Blogging in a time of social isolation…

From the wonderful XKCD blog…

So. Here I am, trying to start up this blogging thing again. I’m going to try and keep it up more regularly, partly as a form of self discipline (hey, my old caityquilter blog is available to read again – although don’t believe the link sending you to caitymakes.com, that’s long gone) and I used to write on that fairly regularly.

I’m also trying to write regularly again partly for my mental health. Although I’m a fairly solitary beastie most of the time anyway, just me, Mr Beloved, and the Most Excellent Dogg, the Covid-19 pandemic and associated social isolation will probably mean fewer playdates, more telehealth, and even less human interaction than I’m used to. Which is probably not good, so I’d better find a way to get thoughts out of my head.

I’ve discovered the joy of audiobooks and e-books (free!) from our local library. Although I do sometimes fall asleep while listening to the audiobooks at night, its easy enough to go back to the last chapter or track I remember. My first foray into this medium has been a wonderful full cast reading of Philip Pullman’s “Northern Lights” , which has enhanced my enjoyment of the original book immensely. A few weeks ago we even lashed out and bought a small bluetooth speaker, so hopefully, when I finally get back into the sewing mood, I can listen while I sew, and not be tethered to headphones.

And while we’re on the subject of lashing out and doing things a bit differently – we also bought a slow cooker (or as we old fogies, victims of an earlier marketing campaign still tend to call them, a crock pot.) How did we survive for so long without one?! What a marvellous thing it is, to have the smell of cheap cuts of meat and root vegetables slowly transforming over the late night and all day into a luscious, melting, warming mix of gravy and tender shreds, ready to be scooped up with some buttered sourdough baguette… or some brightly stuffed capsicums (bell peppers, for anyone who has stumbled across this by chance and has no idea what I mean), full of rice and chickpeas and cheese and softened to perfection in vege stock in the slow cooker, daggy and old school perhaps, but soooo delicious. And the leftovers! Having leftovers in the fridge and freezer so you can say “hmmm, I think I’ll have… stew tonight!” Oh, that’s blissful. (Doesn’t take much to make me happy, does it?)

I’ve also decided to indulge in some self care – I haven’t been getting my eyebrows waxed or my eyelashes tinted since October, so later this week I’m off to have that done. At a different salon than where I used to go – sadly, the local town council’s parking policy decisions have just made it impossible to support anyone with a business in the main streets (says nothing more about this, just raises eyebrow and notes that the local elections are imminent…) and my new choice has free parking and is closer to home. So it goes.

I desperately need a haircut, since I believe it’s important to support local businesses as much as possible in the time of virus (!) (my previous comments about parking notwithstanding;) but I can only afford one indulgence per month and I can make do with hats and scarves for a while longer.

So: what’s it like in your part of the world? What are you doing to stay sane during the pandemic? What have you started doing again that you’d stopped doing? Maybe this is the time I’ll finally learn to knit, who knows!

Stay safe, practice random acts of kindness, and… wash your hands!

Caity

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