When we moved into our new home back in February, we had no idea that we would be spending quite so much time here. That it would become our office. Our entertainment hub. Where we would eat. Where we would drink. That the two inhabitants of our home would become our entire physical world. That aside from a government-approved hour of exercise per day, these four walls would become the hub of our life. A Brummie at Home and Abroad became, quite simply, A Brummie At Home.
For someone who largely blogs about things happening outside the home – travel, theatre, food – I even wondered for a while if I would continue blogging during this period. But the pull of the blank “New Blog Post” screen has been strong. So I’ve shared with you what I’ve listened to. What I’ve done to keep the travel bug alive. What I’ve read. And I have a whole blog post to publish about what I’ve eaten. Except I keep ordering more food so it’s never quite finished.
My Instagram feed is now a mish-mash of corners of my home, alcohol, food deliveries and my pants. Yes. I was so devoid of content that I posted about my pants. Although they are mighty fine pants. With hedgehogs on. And no, I was not wearing them at the time.
No longer do I fear not being in to receive parcels. In fact, I sometimes order parcels so that I can see a different human being. Deliveries have included a new TV and sound bar. Two sound bars in fact as Mr Fletche was unhappy with the first one. Sonos speakers so our kitchen discos now sound better. Garden furniture. New cushions. New bedding. A baby-pink loungewear suit that makes me look slightly like a marshmallow. And the deliveries peaked this week with my first Who Gives A Crap toilet roll delivery. Could have done with this at the beginning of lockdown but our toilet roll cupboard will never be empty again. And of course, there have been food and drink deliveries. But that’s for another blog post.
This extended time at home has allowed us to plan exactly what we want to do with our new space. Although most things will have to wait until Pa Lee is allowed inside the house with his drill and toolkit. Shelves for example. So I can purchase lots of lovely trailing plants (that I will promptly kill and have to replace with fake ones) and that will also hold my burgeoning cork-bottle-lights-in-empty-gin-bottles collection. And picture hooks. It seems senseless in being married to an ace photographer and having blank walls.
Things that don’t require either of us wielding a power tool or anything likely to end up with one of us in A&E. Mr Fletche painted the porch and installed a new blind to replace the hideous one that was left when we moved in. I’ve given us some privacy by covering the glass brick wall up the staircase with frosted covering. And the ugly garage wall has had a makeover too.
And on those government approved walks, we got to explore some of the beautiful countryside and farmland around our new home. Walks that we may not have discovered had we not been confined to our local area. Just a short drive away are vast swathes of woodland, meadows and lakes. Usually to find beauty in the UK we would be exploring the Peak District, or the Lake District. Or maybe Snowdonia or the Scottish Highlands. But there is beauty on our own doorstep. And lots of it.
For me, being at home has meant hours reading my favourite books in the conservatory. Lunchtimes spent under the wisteria and anemone blossom. Classic Northern soul playlists and kitchen discos. Zoom drinks with some of my favourite people. Friday night online quizzes. A 30 second commute from bed to dining table. Sticking to my daily Italian lesson on Duolingo (I know animals, clothes and food so far – just working on stringing them together in a useful sentence). A standing weekday appointment with Adriene or Lucy. Reruns of The OC, Glee and ER. And the money refunded from our Japan trip (thankfully all of it) back in a savings account, hopefully to be used for future travels when we can.