Thursday, 30 April 2020

Alert Level 3 - fingers are crossed!

Tuesday was our first day on Alert Level 3 and I gather that some people queued at McDonald's for hours to get one of their plastic breakfasts ... Why would you, I wonder? And BurgerFuel is in trouble for not having a sensible system to keep people in their cars and wait till texted to come and collect their burgers et al. Photos circulated on social media and news outlets of one franchise with heaps of (young) people waiting in a mass outside the shop. The police were called by a passerby, I gather. Please note, I have posted a comment for them asking them to get it sorted for the sake of the parents and grandparents of their customers and staff ...

For David and me and for most of the rest of the country, nothing much changes at AL3 - we are still required to maintain our bubbles but we can allow one more person into it if necessary, we are still required to stay home as much as possible, only going out for supermarket shopping, pharmacy and doctor's visits. We can shop on line or by phone and have deliveries or click and collect - but it all has to be contact-less.

About 400,000 people have gone back to work but need to maintain social distancing, safe work practices from a COVID-19 non-spreading pov, and any business they do with the public has to be contactless.

We are happy to stay at home - it's lovely here. And now that the frustration of the sourdough starter has been overcome, I am dead keen to keep making bread - we just aren't eating it fast enough!
The second loaf - even yummier than the first, but not as crusty because I hadn't put the oven tray in to drop it on to after the first 15 minutes or so.

Doesn't that look great?

I have discovered two ways that I love this bread though - both toasted: one with baked beans, and the other which I did on Tuesday, is with creamy mushrooms (garlic and mushrooms sauteed in butter until tender, then add a teaspoon or so of powdered vegetable stock, some chopped parsley and thyme, and a bit of salt; then add about 100ml of cream. I thickened the sauce with a couple of teaspoons of flour shaken up with water in the empty cream bottle. Yummo!! It was even healthy (almost), served with beetroot and carrot salad and a green salad.

Note to self: put mushrooms and cream on the supermarket list.

I have got rather brave - foolhardy perhaps - and gave my hair a trim with the clippers a week or so ago - only took off a 1/4 inch using the method of doing it a section at a time and holding the hair out between two fingers to just have the requisite 1/4 inch showing above my fingers and then trimming that off. Worked quite well and looked reasonable all round. Thanks to big Neil in Cornwall for sending me the youtube video on how to cut your own hair (if you're a guy ...)

Then on Saturday I decided that it needed doing again and I got a bit bold. I used the clippers with the 1" measuring comb on, and managed to take a bit much off on one side behind my ear ... It looks fine from the front and that is all that counts really ... And it's not like I'm going out anywhere, is it?

It's all in how you hold your mouth ...

Sally our gardener came on Tuesday and did a big weeding job (with appropriate social distancing) in the rose garden beside the driveway and from the side garden she took out a stack of liriope, planted some beside the trellis by the motorhome, handed some over the fence to Jillian and delivered some to my friend Jane on her way home. There is still a lot of it in situ... Rob planted it a few years ago as a border/skirt around the ponga, but the ponga died a couple of years ago when the summer was just too hot and it had no shade. Now the liriope skirts nothing but hosts lots of grass, bugger it. So it had to come out. I think I am going to fill that area with canna lilies, camellias and hydrangeas. And the camellias will get regular haircuts so they don't grow to 30 feet which they tend to do here in Waikanae!

While in lockdown, I have been re-reading my blogposts from when we first came here. I remember Grahame from over the fence telling me not to worry about pruning hard because he said everything grows madly here. He was so right! I have quite a bit of it to do as soon as I can get my arse into gear...
Those camellias had been trimmed down to below the level of the fence when Luke and Rob first attacked that piece of the garden. They now need another severe trim. The sapling on the front left with the big long leaves is a native fushcia - it is self sown and probably about a year old...

Not a single one of these shrubs was in situ when we arrived. The big tree was, and was much bigger and has been severely pruned - it's hardly pruning when it requires chainsaws and ropes though. This is the piece of garden that Rob and Luke cleared of 12 trees, multiple elephant lilies, 6 woolsacks of tradascanthia.  The rest of the big plants have been in place probably 3 or 4 years or so, apart from the grape vine (the yellow autumnal one on the left) which has been in a couple of years. The smaller ones were planted just before lockdown.
And I am not posting photos of the camellias in the front or the side garden as that will give you the idea that Waikanae is triffid country!

1 comment:

Pip and Mick said...

Fantastic news about your sourdough, that loaf looks very very tasty.