In some ways I was disappointed when Celia didn’t carry out her threat to scream. Maybe it was because we were pounding the streets, not in the field which was where she said she needed to be to make loud her frustration about being once more in lockdown. Is it the third or fourth lockdown? I’m losing count. It’s supposed to be like the first lockdown, except of course it’s not because now we are much more familiar with the whole thing; our habits established back in March have for many of us remained largely unchanged. The shops have got their one way systems, sanitiser gel, perspex shields in place; the lines on the pavement which began to disappear at the end of autumn reminding us to keep two metres apart have been renewed.
In anticipation of the news I began a jigsaw. Whatever gene those who felt the first lockdown was not only the perfect opportunity to sort out their cupboards but actually did sort them have, I am missing it. Lockdown induces a kind of paralysis in me. I can walk, shop for neighbours, do jigsaws, cook, take photographs, keep this online diary, but it has a time standing still quality I struggle to get over. I was relieved when Reinhild, who I met by chance today, said her cupboards have remained similarly unsorted, but Mark, aka Mr Reinhild, was busy disposing of their Christmas tree.
Veganuary is upon us. My email inbox contained a number of messages on the subject. All promising recipes and vegan experiences where I wouldn’t miss meat. They completely miss the point that I don’t miss meat at all. I don’t like meat. It is not a sacrifice not to eat it. The underlying premise in all of them was that meat tastes best and that successful vegan cooking means finding ways of tricking your nose and tastebuds into thinking it’s meat in your meal. I don’t know how we get passed this, but I do find it very irritating. Octavia, with whom in more social times I would share a meal once a week, is a dedicated meat eater, but she does not turn up her nose at vegan food that has no pretensions to be anything other than what it is. It is possible to enjoy it whatever you main dietary preferences are.
When people take up vaping to give up smoking the aim is generally to wean themselves off nicotine and in time they won’t need to vape either. If you give up meat for health or ethical reasons it makes sense that you will look for vegan and vegetarian foods that help you make the transition. Maybe you’ll even return to them once in a while, but surely at some point you’d hope to move forward to a new way of enjoying your food and just as smoking a cigarette would repel you so would eating meat. I used to smoke. The very idea now seems not only nonsensical but also repugnant. I find it hard to believe I actually enjoyed cigarettes. Yuk. Celia doesn’t feel the same. Also an ex-smoker she says if it turned out the science was all wrong and smoking was not harmful she’d happily go back to it.
The weather is grey and cold. Reinhild tells me snow is anticipated. I don’t think I’ll be tempted to go out more than the government advises. I have at least two more jigsaws I can do, and who knows, maybe I’ll even sort out a cupboard. MasterB would be sure to help.
Stay safe. Keep well.