Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Lockdown diaries, day twenty-six a new challenge

French Village Lockdown Diaries day 23 a new challenge soup
Another day, another batch of soup

Day twenty-six, Tuesday 24th November 2020


Tuesday rolls around once more bringing with it my favourite yoga class of the week; Rise and Shine Yoga for Conditioning. Not being one to enjoy rushing my morning routine, the alarm goes off before the sun has risen, to ensure I’m relaxed and happy on my mat by 9 o’clock. There is just something about this class and its extra focus on the breathing and the body, that leaves me feeling strong and energised to face the day. 


We are now three and a half weeks into lockdown and President Macron will speak tonight about what to expect next. Adrian was working online all day and then set off on the turbo trainer to virtually cycle up Mont Ventoux (again) on Zwift. Ed (who conveniently has no lectures on Tuesdays) took himself off to Ruffec to do the weekly shop for us and returned home delighted he had done most of his Christmas shopping too. I think a DNA test might be necessary as I am never that organised or in control when it comes to Christmas. A good skill he is picking up from me during lockdown though, is learning to compare the prices per kilo when doing the shopping. 


I might not have had the most exciting of days, but I was happy in the kitchen. A batch of soup, another cake and a lasagne for dinner this evening, plus all the clearing up that goes with it, certainly kept me out of trouble. The soup might not look much, but I can assure you my frugal cauliflower soup, made from the leaves and stalk of a cauliflower, with lots of garlic, a green chilli and some crème fraiche, is delicious and creamy, with just a hint of heat.


With December getting closer, I need something to look forward to, and I’m not talking about Christmas. I realise I am becoming quite comfortable with life in lockdown, enjoying us all being at home together and things slipping into an easy routine. Since moving to France 16 years ago, I've often found myself out of my comfort zone and knowing how good this is for me, I always try to say yes to things, no matter how scary they may at first seem. Running an English language club at the local secondary school was one big gulp moment, as was agreeing to stand for election on the village council and accepting a part time job at a local library. This year, there have been very few opportunities to push myself or try something different, although I did set myself some cycling challenges and even climbed a mountain or two. 


French Village Lockdown Diaries day 23 a new recipe challenge
A small selection of my recipe books

Inspired by author Sophie Claire and her new Christmas book A Winter’s Dream (see my review here), I have decided I need a December challenge. Something to focus on, that gives me the opportunity try new things and break from routine. We are a little restricted with lockdown, but I think I’ve come up with a great idea; the December recipe challenge. It’s time to dig out a cookery book, or two, and do more than just flick through looking at the pictures. I am notoriously bad at following a recipe, always tweaking it to add or substitute something, so my weekly challenge will be to choose a dish I’ve never cooked before and stick to it, ingredient for ingredient. I might even let Adrian and Ed do the choosing. If nothing else, it should make mealtimes a little less routine. 


  1. I'm thrilled that my December challenge has inspired you, Jacqui, and a recipe challenge is a great idea! (Anything food-related sounds good to me). I can't wait to see the results and hear how you get on. I hope Adrian and Ed pick some delicious recipes. Good luck.xx


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