here and had a lot of fun cooking and eating them.

We had caprese salad in the sun outside...

...roasted them on the vine to eat with harissa lamb shanks and couscous...

...layered them with mozzarella and pesto on top of toasted muffins...

...made umpteen salads....

...made a quiche with bacon and cheddar...

...and roasted them to make a sauce for pasta.

Would you look at those colours? Just gorgeous. For the sauce, I roasted the tomatoes with garlic and a couple of courgettes that needed eating up, then just transferred the lot to a bowl where I blitzed it with a stick blender. I added a little balsamic vinegar and seasoning then poured it over the pasta. 

Other excitement occasionally comes in the form of Leaving The House. Last Saturday was possibly the most action packed day in some time. It began when I had to leave the house to go food shopping, and wore make-up and earrings. 

It was the first time I'd worn earrings in about six weeks. Then, we had a family quiz via Zoom in the afternoon (so much fun!) before Zoom margaritas with my friend Abigail in the evening. Funny, I'd never heard of Zoom six weeks ago, and now it's how I conduct my social life.

After a very long, slightly depressing week in which in rained a lot, that day was the best pick me up.

My tulips are just beginning to go over, so I picked a few along with some other flowers from the garden and put them in the bathroom. I love flowers in the bathroom, and on the bedside table too. You get so much unexpected pleasure from them.

I didn't grow these stocks though. I bought them in Waitrose at the weekend and they smell incredible.

Home school has been going a lot better for this one. As well as his daily lessons/activities, his teacher has set extra tasks like make someone a cup of tea or tidy and vacuum your bedroom. I heartily approve of these tasks and fully support them.

Spending this much time at home means I am constantly looking at corners and trying to sort out piles of junk, find better storage, that sort of thing.

This corner of the kitchen is a continual dumping ground. I have tried to tidy away a fair bit of the clutter and make it work a bit better, and I bought a few storage crates from here to hold fruit and vegetables that don't need to be in the fridge. I love the colours so much.

I also got a few in the medium size to hold my craft things. There's one WIP in each, nice and accessible. This makes me very happy.

It's important I keep John busy (although I'm not sure he'd agree) and so I asked him to hang my round shelf in the living room behind the sofa. I was very specific about exactly where the hole should go, I even drew a little cross on the wall.

Then I realised that it was too high and the shelf didn't sit right. He was thrilled, as you can imagine. He did drill me another hole six inches lower, and but drew the line at filling, sanding and painting over the first hole, which is fair enough really. 

Finally - and this is very exciting! - I have started an embroidery project. I am going to make an alphabetical sampler to commemorate this strange time we find ourselves in.

I am not celebrating this time, it's not a holiday, but equally it is exceptional and unprecedented and there are parts of it I don't want to forget.

Also, this kind of hand sewing is very soothing and good for my mental health. I found a piece of nice linen that I bought for a different cross stitch project and never used, and it's perfect. I did the letters in cross stitch but the rest of the motifs will be a mixture of satin stitch, chain stitch, maybe a little bit of applique...whatever takes my fancy.

Can you guess what A is for? It looks huge here but it's about 1 x 3 cm so quite little really. I am having a lot of fun deciding what to sew, although the letters "i", "o" and "u" have proven tricky.

Anything exciting happening where you are?


  1. Alcohol? Aperitif?
    Love your blog. Such a lovely home with bold colours - wonderful.
    Have never commented before as tend to 'stalk' blogs instead, but couldn't resist your 'A' challenge.
    Kim Daltrey

  2. Love your embroidery idea!
    We're at home since March 12th. But since we work from home no tidying and rearranging is going on - but I started a lot of new knitting and crochet projects though.
    I sit at my desk working long hours so when I'm finally done I need to go out and the garden gets all the love (and the dog gets long evening walks).
    My husband works from home as well and our three kids are luckily coping well attending school from home. Here in Denamrk we have Friday off this week and I can't wait! Could do with a trip to the beach and a café lunch though...

  3. Love your blog - your home is gorgeous. What about ice cream for 'i'. Emma

  4. You have made me laugh with the letter 'A'. I love the idea of setting the children little housework tasks. My youngest has had vaguer things like 'Be kind to your family'. I feel that 'Hoover under your bed' would be far more useful. Love the stocks. I grew some last year and they are only just flowering - I nearly got rid of them, but I'm so glad I didn't, as you say, the scent is wonderful. CJ xx

  5. Lovely post Gillian & glad to hear you are all keeping busy and seem to be settling into the new routine. The cross stitch looks intriguing. Take care, stay safe and huggles.

  6. What a difference those crates make in the kitchen. I like that idea a lot. My house move is back on so I am box packing again, and I washed the car this morning. Hurrah for teachers that set housework as homework.

  7. Brilliant photographs. I suddenly realised this week that I had not worn earrings since lockdown and help, maybe the holes would close up! My ears are quite sore after three days of wearing earrings but hopefully that will wear off. No swelling so ...

  8. You certainly are a busy woman! Those photos of tomatoes and the lovely dishes you cooked are just marvelous! Can't wait to see what you add to your stitching - I know it will be fabulous. All of your work is!

  9. I love that Angus's teachers have given his those 'extra' assignments! As I told you on instagram, I'm inspired by your stash spot makeover. Perhaps I'll get to mine this weekend... Your embroidery idea is so great. I keep trying to think of ways to mark this time as well. I'm so glad you're still posting. I really enjoy your point of view!

  10. Love the embroidery Gillian, you are so talented.

  11. I love your blog and look often. I've never commented before (I think) but am intrigued and have to ask what is the significance of the number 4751? Still puzzling . . . .

  12. I totally agree that my life too has started to revolve around what I am going to wear on my weekly shop! Your meals look amazing. We are eating well too with more time to cook. Even my cooker hob is clean because I have time to clean it after cooking rather than just slamming the lid down to cover the mess!! Jo xx

  13. All those tomatoes look gorgeous and you’ve given me some ideas to use mine! I’ve been having food deliveries from a local food company and get weirdly excited waiting for it to come.

    I love the colour of your stocks. I buy them regularly (before lockdown) but I’ve never seen lemon colour ones. As you say, theIf scent is wonderful :)

  14. Somehow I missed this post of yours; usually I get a notification in my email inbox when you have a new post, but not this time. Never mind, I found it now!
    Love the tomatoes and the flowers, and is that an "Anni" throw I spot on your settee? I have the same one in yellow and grey, it was a birthday present this year from O.K., and I love, love, love it!


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