#LockdownDiary – One of many – Day 32

#LockdownDiary – One of many – Day 32

Day 32

I get out of bed and quietly sneak in the study. I hastily draw a birthday card to the best of my abilities before heading to the kitchen. I warm up the oven and place the frozen croissants inside. I prepare a coffee unsure I’m dosing it properly. While it brews, I attempt to froth the milk by hand but only succeed in creating a thin layer of bubbles that disappear as soon as I pour the coffee on it. I shrug. A latte will have to do.

I place the cup on a wooden tray and check on the croissants. The skin is crumbing under my touch. I take the pastry out of the oven. One goes on the tray by the coffee and yogurt topped with warmed up berries, the other goes on my plate.

I balance the birthday card between the food and slowly climb up the stairs. At the top, I began to sing happy birthday. My partner smiles at the silliness of it all. I am determined to keep her smiling throughout the day.

She doesn’t say but I know she is thinking about Scotland. We should have awaken in a glorified shed half an hour from the sea in Dumfries and Galloway today. We would have lazed in bed before heading out, exploring a small corner of Scotland. Instead we’re home.

First helpings finished, my partner warms a second croissant and attempts to make a cappuccino. She comes back with a latte too. I remind myself to try fixing our frother before the end of the week-end.

We laze about until lunchtime. We fail again at baking an acceptable flat bread and both come to the conclusion that bread making is just not for us. In truth, neither of us can truly be bothered about it. We get the oatcakes out and lay out a frugal lunch of beetroots and halloumi on the coffee table. Murder, She Wrote is on television. We vaguely follow Jessica Fletcher’s adventures as we play a game of rummikub.

The sun is lowering in the sky, casting long shadows in our garden and hitting the living room windows. We decide to head outside. We walk for a while, doing laps of the parks we know so well now. I miss the sea, the rolling of the waves, and the hissing of the foam on the sand but I am satisfied with the rustle of the winds in the leaves, and the dappled light on the grass. On the way home we spot a row of plants in plastic cups. ‘Free plants’ the sign behind says. We grab one, unsure of what it is but happy to receive a gift.

Back home we prepare an apéritif, playing cards while listening to music. Dinner soon follows accompanied by a Hollywood comedy I find surprisingly good. We fill our glasses with wine one last time as the film approaches its final climax. The last scene over, my partner heads to bed while I clean the kitchen. The banana bread I baked an hour earlier has cooled enough to be eaten by now. I cut a small slice, pop a candle in, and climb the stairs. I switch every light off and begin chanting the birthday song again. My partner blows the candle in bed and I whisper ‘happy birthday’ one last time.

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