Toast Sandwiches

First actual weeknotes in months. It's more of a quarter-notes.

Lockdown (and furlough) was a thing. Dominated by a terrible event that still doesn’t feel real but that I’m gradually starting to accept. There’s a way to go with that, yet.

Furlough was a strange time, and yet, not. I work from home anyway so not much really changed in my daily surroundings, just that my work laptop was on a shelf and turned off. The whole thing started with shock, the sense of rejection, what do you mean I’m not essential? then the old work ethic kicked in (can’t shift it) and I was able to see it as an opportunity. I’m still being paid, I have a garden, I have space to make things, and I realise how fortunate I am in having all that, so I shouldn’t waste it. What would future me, sat in a meeting, think of myself now? So my work routine switched to a doing-other-things routine, mostly watering the plants in the greenhouse at first and figuring out how to make various things.

I did make a thing, and I started on a few other things.

I’m very pleased with the anchor ship. I wanted to use the idea in illustrations and part of making it was to have a handy reference for that.

A water feature! Chris Packham was on Springwatch saying how important water is in a garden, even if it’s just a tub, so I had a think about it. We usually have a lot of mosquitos round here so I didn’t want standing water, it’d go stagnant and stinky and that wouldn’t be good for much (except mosquitos). It was the middle of lockdown so everyone wanted to do things in their gardens and a lot of companies had reduced staff so there wasn’t much stock of anything. Time to be patient. I’m still assembling the bits, but I have a pump, some hose, the reservoir and a catchment tray (both, sadly, plastic, but both reusable if the feature has to be dug up), a grid thing to go over the top (got a bargain there, those things are expensive) to hold whatever the water will drain through. The actual watery bit is a steel bowl I’ve got on order. I have some bricks that were taken from our garden wall and a few other things too, because it’s not going to be a ‘pebble pool’. They’re cute, but not my style. Where I live is post industrial and there’s the remains of a power station on the beach, with lots of mysterious concrete tunnels and wave-washed brick, so there’s something about that I want to use, but… I’ve seen Garden Rescue and Ground Force and all those, and this shit can get twee fast. Time to be careful.

A painting too. I’ve had a large canvas sat around being annoying and in the way for ages, and I’ve wanted to use it for something to go in the living room. We have a nice print there at the moment but I’d like it if the house had more stuff we’d made on the walls. So I’ve finally started on that.

A few other bits and bobs. The whole research into making things has had a few false starts and mistakes because it’s not like you can just go to a hardware store and see what’s what and what fits this or that. They’ve not been expensive mistakes, just annoying (plumbing types, can you just sort out if you’re going to be metric or not?) So I have some plumbing fixtures, some weird wood shapes and some other things that I can make stuff with.

Oh yeah, there’s a thing that gets mentioned now and again in a ha-ha-what-a-joke way: Mrs Beaton had a recipe for ‘toast sandwiches’ in her cookery book. It is exactly that. A piece of toast in between two buttered slices of bread. We made some the other day and yeah, that recipe is needed in the world just to tell people to try it. It’s kind of like farls, if you’ve ever had those. It’s properly carby comfort food. We used white supermarket bread. I don’t think it’d work so well with other kinds of bread, but hey, worth a try.