Letters from Cardiff in lockdown: Lee Eynon

This instalment for the Letters from Cardiff in lockdown series is from Lee Eynon. Lee runs Fuud blog – an “occasionally entertaining blog about stuffing your face in Cardiff. We’re looking for your stories, so please contribute to Letters from Cardiff in lockdown!

A few weeks ago, when all this started, I had the same conversation with several people. It was never said out loud, always confined to the shadows of the DMs and WhatsApp groups of my most trusted friends.

“I know this is terrible” it would begin, “but I’m, sort of… quite enjoying lockdown.”

There’d be a bone-chilling guilty silence as the other party began typing, then the response would come: “Er, yeah me too, actually.”

Before the pitchforks and flaming torches come out, let me back up a little bit. I fully acknowledge that I went into lockdown in a ridiculously privileged position compared to many people. My job can be done fairly easily from home (frankly the fact that I have a job and a home right now is privilege enough), I don’t have kids to educate or keep entertained, and big ‘Rona is yet to pay me or my family a visit.

But I can’t deny that in many respects, the restriction on movement has been good for me.

I’m exercising more, I’m sleeping better, and I get to hang out with my wonderful other half and our idiot cat every day.

I’ve started to actively enjoy the structure that work brings, and I feel like I’m doing better at my job than I have in months. I’m even ringing my parents more often.

And then there’s the cooking.

All this time to practice plus the challenge of coming up with a weekly meal plan based on whatever we can get our hands on has forced me to experiment and learn so much more.

It doesn’t always work out well; last week’s leek and potato gratin ended up as more of a soup with a roof, and it turns out you don’t see parsnip mash very often because the texture is a bit like custard with bits of string floating in it.

But for every misstep, there’s been a little victory; my Korean Fried Tofu game has come on leaps and bounds, as have my fish tacos. My huevos rancheros are up there with the best I’ve had, and I don’t want to get into a banana bread measuring contest here, but mine is absolutely on point right now.

This is not to say I’ve not had bad days. There have been more than a few sleepless nights worrying about my parents. Mornings stressing about having to go shopping, and whether I’ll be able to pick up what we need without being coughed on.

Overall though, I have to admit, with no small measure of guilt, that I’ve been kind of ok with lockdown. Or at least that’s what I thought until yesterday.

Our friends Phil and Andy were passing, so they decided to drop off a pot plant they’d been meaning to give us for ages. I wasn’t prepared for how I’d feel when I opened the door and saw them standing there, two-socially-distant-metres away in the middle of the street.

Like most people I’ve been keeping in touch with friends on Zoom – chatting a few times a week, doing pub quizzes etc – but actually seeing a mate at the door in person blew my mind.

We spoke for less than five minutes, but the physical rush of seeing familiar faces – other humans that didn’t have to be considered an obstacle, or a threat in some way – was just incredible.

After they’d left I was grinning so hard my cheeks hurt. I really, really want to feel that again. I hope we all can soon.

Follow Lee on the FuudBlog website, Twitter @FuudBlog, and on Instagram @fuudblog.

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