Cinderella kept her glass slipper

We might not be in Amsterdam at the moment but our tulips are starting to appear. Okay not the big fields of colour that we were looking forward to but, tulips nonetheless.

Oddly Lilliputian tulips

I started the day doing a bit of research. While working I had an email from Phil at the Surrey History Centre. It was regarding the research I’m doing. At the same time, he included a link to a new section that’s been added to the Surrey website. It gives Surrey residents an opportunity to describe their experiences of the virus lockdown. The idea is to create a historical resource of how Surrey residents survived isolation.

The link is here. The site gives a much better explanation of what they’re after. I’m going to add some of my own coping mechanisms eventually.

Obviously one of my coping mechanisms is to accompany Mirinda on her daily walk. It’s really more for her sake given her need for freedom.

I think that’s possibly one of the hardest things to cope with in lockdown. The reduction of personal freedom. It might be a first world problem, I don’t know, but it does feel very alien.

Today’s walk was the complete opposite of being boxed in. We went to Crondall to walk the fields in reverse.

As you can see, the weather continues perfect

Though devoid of crowds, the fields were full of skylarks, tweeting and rising, flapping away feverishly. It was amazing. And so quiet. Well, apart from the tweeting skylarks.

And the air smelled so sweet and fresh. The light even seemed clearer and brighter. It was probably my imagination but the few people we passed (at at least two metres) seemed happier and friendlier than normal.

Perhaps this awful plague will make us all nicer to each other. I have noticed a change in strangers in the park when walking to the shops. Of course, there’ll always be miserable old grumps who want to keep to themselves but I think the virus might have taken a lot of them because generally people seem genuinely friendlier.

And people are developing new ways of entertaining. Like we recorded the Talking Newspaper yesterday, places like the Hospital Club are live streaming already organised presentations. Today Mirinda booked into one one regarding website design. Tomorrow we are going to listen to a live concert by Hannah Scott on Instagram then Monday will be a stream from the National Theatre of a play.

While Mirinda enjoyed the talk, the dogs loved the walk more. Possibly even more than us as they dashed about not observing social distancing at all.

As we left Crondall, I noticed that some princess had lost her jewelled tiara and a kind person had placed it helpfully on a post. Now all little girls will have to try it one before the real princess is found.

Back at home I set to making a three course dinner to make up for the fact that we weren’t dining in Amsterdam.

I started with scallops, fried in butter with coriander, lemon juice and pistachios. Main course was venison steaks in a blueberry and tomato reduction accompanied by griddled veg. For dessert (yes, it was a carb meal) I made plum puffs. I used to make them regularly but not for ages. I haven’t forgotten how though. They were very nice.

Plum puff with a dash of double cream

The whole meal was a delicious success.

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