Cocooned from reality

At 7 this morning I was sitting on my balcony with a cup of hot ginger and lemon listening intently to the cacophony around me. The skies were quiet, the woodpeckers were pecking the pigeons cooing and a wonderful array of other birds were tweeting. One could be forgiven for believing that this was just a normal warm spring morning. The beauty of my garden in full blossom belies the reality of our situation. But I am grateful that for now, at least, I am safely cocooned in my home. Of course I am aware of the thousands of people who are sick, dieing or just in far less comfortable surroundings than I am. But I can’t do anything about this. I cannot control anything outside of my home which is why I am focusing my energies on controlling what is within my capacity. And that is my animals, my pilates, my mediation, this blog and my housekeeping.

I am so pleased you can’t see me right now because it is 12.30 and I am still in my pyjamas. I have, however, dusted downstairs, cleaned the toilets, sorted the fridge and tackled a cupboard. No point in doing too much as I have a good few months to go and I don’t want to be left with no cupboards to sort. Sorting them twice would be just too sad. Who would have thought that we would be saving jobs for later so we don’t get bored. Imagine saying to a friend, “Today I just cleaned the downstairs toilet because I want to save the upstairs one for tomorrow so I have something to do.” What a weird weird world we are now inhabiting.

I am now ready for my daily Pilates session. The big dilemma is do I do it with Lucy in Australia, Sylvia in Texas, Mandy in Canada, or a home grown Sue. They are pretty much interchangeable, all very fit, attractive and well groomed. How come there are no instructors that vaguely resemble me? I guess that would be a little off putting afterall we all need something to attain to. I will however, never be a size 10 with a flat stomach, perfectly shaped boobs and shiny hair.

I have learnt an important lesson – do not do meditation when you are hungry.

Last night before beginning day 3 of my mediation I put a potato in the oven (baked potatoes have become my staple diet) I was hungry and this was the easiest and quickest meal to make. There I was crossed legged on my cushions listening to Deepak and trying to focus on his message of Hope in Uncertain Times but try as I would, all I could focus on was my dinner. The smell of baked potato drifted seductively up the stairs.

My internal conversation went something like this:

“Focus on your breathing, what was the mantra Deepak said I should keep repeating if I have found myself drifting away from the meditation. Shree Keem Va or was it Kreem sheem Vo – oh fuck this just isn’t working. What shall I have on my potato tonight, cheese or tuna or some of that delicious wild garlic paste? I hope the oven is not too high and the potato gets burnt. Wonder if I should pop down stairs and check. Maybe if I try a few Oms I might get back into this. “

Suffice to say yesterday’s meditation was not a great success.

Today is just a short blog because time is running away with me I have to prepare for tonight’s virtual seder organised by my god daughter Sophie for around 35 of us.

Note to self: Do something radical with the face and hair. Because ‘other people will have to look at me!

Unlike Grandfather in yesterday’s blog who flung salt water at Grandmother, the Abramoffs, who hail from Uzbekistan have a tradition of hitting each other with spring onions!! I imagine there will be a few other Uzbekistan’s traditions on offer. Plus copious amount of wine or in my case whisky which is my preferred tipple.

“Let’s be careful out there”


Yesterday I was going to write about social distancing. Why some of us are having issues with complying with the government’s edit to stay at home. Indeed when walking my dog at 7.30  last night my local park was still full of people playing football and socialising.  But you might have noticed that no blog materialised.  That is because I got so bogged down with researching into the psychology of isolation and social distancing  that I went into a bit of a meltdown.  My way of coping with all of this is to not focus on the bigger picture. To take it day by day. Baby steps.  The bigger picture is too much for me to cope with especially as I am on my own.  But yesterday my research started to take me down routes that was definitely not good for my wellbeing, so I had to shut down. Instead I watched some mind-numbing television –  Instant Hotel escapist stuff  with beautiful landscapes about hotels in Australia.

Today, however is another day. And I am writing about Hope.    The inspirational Maya Angelou  said, “Hope and fear cannot occupy the same space. Invite one to stay.” So, I choose Hope.   Because there is no other option – it is what it is.   I think this has become my mantra over the last 3 years. And in this spirit last night I started a 30-day mediation course with Deepak Chopra. It was all going very well until Izzi, unsure of what was going on and why I was sitting cross legged, silently in the middle of the floor decided that I needed a good face licking. Things got worse when I began chanting – and Izzi not wanting to be left out, –  accompanied me with some ferocious barking.  Mo sauntered off in disgust. Maybe tonight  Izzi should stay in another room.

Today began with a 6.30 walk in the woods. And there in the middle of the wild garlic hung a rainbow. With a message that read, “Rainbows make you happy – have a good day.” In the spirit of Hope what a lovely way to start the day.  There is so much wild garlic at the moment that I couldn’t resist filling, yet another bag of this wonderful herb.  Chef son Jake told me to wizz it all up with some white vinegar and salt and it would keep well in the fridge. It is actually delicious and I used it as salad dressing for lunch. Quite proud of myself – I am becoming an accomplished cook.


Which is more than I can say for my housekeeping.  Remember the stories about the little house elves that used to arrive at night when you were asleep and clean your house – or were they fairies or  maybe they were The Borrowers? Whatever. I loved that family of tiny people who lived secretly in the walls and floors of an English house and had to “borrow” from the big people in order to survive.  But I digress whoever they are –  they are arriving at night when I am asleep and causing havoc. There is no other possible reason why I come down every morning to such a messy kitchen.   I am on my own, I cook for one person, so it is impossible that there are plates and pots and pans scattered around the kitchen.

house elves

Come on guys enough – tonight I am going to pretend to go to bed and then creep downstairs and catch you in the act.

Talking of housekeeping – I have another job ear marked for today. Cleaning up my emails.  I have 37,866 in my inbox and 14,902 of them are unread.  So, if I was to go through 250 a day, then in 140 days I would have been through them all. That’s 20 weeks which means that by the end of lock down I will have a clean inbox. Or not as they seem to multiply daily.  I keep unsubscribing but it is like The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, no matter how much I empty the inbox, they keep refilling.

I am off  now  for  Day 2 of Deepak Chopra’s meditation course. Need to keep the ‘Hope’ on course.

“Lets be safe out there”