Posh shoes

Here in Wales we are still staying at home… some of the lockdown restrictions have been eased in England (or didn’t actually count if you were a government advisor), but here things continue pretty much as before. We walk the dogs everyday and, as a result, encounter people from our local community. We pause for a distanced chat… sometimes there’s a gift of a plant (I came home with a spinach seedling the other day), or a request for help (“Do you have any spare knicker elastic? I’m making face masks”). We tick along, I have lots to do: my editing work was always done at home, and there’s plenty of that to keep my busy; I have completed several crochet projects; done lots of sewing and mending and failed to keep on top of all the jobs in the garden; I bake and try out new recipes; and I chat to friends regularly on Zoom/Skype/phone. But I’m sad that I can’t have my monthly shared lunches with my permaculture friends (hello to Sharon, Ann and John if you are reading this), that Sue (Going Batty in Wales) and I can’t sit together and put the world to rights over homemade soup and (always) cake. I’m also sad that Mr Snail can’t be away in Reading, having the mental and physical space to write and seek out a literary agent, to play pool with his friend Martin and go to the pub quiz he enjoys so much.

We have found a way through. Tuesday night is pie night, Thursday night we take part in Jay’s Virtual pub quiz whilst Mr Snail chats with one of his quizzing friends via WhatsApp, we watch The Great British Sewing Bee on Wednesday night, we play Scrabble. Food has become a particular focus and we eat in the limery every night, enjoying the long evenings and watching the birds and (later) bats swooping over the house and garden. Perhaps it sounds idyllic – perhaps we should feel that it is – but we always know that we are restricted and our choices constrained. I think our mental well-being is compromised… of course it is, it’s a challenging time.

However, sometimes on a Saturday night we get dressed up and “go out”. I cook a nice meal, and we eat out at The Bistro Chez Snail. And for this, I put on a nice frock and proper shoes – with heels. The rest of the time I’m either wearing slippers or walking boots, or have bare feet. But to go to The Bistro I wear posh shoes… and strangely it’s remarkably good for my state of mind.

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30 Comments

  1. When our children were very small, small enough to be put to bed early and not be able to read the time so they could be fooled!, but short on both money and babysitters John and I would sometimes have an ‘evening out in’ very much as you describe. We would give the kids their meal, get them to bed, lay the table with the best crockery, change into posher clothes and cook something a little bit special. It doesn’t quite work now I am on my own but I am enjoying the creative titles and menus you post on facebook. The world will need a lot of putting to rights when we are able to meet up again in person – could be a 2 cake job! 😉

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  2. Love the idea of date night in your own conservatory 🙂 Our restaurants are beginning to allow diners back through their doors, so maybe one day soon we’ll manage to celebrate our anniversary, deferred from the end of March!

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    • I hope that you can have a safe and delicious night out very soon – no sign here yet that anything like that may be possible in the near future. Johnson is intent on thinning the herd in England, but here in Wales we are still all staying at home as much as possible.

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      • We have had only 102 deaths IN TOTAL in the entire country, no community transmission at all in Queensland, and our premier is being very determined not to open the borders to states that have, despite a lot of pressure from them. That being so, we are feeling modestly optimistic, but no one wants a second wave…

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  3. This is a nice snapshot of your life under quarantine. We’re sheltering in place here in California, with some easing of restrictions starting this weekend. I’m glad you have a cozy place for date night. Those shoes are fabulous. Good for you for finding ways to uplift your soul.

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    • I’m trying to remain positive – although I have bouts of getting very cross about our useless and corrupt government.

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      • Been watching you guys from over here (how’s that funny Mr Cummings of yours?!, he’s good for a laugh!) You think you have it bad…? It’s a farce here from beginning to end. I’ve kept my mouth closed until now, but the latest restrictions and regulations are just absurd. We are being treated like children and subjected to all kinds of ridiculous rules. Police blocks everywhere, no proper shelter or care for the homeless, ambiguous statements from different members of Cabinet, lies, falsification of stats, supposedly billions of rand available to help those who can’t work (but when you apply, you find out you don’t actually qualify for one bureaucratic reason or another), I could go on. Sorry, ranting here. I pay my taxes but am treated with contempt by the government, I pay property rates (very high, too, and about to be increased) but the municipality can’t get its services to function efficiently. Our rubbish hasn’t been collected for over two weeks. People are roaming the streets in search of food. Sorry, rant wasn’t over after all. I’ll definitely stop now.

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  4. I’ve taken to “getting changed” to do the supermarket queue and dash- does lift the spirits. I too have enjoyed your date nights on Facebook, espcially the menus. Since we were in the middle of moving, there was no normal left for me to miss. Strange days.

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    • I’m hoping that Mr Snail is going to write a post for me to share about all the “places” we have “been” to each over the past weeks.
      What news of your move? Anything yet?

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  5. I like the idea. It changes things up. I’ve been enjoying the menu, food pictures, and wags on Twitter. If you get a lift from it, it’s perfect. I dressed up recently for a socially distanced visit in a friend’s garden, but it’s been jeans and athletic gear most of the time.

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  6. You made an important point. No matter how safe or well adjusted we are, this time of the coronavirus is a strain on all of us. How could it not be? Some countries—not ours!—are handling it better than others. We have all had to adapt. And hats off to you and your husband for your clever and creative ways of adapting.

