Lockdown Lamentations: Love in the Time of Coronavirus

Hi, we’re Beatrix and Becky, back again with more Lockdown Lamentations to entertain family and friends and, with love as this week’s theme, remind them that we love them.

Artwork by Jamie Li. See more of her amazing creations on her website or Instagram.

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

During the first lockdown, Rebecca and some friends & family put on a play about lockdown life, performed over Zoom. It helped us stay sane in difficult times, and it has been great to hear people’s reactions. Thank you for watching – I really hope you enjoy it!

Lockdown fun

We’ll be constantly adding to our list of lockdown activities, and welcome all suggestions. 

Featured activities this week:

1. Jigsaw puzzles (from Beatrix)

Thinking back to childhood, much of my leisure time was spent doing puzzles. The enjoyment came not only from the achievement of its completion, but also because this was an activity that could be done together without anyone feeling left out.

A quick Google of how the jigsaw came about landed me onto the Wikipedia page where apparently there are online jigsaw websites! Here are some of them: Jigsaw PlanetThe Jigsaw PuzzleOnline JigsawsJigsaw Explorer. Obviously, there are limitations as they aren’t a physical puzzle but still something fun for free.

As nights draw in and I am faced with anxiety of going out alone in the dark, it’s been a real treat to re-discover the love of jigsaw puzzles. One was duly found earlier in the week in the depths of the loft, and here’s mine in progress.

I must admit, my feeble attempts are not exactly going transform everyone into puzzle enthusiasts, but the man in this video will certainly inspire!

2. Zoom dating (from Becky)

Did you know that Tinder recorded 3 billion swipes in a single day during the first lockdown?

The quest for love needn’t stop because of covid. You can use the same dating apps as before lockdown, chat by text in the same way, and then have your first date on a video platform such as Zoom. It’s just like normal dating, but if things are going badly you can drop the call and plead a dodgy internet connection.

Hinge seems popular, and is more selective than Tinder. It focusses on people in your social network, starting with friends of friends (as determined by Facebook). What could be less weird than going on a date with someone and discovering they’ve already dated someone you know, or is a friend’s sibling?

Good luck on your hunt for love in the time of coronavirus! And send us your stories of success and failure.

Beautiful pets

Speaking of love, here are some much-loved pets: Whisper the guinea pig and Albus the dog!

Property highlights

This week’s property highlights are a result of the imagination gone wild. For the average person, there’s no real chance of owning any of these given the eye-watering prices, but it’s still acceptable to look and dream right?!

For dreaming about one’s own Pemberley, Lyme Park may not be for sale, but Hackwood Park might be the next best thing. Set in a 260-acre estate, one can just dream about Mr Darcy diving into the pond.

Or if the thought of being in England over winter feels too much, Blue Island or Bird Cay, both private islands in the Bahamas, might be the solution. Perfect for those urges for tropical sunshine, crystal clear blue waters, and a round of golf.

For times when a little solitude is needed, then Hacienda Pucheguin in Chile with 248,000 acres of nature to explore might just hit the spot.

How to be at Home

A beautiful poem about ways to survive and embrace the emotions that come with lockdown.

Beatrix’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s…

Back in the day when commuting on the train was still the done thing, there would be days where one would resort to intentionally rolling off the side of the bed as a method of getting up in the morning. Every moment I could spend under the warmth of the duvet was worth all the bruises I acquired. So naturally, breakfast on those days didn’t get a look in. 

Those days firmly behind me, and without a hefty commute each day, I have oodles of time to create breakfast masterpieces, like the £22,000 breakfast croissant created by Chambord for the opening of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, or the £150 bacon sandwich served at Tangleberry’s in Cheltenham.

Well, those examples are a bit of an exaggeration, but images nearly as lavish were whizzing through my head of all the breakfast possibilities. My imagination, however, was definitely more sophisticated than my cooking skills, and soon I was feeling defeated because my breakfasts were not living up to the standards of social media. All that stressing was detracting from the fact that making and eating breakfast everyday was a step in the right direction for both mental and physical wellbeing. 

As we’ve all been told before, breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day. Loving ourselves means taking care in all aspects of life. For some this will be savoury, maybe toast with bacon and eggs, for others it may be pancakes with berries and syrup. What’s important is to appreciate the time we have in the mornings which was previously spent standing on a packed train with hunger pangs.

If anyone is interested in something slightly different to toast and cereal for breakfast, why not try making some pancakes. The ones in the photo are from a Jamie Oliver television programme.

This is how I made them: – I used an average sized mug as my unit of measure.

Measure 1 mug of self raising flour, 1 mug of milk, 1 large free range egg and a pinch of salt and place into a measuring jug. Using a fork, mix/ whisk until a smooth batter is formed. Put the mixture in the fridge to rest for a bit. (Jamie Oliver said the batter can be made the night before so ready for the morning! I was not that organised so mine went in the fridge for around 30mins.)

Heat a frying pan on medium heat. Add a bit of oil, then pour a small amount of batter into the frying pan. After a minute or so, little bubbles appear on the surface, then flip and cook for another minute or 2 on the other side. This yielded a total of 8 fluffy heart shaped pancakes.

If my description from watching the TV earlier last week isn’t precise enough, then here’s an actual Jamie Oliver recipe to follow: One-cup pancakes with blueberries.

Art and craft

Lockdown has been a very creative time for many – please send us your creations to showcase, and get in touch if you’d like to join a creative Zoom session. This week’s masterpiece is from Emily Symmons.

Latin riddles in the time of coronavirus

Musical compositions by Ed Nesbit.

Events to join online

The Challenge of Learning – the event of the year for Becky and her colleagues

Making Wellbeing the Goal

Interesting links

Over the week we’ve collected links that have touched us or amused us, with the help of our friends.

With failure comes opportunity – article by Becky

Explaining Humans – Neurodiverse scientist’s ‘instruction manual for humans’ wins the 2020 Royal Society Science Book Prize

Victoria Wood on the theme of love

If things are too much…

Most people have had low moments during 2020, and when we don’t see people it can be much harder to tell when someone is in need of support. We therefore hope you will feel able to reach out to friends (whether or not they are us) to help you through. Sometimes, however, the solution may be different, so we have put together some links that might help.

Mind – offers mental health information & support, and a helpline.

CALM – offers accredited, confidential and free support to men anywhere in the UK through a helpline or webchat service.

agenda – a charity supporting women’s mental health, with a particular focus on vulnerable women.

Young Minds – run a free confidential helpline for parents / carers if they are worried about a child or young person.

time to change – a charity working to end mental health discrimination. It has some valuable tips for checking in on people, which is so important while we are apart.

Artwork by Jamie Li. See more of her amazing creations on her website or Instagram.