Apart from one very regrettable incident (which if only I had been more careful would not have happened) it has been a quiet week. We are finding it hard to think of ourselves being classed as vulnerable old people as we are both fit and well. We would love to be able to give other people a hand with their shopping or whatever else needs doing. But we know we must stay put and we are also doing our best to keep positive, so our children won’t have the added stress of having to worry about us.
I love to be out and about while my partner is content to sit down and while away the day on his laptop and doing some gardening at home. But thanks to social media I haven’t felt lonely. Facebook friends are posting endless positive and cheery messages and poems. My sister in law (who I would swear has never touched a football in her life until now) posted a video of her grandson (who is in her bubble) and herself kicking one around in her hallway. She’s such a good sport!
My other sister in law decided against posting a video of herself and her husband lying side by side on a mat doing their daily online Pilates session. As they have a combined age of 143 years, she decided it would not be visually pleasing.
The aforementioned very regrettable incident happened early in the week. I wanted to cheer up our 92-year-old neighbour who is confined to her own bubble. Although her children have organised food to be delivered and some-one comes in several times a week to help she gets lonely and doesn’t quite understand why she has to stay at home.
So, I planned a sweet treat for her afternoon tea and baked my “heavenly fruitcake”. This cake is a chocoholic’s dream as apart from the dried fruit it contains a king-size block of Whittaker’s hazelnut chocolate as well as two cups of coffee. For good measure, I added a splash of Grand Marnier.
After a lot of handwashing and wiping the container down with antibacterial wipes I delivered some slices of cake to her front doorstep. I stood well back so as to keep the required social distance and shouted loudly (because she is quite deaf, and her hearing aids don’t always work too well). It took a while for her to emerge but I could tell by the big smile on her face that she was absolutely delighted.
When I got back home, I discovered I had inadvertently left the door of our spare room open, where I had hidden the rest of the cake, and our Labrador Abby had sniffed it out and demolished it. Did she look apologetic, no not at all! I will admit that a few expletives flew out of my mouth which I will not repeat here.
My partner (the retired vet) reminded me that both chocolate and coffee are toxic for dogs. Especially old ones and those who have pre-existing heart conditions can get very seriously ill or even die from eating such a large quantity. As she is a large dog, middle-aged and fit, we were hopeful that our beloved pet would make a full recovery.
She was lethargic and her heart rate went up but thankfully after a few anxious days, she perked up and is now back to her enthusiastic tail-wagging self. I have learnt my lesson! As it was such a very stressful experience I was moved to eat the last chocolate bar in our pantry so our dog is presently safe from further temptation.
Being able to order our grocery items online has been a blessing. They have run out of flour which has put a temporary stop to my baking therapy. But we are not complaining, we have plenty to eat.
As the sun has been out again this week it has been great to go out walking, counting the ever-increasing teddy bears in the windows of our neighbourhood and saying a cheery hello to other walkers from a safe distance. We are looking forward to an (albeit a chocolate-free) Easter this coming weekend.
Reviews by Lyn Potter
Parent and grandparent, Avid traveler, writer & passionate home cook