Slowly but surely we are seeing light at the end of this quarantine tunnel. The Belgian government announced its exit strategy, starting on 4 May. But until then: 7 things I did this week that were new or different, and made this lockdown a little easier. Hopefully they might have the same effect on you!
Monday: take your camera out for a walk
Monday was the last beautiful day in a long stretch of gorgeous weather. So I dragged my other half out of bed EARLY and headed out for a walk. I had been wanting to take my camera with me and try shooting manually a bit more rather than on automatic. Maybe that proved to be a bit ambitious, and I soon got discouraged (potentially also because there were a lot more people around and I felt very self-conscious). In any case I enjoyed the walk and maybe I’ll give it another go this week and try to not have such high expectations. [And yes, the date & time on the camera are incorrect.]
Tuesday: make your own sauerkraut
Bit of a random one: we had made an Asian-style salad during the weekend and had half a white cabbage left. I was a bit lost for inspiration on what to do with a white cabbage, and a Google search didn’t get me any closer to very appealing looking recipes. But then I remembered that a friend of mine had spoken about preserving different veggies. I messaged her and she kindly sent me a recipe to make sauerkraut (and advice on my pictures of the process). Surprisingly easy to do and at the same time avoiding food waste, so I was pretty pleased! Now we’re playing the waiting game, we’ll see how this turns out!
On Wednesday I had no meetings planned, so I wanted to use this occasion to be extra productive. Something I’ve tried out in the past is the Pomodoro Technique, where you break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks. A friend of mine shared an article recently that described the technique, but also this website that works as a timer. I gave it a try and it worked wonders! I was focused, finished a number of tasks that had been on my to-do list for a while and felt very content with my day’s work.
Thursday: accidental pastry day
This wasn’t something that was planned (hence accidental), but once we realised it made the day quite special. For breakfast we digged out some pain-au-chocolats from the freezer and let the oven work its magic. Then for lunch I made a tomato tart with blue cheese and chive (from the Everyday Veg cookbook) with some salad on the side. We had leftovers from the night before for dinner & to conclude our pastry day: chicken and asparagus pie. Honestly, I can only recommend it, haha!
Friday: Start the 30-day yoga journey with Adriene
I think Yoga with Adriene was one of my first activities in week 1. But this week, in the space of a day, I saw someone recommend her 30-day programme on LinkedIn, I read the Guardian longread on ‘How the YouTube star won lockdown‘ and chatted with one of my colleagues about her. One too many signs? With the start of another month approaching I decided that maybe this is the right time to give daily yoga a shot. So on Friday I rolled out my mat, floated over to YouTube and joined the hype (aptly named ‘Home’). Let’s see how many downward-facing dogs I can handle.
Saturday: queue in the rain
I didn’t really do anything special on Saturday: went to the supermarket, cleaned, cooked a nut roast and then had a Zoom call with friends. Joined by a nasty headache all day long, I didn’t feel like doing anything requiring a lot of focus. But then I realised something: it was the first time in all those weeks of lockdown that I went for a food shop, had to queue in a light rain and bike back in semi-torrential rain. We’ve been very lucky over here with the weather and that has made this time spent at home a lot easier – my mood is so much better when the sun is out than on dreary, grey and rainy days. So that realisation was very positive!
Sunday: write a letter
In the past weeks I’ve made cards and sent them out to friends and family. But what I haven’t done so far is write a letter. I used to write letters very often and I have lots of nice stationary, stickers and other paper goodies stashed away. So this was an excellent excuse to go and reacquaint myself with these treasures. I like the act of writing, because it makes you stop and reflect on how you are feeling and what you would like to share with someone else. So I’m excited to get back to it!
It’s weird how we’ve had more time without the commute, but time does seem to fly by. If all goes well I’ll be returning to the office in the week of 11 May, perhaps for a day. That also means that next week I’ll might write up my last quarantine post, so fingers crossed!
Want to read what I’ve been up to in the past 6 weeks? Have a look: