The U.K. initiated lockdown-mode on 27 March 2020. Here are 10 weird and wonderful things I did during 12-weeks of isolation.
- De-cluttered the house – the house was full of so much old junk from over the years, this took absolutely ages to complete, and I ended up booking a waste removal company to take all the unwanted things away! It was also a nice walk down memory lane.
- Tidied up the garden – unfortunately the garden is often neglected and needs more love than I give it, this was a chance to get my hands dirty and remove weeds, sweep old leaves, tackle thorny bushes, yank crawling vines down from the house, saw mini trees and clean grubby patios. Very sweaty and laborious work, and it just keeps growing back!
- Grew potatoes and carrots – I grew a large, decent crop of red potatoes but unfortunately the carrots turned out miniscule! In addition to root vegetables, my garden variety consists of rocket, parsley, tomatoes, basil, mint and thyme. My plot also has an apple tree which fruited very well this year, as well as the blackberry bushes, grape vines, and a very tall pear tree which the pigeons claim every year without fail!
- Learned how to set up an extended wifi network – the internet connection is patchy around the house, so I learnt how to connect the wifi router upstairs to an old wifi router downstairs, and configure it to extend the range of the wifi network. Using the MAC terminal to ping IP addresses is not something I knew or understood how to do before!
- Created a 10-part vlog series – off the back of my desire to edit the holiday videos I’d recorded on my last two trips, I figured that creating a vlog would be a good use of my spare time during lockdown, because this pandemic is such a unique and memorable experience to look back on, and the bonus is that I’d also pick up some filming and editing skills along the way which may come in handy in the future.
- Installed a security camera, fridge door, and roof repairs – the security camera was a straightforward job of drilling and connecting, but the fridge door proved to be more challenging. According to the instructions, changing the opening from right to left was a case of unscrewing and rescrewing the door, but I ended up having to drill holes through metal! The roof repairs was a full day job, which involved applying strong adhesive weather-proof tape to gaps and holes in a flat PVC roof susceptible to rainwater leaks.
- Installed a new garage door – well I can’t say this involved any real effort on my part… but the door looks absolutely wonderful in a lush forest green colour! And it has an electric motor opening/closing.
- Made tofu from scratch – this was something that I’ve always wanted to try and make, I even have a book called ‘The Book of Tofu’ which I purchased years ago. I am a huge fan of making fresh soy milk already, why not use the discarded okara to form tofu? My first attempt was a firm tofu, which ended up creating a delicious Mapo Tofu dish. Asides from this I love cooking and found that I became more creative and resourceful in the kitchen with what I had. I also made a bubble tea inspired birthday cake, a raspberry meringue cake, and did my first spatchcock-jerk-chicken on the BBQ!
- Changed the inner tube of a bike tire – I haven’t cycled in a long while, and my bike needed serious servicing as there was a problem with the brakes being stiff. I learnt how to detach the tire from the bike, remove and replace the inner tube, re-align the tire, and change the brake cables. With much assistance, of course!
- Practiced piano regularly and started reading more serious stuff – I gave my old upright piano away to a mother and her child back in 2016, and after a 4-year hiatus bought my very first digital piano last summer. It has been a joy getting back into the swing and learning songs I love listening to. It’s a great feeling when you can finally play a piece from start to finish at speed, regular practice pays off. I also added some more heavyweight material to my reading list, and took out a trial to The Economist magazine.
Well that’s it, hope this made enjoyable reading. Every experience comes with funny stories, such as that time I accidentally locked myself out the house, and had to climb on the roof and roll sideways through a window on the landing to get back in. But I’ll save these stories for another post!