There’s nothing quite like the smell of baking. Be it bread, cake, biscuits, it smells good. There are, of course, other wonderful smells that set the memory going – the sea, freshly cut grass, a spring morning, food cooking. I know someone who had a thing about petrol, but I’m not sure what her memories of that were 😀.
So, welcome to a View From The Ground aka lockdown at the end of week 7 in the U.K..
As is the norm at the moment, which I am sure those who have ventured into any recent blog will realise, amongst other strange thoughts my focus has been on the things we can do in a time whilst our options have been reduced.
Well, as I look at a bowl containing 140 grams of softened butter and the same weight of caster sugar, which looks like it needs a good mix, I’ve been reflecting more on this lockdown time as a chance of stepping back and making the most of things.
It’s funny, there’s a feeling of frustration and helplessness and yet, as we’ve just marked the 75th anniversary of VE Day, you can only think, what have we got to complain about. So, we are living under strict government guidelines. Well, I say strict but, really, with the stripped down police force – thanks to the said same government – how strict can those guidelines be applied? I see an increase in cars on the road. I see an increase in speeding cars on the road. What’s the rush?
It’s a worrying time, there’s no doubt about that. But is it really more worrying than waiting for the next air raid siren? More worrying that the thought of a loved one never returning home?
And, then there’s the moments of free time – in the house. Free time, when so many of us have access to 24 / 7 TV. We can watch inane nonsense to our heart’s content. What have we got to complain about. And, if you don’t like inane TV, don’t switch it on.
Or, in the free time right now, we can find 2 eggs and a shake of self raising flour and lob that into the butter and caster sugar. Remember about that earlier on? Go on – do it. And then, give it a mix. Exercise that arm. Better exercise than the continuous pressing of the TV remote control.
TV is an interesting thing. How many conversations do we have on the phone, on FaceTime, by text etc when we’re comparing notes about what we’ve watched?
Due to lockdown, a lot of the staple TV diet for many people (not me!) is the soap opera feast that is available. But, social distancing has meant they haven’t been able to been able to record so soon the pavements of Coronation Street will be empty, the Queen Vic of Eastenders is closed. So, the focus will be binging on the fattening plate full of series catch up. We will be glued to anything and everything we can work through.
We should be so grateful to have this as a distraction, if we are lucky enough to have it available.
You might even find yourself watching cookery programmes. And one of those cookery programmes might then suggest that you add to your butter, caster sugar, egg and a bit of self raising flour, another 140 grams of self raising flour, a teaspoon of baking powder, and 2 mashed ripe bananas.
Now, seeing you have a wonderful mush of mixture in a bowl you might as well fold it, and keep folding until it’s a nice, smooth consistency. Go on. Do it. Lockdown fun and exercising that arm.
Strangely, somewhere in the gap between the above paragraph and this, there’s been some movement from the U.K. Prime Minister with regards to lockdown. However, to avoid the blog police ripping me a new one for my interpretation of what the PM said, I suggest watching the broadcast to form your own thoughts. The media have their views on it, wide and varied, but have a look.
A note of caution, the PM has made his comments on behalf of the UK, I think. But then, Scotland and Wales – I’m not sure about Northern Ireland – have other thoughts on how to deal with lockdown just now. So, has the PM spoken for the U.K. or just England? I’ll let you decide.
Whilst your working through that, drop your mixture into a ‘loaf’ tin – which by the miracle of forethought you’ve already greased with butter and lined with some grease proof paper. Then pop that into the equally forethoughted (no such word) preheated over at gas mark 4 and walk away with your thoughts, forethoughts and after thoughts for 30 minutes.
This is the point at which you look out of the window and think – TV, walk, wine or a combination of the three? That’s lockdown for you. But, as a word of caution, if you’re looking out of the window at 7:00 am, I’d opt for the walk only.
Hopefully, our options will expand shortly but, again, at least we have options. In mainland Europe the chance to exercise outdoors has only recently been granted in some countries. I am so grateful for my daily walks. If only I could stop falling. Two falls in 4 days, bumped, grazed and twisted. However, the show must go on. Ringo needs his exercise and I’m glad I can oblige.
So, let’s see what happens next in which ever part of the globe you live. And whilst you wait for news, open up the oven door (after 30 minutes of baking) and bring out the banana cake. Once it’s cooled a bit, grab a slice, with a fresh brew of Yorkshire tea (it’s the best), and sit down. It could be a whole lot worse.
Thanks for joining me on another blog. It’s ended with us having a brew from the ground. Take care, stay safe.