8 March 2021

Bubble

Britain's COVID guidance allows two households to form a support bubble when, for example, a new baby has arrived in one's family. Consequently, since Baby Phoebe arrived in our lives there has been much to-ing and fro-ing between our house and Frances and Stewart's house - perfectly legitimately. They live a mile away from us.

I don't know about you but for us the preparation and consumption of nice meals has been one of things that has kept us going during these difficult times. For the past seven weeks, Frances and Stewart have come round for Sunday dinner and a midweek meal. We have been round to their place for a few meals too. Of course Phoebe is always present, gradually developing, snorting, thrashing about in her Moses basket, crying out loud, cooing like a dove, looking into our eyes with her sparkling blue eyes and wondering: What's it all about Alfie?

These are precious times that I am sure we will only truly recognise when the agony of COVID-19 has been carried away by the tides of time. We have been privileged to support our lovely daughter and to closely witness the early weeks of Phoebe's life. Tragically, this has not been the case for Stew's parents. They remain in their house in Bristol, yet to meet their only granddaughter.

Yesterday, the menu I prepared was roasted loin of pork with golden roasted potatoes, roasted carrots, asparagus tips, buttered leeks with parmesan, apple sauce, homemade gravy and of course Yorkshire puddings in beef dripping. Dessert was a banoffee pie. To accompany this meal, we had a bottle of chilled prosecco while Stew drank a bottle of "Black Sheep Ale" - from Yorkshire of course.

Afterwards, we again slouched in the front room for a while, watching "Countryfile" on the television.

Oh - by the way - long before dinner we had our first Bosh! Ultimate Chocolate Slices - now available in all branches of Costa Coffee. It is by far Britain's favourite coffee shop chain with 2467 branches. It also has 1400 international outlets. It has been quite a coup for Bosh! to get their vegan bars in there.

It's a bit miserable outside this Monday morning with a light grey blanket overhead. I am going for my shower very soon and then I will type up  a couple more pages of my father's Kashmir adventures. If I can't think of anything else to post tomorrow, I shall share a couple more extracts with you.  31,000 words typed now. I am getting there.

30 comments:

  1. Bosh are definitely sailing high for chocolate treats. Well done them. Sunday lunch sounds scrumptious but excessive to me. But there again it is the ceremony of 'Sunday lunch' a tradition that hopefully will never die out.

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    1. I could have made you up a child's portion Thelma.

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  2. That was a mighty feast you prepared yesterday YP. I do hope that Phoebe enjoyed her share.

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    1. No. She turned her nose up at. She is mama's milk addict.

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  3. We watched Sheffield born Michael Palin in the Himalayas the other night and I thought of your dad's book and adventures.

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  4. A wonderful Sunday meal, enjoyed by everyone (except for Phoebe), I am sure!
    Here, we do not have a system of bubbles. The regulations say only one other person from a different household is to meet with one household. That means my sister and I can not see my parents together, but my sister can come to my place and I can come to hers, as long as nobody else is around.
    Aparently this has now changed to a maximum number of five people who can meet, regardless of the number of households these five come from. I have yet to read up on the changes in my area valid as of today.
    With O.K. spending every weekend at my place since this year has begun, I am thinking more about our meals, being the host and cook. He always offers to help in the kitchen but never has to, as I am one of those people who feel they are quickest on their own. But he often contributes to our meals by bringing the wine or the cheese or some other ingredient, or cake to go with our after-walk coffee.
    Congratulations to the Bosh! boys for having one of their products placed with Costa Coffee! I guess it serves as a multiplier of sorts; people who buy the chocolate bar possibly get interested in their books and other products, and vice versa.

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    1. Strangely, Phoebe prefers mama's milk rather than a full Sunday roast. Lucky old OK getting his meals made for him by a librarian. And I think you are right in the last paragraph about how things can feed off one another in the business world where Ian and Henry are now operating.

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  5. I wish I could dine at your home. It sounded like a great meal and evening. My son and his family lived in NYC(next door to my city)when my twin grandchildren were born. We had 18 months of seeing them often and watching them grow. It was a magical time. They are 5 hours away now and we have only visited via internet.

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    1. At least you got those special first eighteen months in Terry. How they will be loved when this damned COVID finally gets back in its smelly cupboard.

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  6. Phoebe is growing into a beauty, hope you are taking lots of pics. As for the covid I fear that it will not be going anywhere. They will keep reviving it to keep us all in our places.
    Briony
    x

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    1. Soon we will forget what it was like to be free.

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  7. What a gorgeous Sunday roast and great cook you are. Can I be invited soon? It is such a shame the other grandparents have not seen Phoebe yet. This must be happening all over the country. Hopefully with some technology they can have zoom or whatsApp video calls to bridge that gap.

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    1. Yes they do "Zoom" a couple of times a week but it is really a poor substitute. We would be happy to seat you at our Sunday dinner table ADDY.

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  8. How cool about the Bosh vegan bars! I will go to Costa forthwith and get one myself. I can't imagine how frustrating it must be for Stew's parents to be unable to see Phoebe. Have they been vaccinated? Maybe when they get both shots they'll be permitted to visit? (Or be visited.)

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    1. They will be allowed to visit in the middle of April - just over a month ahead.

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  9. Hello, my friend. That lovely granddaughter is coming into her owe personality, I think. So sad that the other grands have not been able to visit. One hopes they get a Zoom visit most every day.
    What a splendid meal. We, too, have been cooking more (by we, of course I mean me!) elaborate meals and my waistline shows the good cooking and lack of gardening work! It is lucky we are that food (and wine!) can be delivered to our door or we can go pick up at the grocery store.
    Our regulations said this morning that up to four persons could meet inside or out as long as all have received the vaccine. And, four could meet if two of them had been vaccinated and the other two have quarantined for five days. So, things are looking up, if just an inch at a time. I hope you and your wonderful family have a glorious week!

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    1. Lovely to hear from you once more Mama Thyme. Yes - Little Phoebe is developing nicely and quickly. She has put on a lot of weight - just on mama's milk and she is starting to smile. Just like Colorado, it does look as though England is at last starting to get on top of this damned pandemic. I see that Colorado's death rate puts your adopted state at number 43 out of 50 states.

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  10. Moving back to Sheffield before Phoebe arrived was such a wise decision by Frances and Stewart and not just for the scrumptious Sunday dinners you provide. Having family support close by in those first months with a new baby makes a massive difference to the ease with which a couple transitions to being a family.
    We live only a 5 minute drive from our expected grandchild and Covid willing I will be able to be present at the birth and then enjoy all the firsts that are to come as he or she enters and adapts to this world. I'll be there as often as I'm wanted to make sure both parents get their sleep quota and I'll give thanks for the opportunity to be part of this new life. My friends have grandchildren in Australia and the UK (twins) now a year old who only know them as an on screen presence. They have been deprived of the wonderful sensory experiences you have with a new baby especially one who is breast fed. How do you describe that soft skin and special smell they have? The love pats they give as they are fed? My son in law's family in Devon have only been able to see their other grandchild in Surrey 3 times in the 15 months since he was born and are unlikely to meet this new one in NZ for at least a year. I have so much admiration for those young parents who have had to cope with raising their first child in a small 2 up 2 down with Dad working from home in what was meant to be the nursery. No close family to help, no space and no mother and baby groups for peer support.
    As part of our preparation for grandparenting we have been watching an excellent UK series from 2019 called The Arrival. It follows 5 different families as they wait for and adapt to their new baby's birth and homecoming. We have been speculating on how each of the families would have fared over the last 12 months since Covid changed our world.
    Autumn greetings from one who is drowning in tomatoes and courgettes...careful what you plant in Spring!
    Adele

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    1. Anything you want to know about grandparenting you will find in my latest bestseller "The Yorkshire Pudding Guide to Being a Grandparent". Chapter One covers how to dress as a grandparent. As a grandmother you will need wrinkly stockings and a floral apron. Your silver hair must be tied in a bun at the back and you must wear pince-nez gold wired spectacles. You will also need to carry a large handbag at all times containing such items as spare nappies, a cuddly toy, The Bible, a knitting project and a banana. Glad to be of service Adele.

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  11. Your roast description has made me hungry and it is only breakfast time.
    That is sad for Phoebe's paternal grandparents. Maybe soon.

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    1. If you fly over to England next weekend you can have a Sunday dinner before flying home again.

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    2. Most kind. We do our own roasts here, but there really isn't thing to compare to a Sunday English roast.

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    3. Ah well, the offer was there.

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  12. It's not only nice meals at home that are missing but a chance to get out and eat.

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    1. I am sure that The Micro Manager is an accomplished chef.

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  13. Eating well, but not necessarily wisely, seems to have been a mainstay for most of us throughout the pandemic. A few weeks into lockdown last year, I read that many people had put on weight, and that once things were back to normal there would be a real need for everyone to diet. Little did we know that a year later we'd still be living under the same restrictions, and no one can say with any certainty that the end is in sight.
    Those scrumptious looking Bosh chocolate bars are not going to help one bit - but what comfort they will bring!

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    1. Another reason for overeating is just simply being stuck at home. Having another snack is a way of relieving the boredom and suppressing the underlying anxiety. Have you ever seen Humpty Dumpty? That's me!

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  14. It's good that your daughter and son in law are so close and that you guys are able to support them. Having a new baby is so isolating but right now, it's pretty much par for the course for the world.

    Congrats to your son on his chocolate slices being sold in Costa. That's quite a coup.

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  15. She's a keeper, that one. I know her other grandparents must be in such sorrow not to see her.

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