What we have done or not done during lockdown

I have learnt how to make the perfect double fried chip. I have not lost weight.


I’ve got 3 camellias grown from seed and about another 20 or so propagated from cuttings. I’ve moved onto Money Trees now - even easier. I will need to figure out what to do with them all at some point. On top of that I now have 35 houseplants somehow so I seem to do a lot of watering.

I have not done as much cycling as I wanted to proportional to how much spare time I have. Recently I started to ‘commute’ to pick up my wife at Angel and cycle home with her - been nice having cycle chats and an excuse to get out on the bike.


I have revived my sourdough habit, cultivated new plants and improved my Italian grammar and vocabulary. The boundaries of my daily life feel more like those of a mediaeval peasant, rarely going outside my parish. I have learned to take joy in small pleasures. I feel I may have full sensory overload when I next go abroad or to a full blown night out. I’ve learned that it’s OK not to be OK all the time. My flat has never been tidier.

I have not cycled as much (my bike is bomb-proof for commuting) and I have not been sailing. The latter makes me most sad. I have not spent as much money on ‘stuff’.

@marymck Do share on the perfect chip…


I haven’t been game shooting at all during the lockdown. Yesterday was the first day the gun came out at my permission in Surrey. I only shot targets after re-zeroing the scope.

I have become so aware of things that didn’t bother me before said the sad git me is!!
I used to be chilled in the cool happy zone. I never let things get to me like they have done or maybe my eyes have been opened to the crap being exposed. Whatever it is I am trying to see the positives again so have to roll with it and swerve. Later I might laugh hard right now my emotional are all over place. But very thankful for the forum to help me through this alongside my loved ones.
Thank you for your post :partying_face:


I must admit to having started from a pretty low threshold, as I don’t think I’d ever fried a chip in my life before. But my freezer died as lockdown started, so …

First is the potatoes:

I like Koffman’s potatoes, in the blue bag. These are great, but on my last couple of purchases the supplier (Wellocks at Home) sent the red bag instead, which was a different variety and produced soggy chips.

So I have switched to these, which I get from Chanteroy or French Click (their lettuces are amazing by the way).

I peel the potatoes and thoroughly dry them.

I use a big, low sided ceramic frying pan, with a scatter guard that lets steam out but keeps the heat and any spitting fat in.

Ground nut oil is my first choice for frying or corn oil if I can’t get that.

I fry them fast in batches, then set them aside to drain. When they’re cool I put them in the fridge.

When I’m ready for the second frying, I like to shake them about a bit, so that the sides are a bit damaged, then they crisp more. Same oil and pan I used earlier, unless the oil has darkened in which case I use fresh oil. Again, cook them in small batches, really fast sizzling and set them to drain. They’re so hot that they stay nice and hot and crunchy. I roll mine in a bit of roughly crushed sea salt but not my husband’s. Last night I had them with IOW garlic mayonnaise.

Key ingredients are time and patience, which I could never have bothered with pre lockdown.


They sound fabulous. When are you next cooking? :wink:

So a shallow-fry rather than a deep fry? How deep is your oil? It’s one of the things that always puts me off frying things… And how long is the first fry and second fry? Is it virtually cooked after the first one and the second one is faster?

Unfortunately I discovered banana bread and him indoors doesn’t like it. And didn’t exercise anywhere near enough. Followed the sourdough thread on here and may yet give it a go. Had friends into the back garden and supported Donde, Mama Dough and the Babur. Hard to believe that this time last week we were in a friend’s garden in Sydenham eating at suitable distances. Now have the heating on!



My one bedroom rabbit hutch has never been tidier either.


Homebrewing! Successfully brewed an Brewdog Punk IPA, ginger beer and now another IPA being bottled.

Also found a great homebrew shop down the road in Brockley


Mowed the lawn, a lot! It has stripes and is a thing of wonder. I have gardened, built, shaped, repaired and done lots of general labour. I have also done a bit of shooting (target, no small creatures were hurt apart from a pesky grey squirrel which had lead poisoning). I have also started flying radio control aircraft after a hiatus of over 40 years.

I have not done any office work.

I miss work.


I managed to watch the last two star wars movies.

Between no furlough, losing childcare, our cleaner and supermarket deliveries I found I had less time than ever. I’m not writing this to moan. I have fantasised about being furloughed with no kids - it involved buying a games system to play something like Skyrim and never going to bed earlier than midnight.


Worked. A lot.

Walked. A lot.

Didn’t do a lot of things I thought I would due aforementioned lots of work.

Realised that out of step with general middle class opinion Lockdown made me hate working from home and love living in London.


@applespider I found with deep frying I used too much oil and couldn’t see what was happening. The oil doesn’t cover the chips and I turn them over. I Like them if they get a bit bashed about in the turning. They get cooked with the first frying and crunch up with the second. Sometimes the first time takes a while, because I cook them in smaller batches, which keeps the oil hot and makes them easier to turn. I can’t say exactly how long because even the same variety of potato varies. I fish one out and cut it in half to test it. The second frying is usually really quick. Key is just to put a few in at a time, because too many cools the oil. Unlike my experiments with tempura veg, these do stay hot.

PS we don’t live on chips! But they’re a nice treat.


Many things to keep up spirits, good mental and bodily health. regular Zoom calls keeping in touch with distant friends over a glass or two. I now bake all the bread we need, garden and allotment looking great, plenty of fresh veg. Innumerable DIY repairs, upgrades and little research and writing projects. Plenty of walking, not as much cycling as I thought I’d do. Motored thru a few TV series.
Longest project - in the height of lockdown a rare event; I finished a song, ‘Lockdown Dreams’, recorded it and then worked out how to edit a video using my family’s old home movies, & put it on YouTube to entertain family and friends. Took an age to work all these things out but it was fun. You can watch it here if you like.


Oh wow - I really love that video - fantastic old cine footage. And the song reminds me of the Lemonheads’ Outdoor Type. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-r2BARj6Oo

Edit: digging a little deeper it appears to be a cover of Smudge’s original and it also has some great old cine footage in the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iiZ7-VEu5hw

(and they apparently collaborate on songwriting so there’s a proper connection between the 2)

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thanks, I like that song, didn’t know it. see what you mean about the video too. Next stop when I have motivation and a few days to tinker about will be getting to grips with Garageband and multi tracking.

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Making me hungry! They sound great.

I love French Click!

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Ooh me too. Though I wish they let you know in advance of delivery what isn’t coming and also let you add to your order once you’ve placed it. I do understand that they’re a small outfit so this isn’t possible.

I like Chanteroy too, but they only deliver to our patch one day a week - Thursdays.

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