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    • Our government too has not handled the situation well. I’m trying hot to dwell on it. I think when it’s all over, we’ll probably continue to stay in to go “out”. One good thing is there’s no walking in the posh shoes and I can take them off whenever my feet have had enough!

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  7. The only thing wrong with eating chez vous is you have to do the cooking (and washing up) yourself but it’s definitely a good alternative at the moment and any excuse to put on posh shoes is a winner in my book..

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    • I “cheated” on Saturday as regards the cooking, so that the only things I cooked were some shortbread biscuits and boiled new potatoes. Everything else I bought on Saturday morning from our lovely local organic shop (pate, roast salmon, salad leaves, cream, strawberries) or had in my cupboard (crackers, caramel sauce). It meant that preparation was quick and I could enjoy the fizz and shoes!

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  8. Our restrictions are easing but I am still reluctant to venture into public places. Which I know sounds silly given the whole thing has been handled so very well here – I am simply waiting for the right amount of time to pass and the numbers to remain at zero. I’m one of the few who has been able to really enjoy the slowing down of life generally and have settled into my hermit existence surprisingly easily. However, posh shoes and dressing up for a night in would be high on my list of fun things to do! I joined some friends zooming a pub quiz one Friday night and that was a huge amount of fun. Should do that more often!

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    • I have been having a weekly zoom get-together with three of the friends I graduated with (in 1988) – we all love it and have a greed to continue even once we have been let out again.
      Like you, we will be cautious when restrictions are eased. I envy you, the way your government handled the situation here. The UK government are a joke… although, fortunately things are better in Wales and my county (Ceredigion) has the lowest rate of infection anywhere in the UK, apparently.

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      • Apparently globally the women PM’s have handled the whole thing better than the men. There has to be something to learn in that. I’m glad to hear you are in a relatively safe spot.

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  9. I dress up for work for the same reason, even though I might be sitting on my bed if I decide this is more comfortable than working in the living room.

    By the way, life is very restricted in England – I really wouldn’t want anyone to think we’re having a ball. People are still largely staying at home but are less uptight when they do go out (ie they do smile and say hello now, whereas in the strictest phase of lockdown there was none of that).

    Sadly, the easing of lockdown has led to more traffic on the roads. At Easter, there was silence outside but the bank holiday there is the constant drone of the M1 in the background again.

    Anyway, enjoy what you can while you can but hopefully the situation will improve for you soon.

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    • We are very lucky here – extremely low infection rates, great communities supporting each other and everyone (throughout) being very friendly and helpful. We keep coming home from our dog walks with gifts from neighbours – today we were given a huge home-grown lollo rosso.

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  10. I thought I’d have way more time than before but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Odd jobs are being cleared, cupboards sorted (and contents offered to friends and neighbours – the games and jigsaws went down very well!), and the garden looks more presentable. I’m in awe of anyone doing anything really productive like learning a language but I’m happy just getting through each day. Eating out ‘in’ seems like a great idea 😊

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    • I don’t know anyone who’s managed to do anything much other than just get on and cope with the realities. A couple of friends have done some decorating, but they were going to do it anyway. I suspect the number of people mastering conversational Russian or learning to play the bassoon is pretty limited.

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  11. I love “date nights”
    Before going out became no going out I’d always have a date night with hubster at home. I love cooking and baking and it gave my passions a venting place … Never thought of adding nice shoes to the dress up … as the table was the one getting the dressing up…. now I think I’ll add that to our date nights. A good pair of heels does wonders to a woman’s soul 🤩

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  12. Things are gradually easing here too….but as Kate says, our infection rates have been much lower than many other places. (I guess it helps to be an island!) We had dinner with the Fella’s granddaughters the other night. It was so lovely to see them again. And I have been over to see my Mum. That’s enough for me at the moment.

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  13. I was more than a little ranty myself this weekend. hugs.

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  14. I too am in New Zealand where the restrictions have become less..

    .BUT what I’ve found is that if you don’t have wheels and have to rely on public transport that has got even more restrictive with maximum of seated passengers, to the tune of 14 in a 30 seater bus and sit in designated seat (if travelling alone) and definitely no one standing…

    It wouldn’t matter if it was Summer but Winter is not user friendly at the best of times in my soggy city. I don’t have wheels and it’s more or less sent me back to hermit mode at home…and to that end I’ve had to reinstate how I got essential stuff delivered during the Level 4 arena.

    I’ve been doing some “makeover of home” this last couple of weeks but asap will be back to making art again…

    I’ll survive as all of us have…but it just makes me sad that as soon as restriction on movement was lifted, it seems everyone got back into their cars…and drove all over the place. Like in back to “normal life”

    Occasionally I produced dinner at “my hermit cafe” but never thought to get all dressed up…thanks for reminding me, as I’ve got some posh shoes someplace around here 🙂

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  15. I love your idea of dressing up for a night in. It reminds me years ago when some friends invited us round for a ‘black tie’ dinner we set off in our trusty Renault 4, G in a dinner jacket, me in a black dress, then 2 miles into the 4 mile journey we had a puncture. We arrived with black hands to suit our outfits!

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