All that has changed, or at least it has in Chateau L. I suspect the gradual dwindling of anything interesting to eat last weekend has rather concentrated minds, and when lunch on Monday was plain rice and grated carrot we very nearly snapped. Another "meal" was a choice between either tuna or marmite sandwiches, both of which were refused by the children who instead made crisp sandwiches. No butter, that had run out.
Happily our delayed online shopping order finally arrived on Tuesday and we have food again. Praise be. But we are under no illusions that we will reach the same point again as it currently remains impossible to get another order booked in, and we are practising the kind of robust social distancing that definitely does not involve supermarkets. For now though meals are good again, and there is a convivial and light-hearted atmosphere around the family table. There is no shortage of wine thankfully, indeed it is flowing as it has never flowed before. Our pre-lockdown regime of alcohol-free weekdays has been quietly put to one side. Life is less straightforward than it used to be, and quite boring to boot, why deny ourselves something that so vastly improves the situation?
With so little to do I suppose you become more focused on the mundane and the routine, and what is more routine than lunch or dinner? We find ourselves milling around downstairs late morning, hanging around the kitchen early evening. The most apt comparison is probably prison. And perhaps for the first time we're not having seconds. For instance we would normally scoff a whole tray of lasagna, but this week we looked at what was left and realised that if saved until the following day then that was a tuna sandwich we didn't have to eat. Do that a just a couple of times and you have increased the days needed before you need to go shopping by one in the event that online deliveries continue to be unreliable. Do it a few more times and it will really make a difference, probably to our waistlines as well if we weren't drinking so much wine. However if this is the worst of it, we'll cope. I'm under no illusions here, we're just experiencing what plenty of households experience outside virus pandemics except with a well-stocked cellar to see us through.
Plenty of people I've talked to have noticed the same thing, a renewed focus on the basics of food and shelter. A colleague I talked to said he can't stop visiting the fridge during the day. I'm not sure if he meant to constantly eat some tidbit from it, or to look wistfully at its bare white shelves whilst recalling the good times. I could understand either way, this is what we are reduced to.
Anyhow, the happier news is that our last delivery contained some "Waitrose Essential" blood oranges. We have been saving these for a warm day like today, so in a moment I am going to go and make some Blood Orange Martinis - a recent discovery. Mrs L and I plan to consume in the sunshine and pretend that none of this is really happening. It's important to stay positive.