Hi guys. I hope you're all safe and well. How is your pandemic going? (Oh God it's still going.)
Things are slightly different now to the way they were when I wrote my previous post. The death toll in the UK is now much higher at 46,500 (and in the world it's 728,000) but in the UK the daily death rate has slowed right down. It feels like we're now in control a bit more, even if local lockdowns in places around the UK have become a thing.
The world around me is opening up more. We can now go to shops and restaurants and pubs, and go on holiday, and visit people in their houses. I'm not working from home as much either. We're still not back to the way things were, but this whole new cautious way of life (washing and sanitising hands all the time; wearing face coverings; speaking to people from a 2m distance) is becoming kinda normal.
I had a birthday recently, so today I picked up my camera for the first time in months to show you what I got. Because I might have paused everything else during the pandemic, but thankfully birthdays are still a thing that happens.
Luckily I have formed a support bubble with my parents, which means that I can do things with them that I can't do with other people, like share cars and sit close together and HUG THEM. Let me tell you, when that relaxation of lockdown happened and I realised I could hug my parents again I burst into tears.
Even though you are allowed to take trains now, myself and my parents have been avoiding them for the most part. So when they came down to stay with me for my birthday, they drove down (thankfully it's not too long a journey for driving).
It was lovely to see them (only the second time I've seen them in person since the pandemic hit). We went for a walk in the park (in the pouring rain!) and ate fried chicken and watched "The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" (I had forgotten how good that film is). Necessarily, it was a smaller affair than normal (even if I keep my birthdays small anyway) but it was good.
Let's have some photos then, and pretend that this is a normal birthday post from a normal year.
Birthday cards. Not quite as many as normal, but did I mention that there was a pandemic on? Three of my cards had hand-drawn pictures on, by Alex and William and Rene, and most of the hand-drawn pictures were of cats (what can I say? These people know me).
Edible gifts. Here you see the largest box of chocolates known to man (which is no longer as full as it was when I received it). And a pack of Galaxy chocolate cookies, which I've never tried before but which look delicious. Not pictured: a really tasty lemon drizzle cake baked by my Mum (it was so good!) and fresh produce from my parents' garden, including courgettes, purple French beans, and tomatoes.
Toiletries. A really pretty rose-scented set from Marks and Spencer. It looks so luxurious! And I love the pink travel case that it comes in. The set includes talcum powder, which I haven't used in years (and was there some hoo-ha about it causing cancer?) Using it will make me feel like a child again (but I'll make sure not to use it in any areas that might lead to cancer, because smelling nice isn't worth that). And then a pack of mini hand-sanitisers. My God! I never thought I'd ask for hand-sanitisers as a gift, but here we are in 2020. I didn't have many hand-sanitisers that I could pop in my handbag to take out and about with me, so it's good to have some more.
In the other section we have a yoga mat. I've never been the sort of person to own a yoga mat before, but I started doing daily workouts while working from home and I really felt the lack of one. There's also a pretty Charles Rennie Mackintosh-ispired pen because working from home was making me use my own stationery a lot more. And "Simulation Theory" by Muse. I went on a huge Muse kick last year and the beginning of this year, because the use of one of their songs as the theme-tune for the excellent TV series "The Planets" reminded me that they existed. Listening to their stuff takes me right back to my teens; it's very nostalgic. As an aside, I love how all these gifts are purple; they match so well!
And that's it for this post. I hope you're all keeping well, and I'll see you... whenever I see you <3
Comment from: Emma Visitor
Interestingly, Feedly has stopped updating your blog feed for some reason. I had no idea you’d made these last two posts and wouldn’t have ever found out if I hadn’t randomly wandered past (I just wanted to look at That Cake again, I’m sorry). I’m going to have to try & find out what the problem is. That means I’m going to have to log into Feedly. That means I’m going to have to try to remember my Feedly login credentials. Sigh.
How is your pandemic going?
Well, currently, around a million US schoolchildren are afflicted with COVID because both state and local leadership are insisting on rearranging every deck chair on the Titanic. And we’ll be starting the “second wave” soon! People are dying in record numbers! Everything is very normal, obviously.
Let me tell you, when that relaxation of lockdown happened and I realised I could hug my parents again I burst into tears.
I recently moved back in with mine (for the 49th time) — because evidently this ish gonna last for at least another year before we get a functional & widely-distributed vaccine — and being able to, like, look at and converse with other humans on a daily basis has made a massive difference in my overall ability to retain mental stability. Very grateful for the existence of my parents right now. Thank you, parents. You’re a little annoying, but it’s very worth it. Also my cats are a lot happier & less fight-y.
Well. Pleasanter topics: Your birthday cards wall was as lovely and hygge as usual, I must say.
fresh produce from my parents’ garden
Oh, man. The quality of the already-bad produce in my local grocery stores has declined so much this year — understandably, of course. But I couldn’t even find a good watermelon this year!!!! Dire. You are a lucky person, here.
A really pretty rose-scented set from Marks and Spencer.
Looks gorgeous! And apparently talc can contain tiny amounts of natural asbestos, I guess. I still use talc-containing makeup myself, so I’m not super worried about it, but I suppose if you were dousing yourself with a giant cloud of it three or four times a day it might become a problem.
There’s also a pretty Charles Rennie Mackintosh-ispired pen because working from home was making me use my own stationery a lot more.
THIS PEN IS SO PRETTY I LOVE FANCY PENS
All your gifts look so lovely and functional and color-coordinated, it’s absolutely adorable. I really hope you had a good birthday despite the times. Happy (Late) Birthday, a million times, and many, many happy returns. Stay safe, and all the best!
Comment from: Member
Thank you for the birthday wishes! And OMG you wanted to look at The Cake again; that makes me so happy! (Sometimes I go back and look at it too, to remind myself that I achieved something this year.)
Reading over my post here, it’s so clear that the second wave was not on the horizon. Ugh. I wish we were still in a “things are getting better” stage right now. Oh well. At least we’ve been through it all before so we don’t have to deal with the culture shock part now.
I’m glad you were able to move back with your parents. This year has made me realise how important social interaction is. I have discovered that I don’t need loads, but I definitely need some!
Thanks for explaining about talc. I’m not using it excessively, so I should be fine. I actually really love that using it makes me smell of roses all day; I smell like a classy old lady, and I like that.