Lockdown life – part 2

Lockdown Day 8 – I’m baaaaaack!

‘Fake it till you make it’ is one of life’s great mantras. It can be used in many settings and for many reasons. Today I’m adopting faking happy until the happy flows. This should be at 5pm coinciding with the flow of a glass of wine.

Last night we visited Australia, the country known for oversized things. Among others it’s home to the big banana, large lobster, massive merino, inflated cricket team, huge pineapple and colossal prawn (can you spot which one I slipped in there to irk my Australian friends?). Our menu last night fitted this theme, we had fucking enormous chicken parmy’s. A bit of a fail on my part. I should have sliced the breast in half and then pounded, instead I just pounded the breasts whole. I then dipped them in seasoned flour, egg wash and finally a panko and parmesan crumb. After frying till golden I put the massive mammaries in a baking dish, smothered them with passata and topped with every type of cheese in our fridge. We did not go hungry!

A couple of episodes of Modern Family helped to lift my mood as did a fairly good nights sleep. As I lounged in bed this morning dozing between the hours of 6am and 8.30am. I have discovered the pattern of my moods. With a sample day of one I realised that the day I spread my legs was the day I was happiest. I set off on my walk determined to safely spread my way back to my former happy state. I worked on my #spreadelfie (Spread/Selfie – I’m copyrighting it) technique which provided better results and less shots of cellulite. Leaving the shorts at home helped too.

I present to you my modern art piece, a tour of ‘Devonport Through My Legs’. Enjoy!

1/ The Esplanade Hotel 2/ Auckland skyline 3/ William C Daldy 4/ The best cricket club in NZ (North Shore) 5/ McHughs 6/ Rangitoto 7/ Iconic Cheltenham coloured flats (flats through flaps if you like)

Please reciprocate by posting a #spreadelfie of a site close to you so we can ‘spread’ the love.

I put in another solid 23 minutes of frenetic housework this afternoon and did some more work. Murray is in charge of dinner tonight. He’s taking us to America… One hour to go until I see if my faking it till I make it has paid off… tune in tomorrow…

Lockdown Day 9

Short and sweet today. We went to the USA last night with hamburgers, although, with their German roots I’m not so sure… Off for a walk this morning and for the rest of the day I’ve been on a virtual course about social media. My brain is very tired now! So less talking and more visual today. Photos of somewhere I don’t walk to often, Fort Takapuna.


Lockdown Day 10

The things that make you go hmmmm edition.

Last night we went to Greece with gyros on the menu. A bit more Modern Family and then a good night’s sleep. This morning started with the usual work then a walk. On my walk there were some things that made me go hmmmm.

The first was this work on the footpath.

This tree is a stunning protected tree. Its roots obviously need some more room to grow, hence the footpath being thinned. What made me go hmmmm was wondering how this was going to end? Are we going to have to walk onto the road one day in the future so the tree can keep growing? Hmmmm.

A quick #spreadelfie for health in front of the historic gas light on King Edward Parade.

The next thing that made me go hmmmmm was the playground being locked up but the lurid orange scooters being allowed to remain littering our footpaths. Hmmmmm.

I made a quick trip to the supermarket for a few essential items. Overall it was well stocked apart from a couple of exceptions. Flour and wine… It seems Devonport are all baking and boozing… hmmmmm…

Today I created my first ever Tik Tok account, this made me go hmmmm, and WTF. This account is for the cricket club and to connect with the kids. It’s been a busy I.T. day, I also had an hours mentoring session to help me with my website. There will be a big reveal when I have it sorted. Time to tune in for the 3pm announcement. No huge surprise that Auckland isn’t moving out of level 4 on Tuesday but the likely two more weeks, that made me go hmmmmm. TWO MORE WEEKS IN LOCKDOWN. There are 195 countries in the world but I’m not sure I’ll have the will to cook from all of them. Bummer!


Lockdown Day 11

Things that make you go ouch.

Last night we went to Japan with chicken katsu, delicious. Afterwards we had a heated game of Trivial Pursuit which ended in both victory and disaster. More on that later.

On Monday morning as I was heading downstairs to go out for my walk I sprained a calf muscle. I wasn’t running. I wasn’t jumping. I wasn’t doing anything I don’t do 10 other times a day. My calf muscle just decided on this particular day that it would lose the will to contract without sending me into a spasm of pain. My children mocked me mercilessly about how old and pathetic I am. I defended myself to the best of my ability, that ability being limited as I couldn’t actually chase them to whack them. Back to last night’s Trivial Pursuit. We played in pairs. My partner seemed hell bent on us losing.

No matter how many times we got the sport question wrong he insisted that we try again, and again, and again, and again, and again. As we fell further and further behind. My team mate insisted that perseverance was the key. During this long, long, long time of landing on orange, being asked a question, getting it wrong, waiting for our turn, landing on orange etc… I decided to jump up to refill my drink.

I sprung off the floor like a supple 35 year old, bouncing to my feet and turning towards the kitchen in one seamless move. Here’s where things went slightly astray. Distracted by kicking the empty game box with my right foot I momentarily lost my bearings. My left foot, the toe next to the little toe specifically, connected solidly with the heavy leg of the couch. After swearing loudly I hobbled to the kitchen to complete my task.

