Welcome to another Seasonal Digest! Reflection is an important part of life and in my effort to be self-aware and grateful, I will go through a summary of what’s been going on in my world season by season. This Seasonal Digest covers Spring 2020 from March to May. If you want to read more Digests, click here.
I never thought I would see so many zeroes in a season. I have been lucky enough to be to travel at all times of the year. Yet, here we are. The unthinkable is now so very much the reality. And what a strange thing to happen in the spring, as springtime often prompts the first travels of the year. The season was definitely a bit strange, but was also filled with some happy memories at home. Let’s see what I got up to!
Literally the Monday after I landed in London from Switzerland, I started my secondment at the largest law firm in the world. My first couple weeks were focused on settling in, getting to know the team, and also figuring out my commute! Victor managed to visit my new workplace neighbourhood to explore with me, but little did we know that this would be the last time I’d see the city during my secondment.
Our last “event” before lockdown was a concert. We went to see Anathema at The London Palladium in Soho. It’s a bit eerie to look back on these photos and think about how we had no idea what was to come. Regardless, the concert was great!
Our entire office was sent home on a Wednesday, and have been working from home ever since (even still at the time of writing this). At home, I had to set up my own home office which is quite a challenge in a small, London flat! My partner had to figure out his own work situation too, as he was sent home the day before and then was promptly furloughed two weeks later (I am happy to say he is back to work now).
While at home, we also tried to support as many local businesses as possible before they could no longer operate. We have a lovely cafe right across the street called Bake Street, serving delicious coffee and incredible baked goods (their lemon bar is the best). We also supported our favourite Vietnamese place, Hai Cafe.
Our last walk in our neighbourhood was a bit scary, but funnily enough we decided to no longer go out into the world the day before the UK announced lockdown measures.
Our first activities during lockdown included playing the Switch (a present from Christmas) and board games! We’re a big fan of games, and often visited our local gaming bar on weeknights, so I’m glad we could find some options at home. The Switch is the best thing ever, and I’m so glad we had it even before lockdown. I’ve been busy playing The Legend of Zela: Breath of the Wild and Animal Crossing: New Horizons, though I think I’m ready for a new game… any recommendations?
I also starting doing yoga, and can proudly say that I have done at least one yoga session every day since the beginning of lockdown. It has been an amazing journey, and I look forward to progressing my home practice.
Like perhaps everyone under lockdown, we jumped on the baking bandwagon. Previously, I often felt that baking was such a privilege. You have to have all sorts of baking tools to be able to bake, whether it’s a loaf pan, cookie sheets, a mixer, and all sorts of ingredients that you wouldn’t normally have! Well, we invested in some basics and proceeded to bake like crazy! We baked lots of treats, including granola, cookies, flan and lemon pound cake.
We also started making our own bread! Victor’s mission has been to bake a solid, delicious (and beautiful) sourdough loaf. He’s been tending to his starter for months — a fascinating activity for me to observe!
Sticking with food for a moment, we also signed up for a veggie and fruit delivery service. During the first month of lockdown we were really worried about obtaining fresh produce, so we decided to try Oddbox. They are a farm to table delivery service, their main mission being to reduce food waste. It’s a great initiative and we’ve decided to stick with them well past Covid!
To try and spend more time outside, we used the garden out back to enjoy some sunshine. We often had picnics, and even when we didn’t have a meal we would have tapas and beer. Access to this garden was seriously a lifesaver and many of my happy memories during this nightmarish time are in this lovely green space.
My parents, sympathetic of our situation in London, gave as a lovely gift: a fancy dinner to have at home! We decided to go for somewhere local, just in the neighbourhood next door. We went for OREN and wow, what a place! The food is absolutely scrumptious and felt like such an unusual treat. I can’t wait to be able to visit OREN in person because they definitely deserve tons of customers.
By the time May came around, I started to feel a bit trapped. While I know it’s such a privilege to stay home, work from home, and not be financially impacted by Covid, it still weighed on my personal wellbeing. As an explorer it has been incredibly challenging to find other activities to fill what felt like a black void. We coped by going on slightly longer walks, and also cooking up some really fun dishes like paella and fideua.
But, nonetheless, I was so incredibly excited when the government announced some loosening of the lockdown restrictions. We were granted permission to go outside as often as we like, and when outside we can do whatever as long as social distancing is maintained. This gave us the confidence to walk further than our 10 minutes radius around our flat
We ventured out to so many lovely places that we hadn’t quite realised were just 30 minutes away! We visited several of the marshes and wetlands of East London – the perfect place to visit in the spring. I’ll definitely put up a blog post sometime about this area because it’s simply so beautiful and deserves more widespread attention (though not too much, conservation-wise).
Needless to say, Spring 2020 was an odd one. I do hope the summertime will prove to be better, though I have everyone’s safety in mind. Here’s hoping we can turn the tide globally so we can venture out and explore more.
I’m really curious to know how you’ve been dealing with Covid — have you tried out new hobbies? Have you found any nice green spaces near you?