Well, time is flying by and it is probably pretty much time to start painting the forth bridge again! The rain is dirty and the wind is bringing lots of Moroccan dust with it so I think we are set for another round of deep cleaning next week when it looks like the weather may perk up a little! It’s not that bad really, the rest of Spain has been suffering with torrential rain and flooding which on top of the restrictions must be really hard – we have just had a few slightly wetter days and should look on the positive side as it should mean that the reservoirs in Spain are filling up again… surprisingly they are still quite low despite the winter we have had!
The pollution levels are down and the wildlife are on line to take over the world again ….. its got to be a good thing, I can only hope that it will last when we finally get through this and things start going back to normal. Many cities have announced schemes to implement more cycle routes to encourage people to cycle to work rather than use their car and hopefully now that a far larger number of organisations have seen how their workforce can work remotely effectively, they will let them do so which will also reduce the traffic on the roads going forwards.
As it has been difficult to get hold of certain foods and people haven’t been able to get out to restaurants or order quite as many takeaways – perhaps people will have started to cook a little more and be creative with the ingredients they can get, producing less wastage… despite the disgusting initial huge quantity in the first couple of weeks of lockdown in the UK. The question is whether as a nation we will be eating healthier after this or whether we will have surrounded ourselves with an extra ‘layer of comfort’ around the waist…
No surprises to most, we have been cooking even more than normal if that is at all possible – looking for new recipes to try. It is fair to say that some have been more successful than others, but that is what its all about!
These last couple of weeks have seen a mixture of foods including the following new recipes
- Lentil and Sweet Potato Pate – quite filling but could also be used as a side dish
- Falafel and Pitta – great recipe, really simple and tasty
- Quiche – always delicious
- Gravaldax again… always a favourite
- Chick Pea and Vegetable Pate – quite a long process and initially not a favourite but it got better with time
- Squash, Brocolli, Lentil and Goats Cheese Bake (below left) – deliciously simple
- Lentil, Beetroot and Cod (above right) – very quick and tasty
- Lemony Prawn and Pea Risotto – which was so creamy and delicious
We also decided to help Pilar – the lady who runs the site we are on – celebrate her 60th birthday. Normally we would have gone out to celebrate but as we are in full lock down we thought it would be nice to give her something to take home and eat…she’s not a big cook but loves her food!
In good traditional British style we made her a big fish pie that she could heat in the oven and some baby Bakewell Tarts to go with a lovely bottle of Ribera del Duero wine…. I think it was a nice surprise! The bonus was that we got the big Bakewell that was ‘ahem’ a bi- product of the babies!!
Although the State of Alarm was extended for an additional 3 weeks and the ten days of ‘no non-essential work’ coming to an end following my last blog – nothing much else has changed here, the exercise routine is still the same and we are clocking up the miles by walking forwards and backwards next to the motorhome. We won’t actually know how to walk in a straight line for more than about 5 meters once this is all over, although we will be experts at walking backwards!
The police were out in force over Easter along with Army support – I even got stopped in the supermarket car park and asked where I was coming from – I was so taken aback by the question I said I was going back home. When they repeated the question and asked to see my proof of purchase – despite having a large, heavy rucksack on my back – I was a little surprised. Thankfully they didn’t ask me to empty the rucksack out as they would have probably argued that 4 bottles of wine weren’t actually essential foods…. the rest of the fruit and veg obviously would have been!
The police and army presence over Easter weekend was in place to stop the Madrilanean community coming to the coast to visit their ‘holiday’ homes. Despite the helicopters and roadblocks some still got through, although many were apparently given a large fine (something in the region of 1500 euro) and sent back to Madrid again.
So, although we are 35 days down we are hoping that there are only seven more days in the current state. We are being optimistic and although we fully expect the government to extend the state of alarm past the 26th April, we are hoping that they will announce a slight change to the restrictions, possibly allowing people to go out on their own for a little bit of exercise. We will however just have to wait and see and stick with our current routine for now!
For those of you haven’t seen, I have started a lockdown photo challenge for anyone who wants to join in – top of the page was the initial ‘Welcome’ photo, the above left is ‘Something beautiful from the Bathroom’ and above right, ‘Hardware’. Each day I post a challenge on facebook and I have been enjoying seeing everyone’s photos…. as well as having to think up something from around our ‘home’ too to fit in. If you want to join in, please feel free to do so – if we aren’t connected on facebook just drop me a note and I will add you.
I have also taken up my mothers challenge and started to do some writing again…. watch this space and I will see if I can pull together our travels through food into something that is worth publishing! Just a message for my mother….. you possibly should have kept quiet as you are going to be first on the list for proof reading!
For the first time in a few weeks we lost another Dutch van today, and tomorrow our close friends Tedo and Yvonne (also Dutch) are heading home too…. although completely unconnected – so we will be just eleven sitting it out…. tick tock, tick tock…..
Stay safe and stay home…. we will get through this!