By some miracle we got the next orange question right. We then hit somewhat of a run to eventually seal victory. The final question was a blinder of an answer by my team mate to correctly identify the first line of the national anthem of Swaziland. Are you smarter than a 16 year old? I’m not!

I headed off to bed content in our victory. Throughout the night the blanket hitting my toe would wake me up but this morning while my foot was sore I felt I could attempt a walk. I like to walk clean so I had a shower first. During the process of drying my feet, between the sore toe and the next toe, I heard a loud crack and felt a pain severe enough to bring tears to my eyes. So much so I aborted my walk and headed to the local medical centre instead.

Diagnosis… broken toe. Fuck! I’m now in a sexy shoe and taking drugs which I’ll supplement with gin later. In better news, the #spreadelfie is taking off.

Eat-Sleep-Repeat (apart from the breaking bones bit)

Lockdown Day 12

As I’m a bit confined to the house today it seemed a good day to do some work on my website, write my first blog post. Be kind, it’s the first website I’ve ever built! You can check it out HERE


Lockdown Day 13

Last night we visited South Africa with a bobotie. I’d never heard of it before I googled ‘what do South African’s cook with mince’ but it was delicious, if I do say so myself. It’s a curried cottage pie but with a savoury custard on the top instead of potato. This was the recipe I used if you’re looking for a fun way to jazz up your mince HERE

Cooking a dish from Africa took me on a trip down memory lane. After completing the summer of ’95 working for Contiki in their chateau in France, where we’d saved as many of our hard earned pounds as possible, Mo, Lisa, Bron and I had a bunch of jabs (although for one person not quite enough), loaded up our backpacks with antimalarial pills, water purifying tablets and mosquito nets and flew to Nairobi. We were blissfully unaware of the challenge that travelling Africa in an overland truck with a driver/guide called Dodgy Ron, would present but were youthful enough to roll with it and, somehow, survive it.

The members of the tour were split into teams of four and a roster created. Each team was rostered on to have a turn cooking. Cooking consisted of being in charge of building and maintaining the fire, sourcing food for the group from a fund collected at the beginning of the trip and cooking the meal. At one particular stop, in Malawi from memory, Lisa, Bron, Mo and I were in charge of cooking. Given that three of us had experience in cooking for much larger groups we felt confident in our ability to nail this.

We headed off into the area surrounding our camp to try and source food. One vendor said he had chicken. ‘CHICKEN!’ we exclaimed with excitement. It was quite hard to source meat so our diet was mainly vegetarian. How popular would we be if we provided a chicken feast? The vendor disappeared out of his rickety stall. When he returned he presented us with the chicken. It did not come out on a handy tray, wrapped in plastic and with a barcode. Instead it was held upside down by its feet flapping and squawking at the indignity. We politely declined the chicken and opted for carrots instead.

One thing we hadn’t factored into our confidence about cooking was the readily available and super cheap Malawi cobs. After sourcing the food for dinner we split into pairs for the afternoon and didn’t communicate. Each pair decided to partake in some of the local specialties (Malawi Cob). It wasn’t until the four of us reconvened to start the fire we realised that we were all equally narcotized. We eventually managed to get a dinner prepared but spent quite long periods of time hypnotically staring at the fire and laughing at absolutely nothing in the process.

The trip was epic. I think I’m one of the few people to leave Africa having gained a ton of weight after a month in Cape Town eating everything not tied down. This trip down memory lane also made me think about health. We encountered water contaminated with cholera, mosquitos carrying malaria were everywhere and food had to be washed thoroughly to avoid Hep A. The side effects of the malaria medication were fairly alarming. While some people had amazing dreams, my tent-mate dreamed of murdering people. I can’t blame her after I had a nasty bout of something gastric in Malawi and lost control of something you never want to lose control of in a sleeping bag, inside a tent, in 30 plus degrees. I’d have wanted to knock me off too. Despite best efforts one of our band who had unfortunately missed getting the Hep A shot caught the disease. She had to leave Cape Town early to head home and recover and lose her yellow tinge.

I wondered if my memories were correct. Here are a couple of comments some friends made on the post on FB that made me chortle. 26 years on we are all mature and responsible adults… promise.

Fabulous trip down memory lane Gillian. How we survived that trip is astonishing and survived a PADI diving course in Lake Malawi! Think your gastric issues struck in a wetsuit during that too. The dodgy as fuck ferry back from Zanzibar, the machetes coming out when Mo and I were shopping, the borders with guns and Ron chucking what the guards wanted on the ground, we were so high we could not even blink, but hey my memory might not be accurate, 🤣🤣🤣

Lisa 2021

The Best of Times – too high to blink indeed.. remember the trip towards (Namib?) border when we tried to get rid of as much evidence as we could as quickly as we could & then the bloody truck got another burst-out.., & when we all got out to change the tyre half of us could not even make it down the steps & the rest of us could only stare around us like zombies.

Craig 2021

This morning after taking an inside #spreadelfie at home I went out for a slow, short walk before hitting the keyboard to do some work and zoom meetings. I had an epiphany later in the day. What I need is a scooter. That way I can rest my sore foot on the scooter and scoot with my other foot so I can go a little further afield on my mental health walks. Thanks neighbours for the loan of the groovy coloured beast.

More work this afternoon in preparation for a board meeting tonight after we visit Germany for dinner.


Published by Gillian Scott Creative

Adding colour and humour from the mundane around us.

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