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LOCKDOWN! To achieve or not to achieve… that is the question

Garth re-reads classics with Roxy and Buddy.

BY Nerissa Card

With the majority of lockdownians, Garth and I have drawn up things-to-do lists. When lockdown is over, we will go back to them to see what we achieved. I suspect I am going to be the loser in this.

Mine goes something like this…

1 Start exercising. Ja, right. I promise to start exercising every month, but somehow I just can’t get off my butt and commit. When I do leap into this space I really enjoy it. It’s getting me off the couch or away from the computer that’s the problem.

2 Rearrange the furniture, AGAIN. Now this is something I am achieving right now. Sadly, it comes with the risk of divorce. I love rearranging the house, but it is an absolute no-no with Garth. He refuses point blank to help. I am in the process of rearranging the lounge right now, moving a very heavy piece of furniture. Garth? He has gone for an avi nap.

The pallet garden that awaits a tea makeover.

3 Use leftover tea to stain the pallet garden we recently constructed. I think I might get this together, too. After all, I can’t go out and buy paint and can’t see the point of wasting the tea I don’t use to water the pot plants.

4 Dop and dial. I have already made inroads here. I love nothing more than phoning mates I haven’t spoken to forever after I have had a whisky or two.

5 Learn to crochet on YouTube. I recently inherited all my gran’s knitting needles and crochet hooks. With winter coming it might be a good time to learn how to make slouch beanies, which I love. Just one issue here… I started knitting a scarf four years ago. I think it’s about 20cm long.

6 Retrieve Buddy the border collie’s toys from the roof. Tick! Did it yesterday.

7 Type out recipes I have taken screenshots of. Definitely achievable.

Finishing the scarf I started four years ago and learning to crochet are on the agenda.

8 Get last year’s tax documents in order. In our first year running The Meander Chronicle I was so good. Every month I went through the slips and bank statements, and filed them. I don’t know what happened this year because nothing happened.

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Right, let me hand over to Garth for his list, all of which is sure to be achieved because he is such an organised little Virgo bunny.

1 Gardening is a big one for me and, if I had my way, it would be a permanent job. There’s always loads to do, like preparing soil, weeding, getting your head into the more jungle-ish part of the veggie garden to see what’s actually working and failing, planting new seeds and seedlings according to season, turning the fresh produce into consumables, such as relishes etc etc etc. A specific aim in this regard is to get better at propagating succulents, which I love. Yes, wife, I am organised, and have already started this.

Gardening and more gardening is locked and loaded.

2 Compost: I love compost and, although a veggie gardening beginner, I am starting to make some promising inroads! Let’s get dirty!

3 New recipes. Here’s another one that is a passion that could easily become a permanent job. My favourite is anything Asian… veggie broths, noodle dishes, curries, salads… I also love getting creative with one-pot wonders. A few recipe books are providing inspiration right now: “East” by Meera Sodha, “Tastes of Africa” by Justice Kamanga and “Authentic Italian, Savouring the Recipes and Traditions of the World’s Favourite Cuisine”, published by Saveur Cooks (God bless the land of la dolce vita during this ghastly time).

Recipes books that are providing in The Meander Chronicle household.

4 Reread the classics. Here I have started by re-reading “Heart of Darkness” by Joseph Conrad… dark, creepy, mysterious, revealing. A brilliant, controversial book. Next up I plan to finally finish John Keay’s “India: A History”. If that all gets too intense, I’ll smash a Lee Child or Ian Rankin.

5 This one will please my darling isolation partner. I am going to refine, edit and expand on some cracking good Deezer playlists. Maybe a deep dive into Bluegrass and Blues.

6 Bond with my dogs… ongoing, I love my pampered pooches too much. Plan to spend more time chilling and playing with them, and doing lots of “Doga”!

Buddy and Leo sleep their way through lockdown.

Exercise: Yoga and a miniature running circuit with burpees, press-ups etc crucial to keep this mind intact for 21 days or more.


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