You may have seen the Middle Class Lockdown Bingo that was circulating on Twitter a couple of weeks ago. We can tick off quite a few over here, although Jonny’s sourdough starter has been going since 2015 so is not a lockdown innovation (I think he would want me to make that clear!) We didn’t anticipate the rush on flour and had a couple of weeks of making do, but now he has a supply of flour he is back into the rhythm of making bread.
And I have been doing creative and crafty things. My mum gave me wool and a pattern for Christmas 2018. I finished knitting the cardigan last November on our train trip back from the south of France, and have finally sewn it up in these lockdown days. I’ve made linocut cards to send to people, and have been whittling a spoon – with only a few cuts to my fingers to show for both of those. I’ve made Lockdown Marmalade from Seville oranges discovered at the bottom of the freezer when I defrosted it, and homemade biscuits for cheese because we ran out. I have made more cakes since lockdown began – lemon and raisin bars, carrot cake flapjack, cardamon and lemon drizzle cake, giving some to the neighbours to stop me eating it all. I’ve dug the plum tree patch at the allotment, ably helped by Mike on different days to me, and have planted flower seeds sent by Sonia which I hope will fill it with colour in the next couple of months. I am a lockdown cliche.
I’m aware of how privileged that makes me. We are both working from home, exercising every day and eating well. We have a garden we can sit in and an allotment to dig. This pandemic has brought into stark focus the inequalities in our society. My friend, who is an asylum seeker, wrote about her experience of lockdown which is so different to mine. Feeling guilty helps no-one. Lots of people are talking about what the new normal might look like when this pandemic is over, from food habits to the use of technology. My vote is for greater equality across society, justice for my friend and those whose lives are left in limbo by our asylum system and generous resources for the key workers we are now so dependent on.