Saturday 12 September 2020

What did you achieve during Lockdown?

What did you achieved during Lockdown, Pam?  This is a question I’ve asked myself a lot, recently.  We've both worked throughout Lockdown so, at best, have regained a couple of hours a day from our commutes.  As you know, at the start of 2020, I set myself 20 separate challenges (updated below), but what have I actually achieved in the six months since we were all told to go home and put our lives on hold?

Here's what I have achieved during Lockdown:-

  • Knitted three jumpers and started my fourth.
  • Completed 109 days straight of Duolingo French and learned more in those 108 days than I did in 4 years of high school French.
  • Decreased my podcast queue from 357 to under 180, even though between 12 and 15 new podcasts are added each week by the podcasts to which I'm subscribed.
  • Become a runner again.  In July, I dusted off the Couch to 5K app and started running most mornings.  I've had to repeat a couple of weeks because I was really unfit, but that's OK.  I'm now running more than I'm walking, and I'm happy with that.
  • Published 9 recipes.  At the start of Lockdown, I set myself the goal of putting my cheapest recipes online, so that those struggling financially could find and use them.  While some of my recipes were already on the blog, I've added others that are really cheap to make.  There's also been a couple of cake recipes.
  • Finally finished the sock I started knitting in February and am part of the way through it's pair.
  • Grown and harvested 8 bulbs of garlic, 3.2kg of potatoes (with more to follow), multiple courgettes, a dozen pak choi, a forest of mutant carrots and a handful of broad beans.  (What can I say?  We planted out 6 broad bean plants but they just didn't deliver.)  There are still 5 heavily laden tomato plants to harvest - the tomatoes are only just starting to turn red - and, maybe, a dozen red or yellow peppers to follow.
  • Harvested two huge batches of rose hips and made 10 jars of Rose Hip Jelly.
  • Harvested enough sloes - 541g - to make one bottle of sloe gin.  These are from one bush from the tangle of plants at the end of the street, which fell over in August's high winds but has managed to stay alive.  Until it collapsed onto the pavement, I never knew it was there.
Yes, there are things I’ve missed due to Lockdown: choir, meeting friends face to face, attending live sporting matches, the Osterley Park Farm Shop (closed due to Lockdown), the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, the sheer joy of just driving off into the sunrise and visiting new places...  But we’re healthy and solvent and happy, and that’s the best I can ask for right now.

Regarding my 20-in-2020 Goals, here’s the Sit-Rep:-

  1. Knit 20 balls of yarn (that's between 3 & 5 jumpers worth). 28/20 - I finished the jumper I was knitting (5 balls), completed the next one (finished on 13 balls), finished the third (8 balls), commenced the fourth (1 ball) and lined up the fifth.  Sadly, I have still only clocked up one complete pair of socks this year (ending a ball of yarn in the process).   
  2. 20 minutes a day learning French (via Duolingo and TinyCards) for 20 weeks. 16/20 weeks.
  3. 20 minutes exercise a day for 20 weeks. Walking 22 weeks, weight training 5 weeks, running 8 weeks.
  4. Read 20 books. 6/20.  These are listed In the sidebar on the right..
  5. Try 20 new dinner recipes.  5/20.  I am a cook!  How can this be so difficult to achieve?  I’ve made Chicken a la King, a chicken tray bake from New Idea and Lidl’s Mediterranean Meatball Bake, Slow-cooker barbecued pork, Lamb Moussaka. 
  6. 20 gardening sessions.   10 proper ones so far plus a couple of minutes mucking around with seeds.
  7. Explore 20 new places 1/20 - the cathedral at Bayeux.
  8. Attend 20 "shows" (concerts/plays/films/BBC recordings/exhibitions) 3/20 - Frank Skinner’s “Showbiz”.  The News Quiz.  The Troy exhibition at the British Museum.
  9. Do the 2020 Fashion On The Ration Challenge and keep within the coupon count. 40/66 coupons used.  These are listed in the sidebar on the right.
  10. Phone family/friends to chat 20 times (I'm hopeless on the phone). 14/20.
  11. Lose 20lbs.  8/20.  (To be honest, I’m just glad I haven’t put any weight on given the “Covid Calories” everyone is eating.)
  12. Mend 20 items of clothing (yes, that includes sewing on buttons and taking up hems) 3/20 - hemmed trousers from a suit purchased in 2018 (I’d only worn the skirt and jacket, not the trousers).  Mended the pockets of a different suit jacket, bringing that suit back into rotation.  Repaired the pockets on DH’s shorts.
  13. Declutter 20 items.
  14. Run 20 miles (but not all at once) 1 mile (started running again on 13.7.20 - doing couch-to-5K).
  15. Save 20 x £20 out of my “allowance”(£400) £400/£400
  16. Make 20 site visits for work, earning mileage 20 times (it goes to the car fund).  29/20.  
  17. Write 20 blog posts.  24/20 
  18. Log 10,000 steps on my Fitbit on 20 or more days (harder to do than it sounds).  20/20:  11.1.20 10505 steps, 22.2.20 10603 steps, 7.3.20 13527 steps, 21.4.20 10524 steps, 3.5.20 11,196 steps, 4.5.20 13,956 steps, 17.5.20 14,066 steps, 18.5.20 15,046 steps, 19.5.20 11,567 steps, 30.5.10 10,079 steps, 31.5.20 11,160 steps, 13.7.20 11.287 steps, 18.7.20 15,001 steps, 20.7.20 10,005 steps,  22.7.20 14,830 steps, 16.8.20 10,954 steps, 17.8.20 10,952 steps, 24.8.20 11,823 steps, 26.8.20 11,402 steps, 2.9.20 10,757 steps,  7.9.20 10,714 steps.
  19. Have a party in the summer and invite at least 20 friends.  Do singing exercises for 20 weeks to rebuild my voice. 2/20.
  20. Watch at least 20 programs that have been on the DVR since 2018.  11/20.
How about you?  What did you achieve during Lockdown?

- Pam