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Life and Reading During Lockdown

Posted on the 26 May 2021 by Cheekymeeky

Yesterday I did a compilation of what I have been watching. In this post, I thought I'd share what else I have been doing during this latest lockdown. After all my last life update was last year. I realize that my Instagram stories have become sort of my daily diary, so to speak. But I think the occasional update on here would also be nice.

Life and Reading During Lockdown

Reason I haven't updated much here, is because nothing much has happened. Just when it started to look as if life would open up again, here in India, we had one more wave of Covid - disheartening, depressing, and deadly.


Last year's Covid lockdowns were bad. This year, it's been awful. Last year, the deaths were a little far away. But now, it seems like family members and friends are getting sick. Covid is suddenly feeling more real, not just a friend of a friend of a friend, but MY friend. MY loved one. It is creeping into my family and friends lives and it certainly puts things into perspective fast. These days, I dread my Facebook feed, which is rapidly filling up with RIPs.

The only good news re: Covid is that my parents and hubby are fully vaccinated! Hooray. And it's been great to hear of most of the 65+ and older in our lives getting their shots scheduled and done.

Me, I got one shot done, and am waiting for the second dose of the Covishield vaccine - but with all the shortages on currently, no idea when I will be able to get my turn. Fingers crossed it happens within the next 2/3 months🤞.


Kids both remain in remote almost seems normal now, especially as we have already crossed the one year mark of the first two week shutdown. Do you remember when shutting down for two weeks seemed crazy/unbelievable? Not to sound Pollyannaish but it's been nice to have them home too, to have time with them. Once we go back to normal ...whenever that is...I know I'll miss it. I just wish I could enjoy this part more now. But isn't that how life in general goes?

I do think Piglet is coping better with the lockdowns. He has his best friend right next door, and has been able to spend time with him and some other kids who live close by. Snubnose is different - she's always led a pretty active life, and school especially was something she really enjoyed and looked forward to. Plus, she's old enough to fully understand the seriousness of Covid - she knows people struggling right now, and she's dealing with a fair amount of anxiety.

It's hard enough being a teen, but a teen in this environment? It's crazy.



I have taken to gardening (or rather cultivating indoor plants), fitness, and cooking. Everyone I know says gardening is good for my wellbeing. But try telling my plants that. After a great start early this year, most of my plants are looking brown, yellow and withered. Looking around sadly, I log the devastation: the anthuriums have gone from fine to inexplicably brown and crispy. The livistona (which was doing wonderfully until last week) has succumbed to some kind of weird slow browning of the leaves. My areca palms are inexplicably not growing beyond a point. The only plants I can consider a success right now are my ZZ plant, my bird's nest fern (hanging in there), and my money plant.

Can you derive psychological benefits from gardening even when it's an absolute disaster? I'm starting to think perhaps you can. My gardening debacle is gradually forcing me to confront my essential powerlessness. I've struggled with that feeling for months; that lack of agency. Most of us have. So rather than finding purpose and perspective through the small triumph of growing things, I'm practising acceptance. I'm not giving up on gardening entirely, but I'm giving up on believing I can control what happens. Let whatever is eating everything keep chomping; let things wither and curl up as I experiment with more or less water; let the weird, probably fungal, yellow spots creep across leaves. In the grand scheme of things, what does it matter?


I have had better luck with fitness. I finally gave up on the idea of going in person to gyms and have embraced online classes. I even bought weights, a skipping rope, and resistance bands!

Snubnose has also showed an interest and it's great to be able to push each other to achieve our goals. Great for the mental health as well! In fact, online classes are working so well for the both of us, I doubt I will go to a gym even after things open up. It's so much more convenient working out from home.

I can't really state that I have lost weight. While I have been great with fitness and feel stronger than ever, the Covid pounds have been really adding on. I have steadily been gaining weight partly due to various online food delivery businesses offering really good discounts on home delivery. Previously, food I would never get to eat unless I physically went to a particular place is now available on hand whenever I feel a craving. So, yes, there has been a steady delivery of freshly baked cookies, croissants, pastries and more to my house.

Not a great idea, I know. But a little carb keeps the anxiety at bay. And as of now, I have accepted this eating of my feelings.


I haven't been cooking as much as I did last year but I still have been enjoying experimenting with more exotic dishes. Some pretty good recipes (such as this one) are available at The New York Times recipe site, and BBC Good Food is also a great resource. Both sites have plenty of vegetarian options and also offer ingredient substitutions - much required with all the food shortages around. Yep, food shortages are a real thing.


Blogging has gone by the wayside. Partly, it's because of the feeling that no one reads blogs anymore. Or at least, no one is reading my blog - going by the drop in visits. Heck, I have been hanging out more on Instagram myself. Of late though Instagram has not been appealing much. Though I still scroll Instagram I find it less and less engaging these days. I had an interesting conversation with a friend who manages a nice marketing budget that Instagram advertising/sponsorships aren't converting as they used to. Which doesn't surprise me, I always felt that there was very little genuine conversion in Instagram anyway - and definitely not reflecting the big numbers that instagrammers claim.

Anyway, I thought I'd wake up the blog a bit. One reason why my blogging went through a slump was the complicated themes I was using. It made things so heavy and clunky and I felt I was focusing more on the look of things then actual content. So, a change in appearance was in order, and I have gone back to an older idea - a simple blog layout organized by date, and with widgets and everything. Back to basics!

And just that change inspired two long-ish blog posts in two days. I am quite happy with the simplicity and hopefully that means more blogging from my end.

Life and Reading During Lockdown

I have been struggling with reading quite a bit. I had a decent reading start, but as the lockdowns started, I have been having concentration issues. It also doesn't help that Netflix has had some really excellent content lately.

There's also been some difficulty finding good books. My local library's supply chain has been hit, and they haven't been able to procure new books in quite some time. I am really avoiding buying new books as it's just a huge strain storing them. My bookshelves are groaning. We have three bookworms in the family + plus school text books + coloring books + stationary - it's just getting out of control.

I am thinking of biting the bullet and just getting a Kindle and loading books on it. Yes, I am a book blogger without a kindle - an abnormality, I know!

Anyway, this lockdown I started off with the Agatha Raisin series by M.C Beaton, which is light and pleasant, and not too demanding. At any other time, I would have complained about the overly simplistic plots and writing. But at this point, it really hit my sweet spot.

I also finished Macbeth by Jo Nesbo - a modern retelling of Macbeth - starts off slowly, but builds a good, slow burn. I enjoyed it overall.

Apart from books, I have been reading some long-form articles on the web - the more scurrilous and gossipy the better 😀. Some recent articles I liked:

And that's pretty much what we have going on here. It's been a struggle - mental health wise. But I think it helps just a bit to jot down what I am thinking and feeling, and sort through the mental chaos.

How have you all been coping? what are you doing? How are you feeling? Eating? Shopping? Reading? Do you have any favorite recipes easy recipes you can share (I should have asked this long ago!)

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