Hello beautiful people! I hope that you are all safe and well. It’s been a while (understatement) and ordinarily I would apologise profusely but you will all agree we are now living in times where nothing is ordinary nor normal, so I’m quietly assured of your forgiveness. I had every intention of keeping you informed of my escapades in the kitchen and then days turn into weeks and weeks into months, and here we are in July!
Since my last blog way back in March so much has happened and the ‘new norm’ which brings with it a rather strange and different existence, I’m sure that I’m not alone in trying my best to adapt. With the hospitality industry, various other businesses reopening and an end to furlough for some, it brings with it hope of a return to the ‘old norm’ we yearn for.
The funny thing is memories of lockdown, good or bad, will be etched in my mind forever and no doubt be relayed to my grandchildren one day when I’m old and grey. Ok so I’m grey now (thank god for L'Oreal!) but old?! Not now please! My memories will not just be centred around a time when the world became surreal, or even the sadness and the loss experienced by some. A significant chunk of my tale will focus on my daughter Sasha who has played a pivotal role as my right hand woman during this time and without whose support I wouldn’t have been able to achieve half as much.
Rewind to Mother’s Day as orders started gaining momentum and then went crazy for the Easter special offer. My first response was ‘Yikes! How in god’s given earth am I going to cope with this?’. Cue Sasha and in a blink we worked out a system that ran like a sleek machine thanks to her experience as a manager. Admittedly there were a couple of learning curves along the way but nothing of major concern. Our individual tasks were quite defined i.e. I galloped in the kitchen turfing out meals whilst she swiftly cleaned up the trail of devastation left behind me. Then there was labelling of bags, food boxes, salad preparation, and running from one end of WD3 to the other, from Rickmansworth to Chorleywood sourcing ingredients which Sasha tackled with aplomb.
All the hard work was worth it to put a smile on my customers faces. One of my favourite parts of these deliveries was when it was for a special occasion. During lockdown loved ones who were apart often asked me to provide meals for birthdays, anniversaries or even just to say I love you (we all know the way to a person's heart is through their stomach!).
I even had one order from someone abroad who desperately missed her parents and wanted to do something special or them. Seeing faces light up and hearing gasps of excitement as people open their front door always puts me on such a high. It’s really so much more than curry in a bag, for both the giver and receiver it says whether I’m with you or not I’m thinking of you.
On a daily basis the kitchen would be a hub of activity which eventually led to my favourite time which was delivery and yes you guessed it, Sasha was also designated delivery driver! After loading the boot of Sasha’s car with bag after bag to bursting point, and as the beautiful aroma of Malaysian prawn fritters, curry, satay and everything else permeates every inch of the interior, we set off listening to Tokio Myers’s ‘Bloodstream’ and Billie Eilish’s ‘Lovely’ which fast become our lockdown anthems.
Delivery didn’t just herald the end of a hectic day but also time for a breather. As we scooted along roads and motorways that would usually be swamped with traffic, the haunting tunes coupled with miles upon miles of empty roads brought an intensely strange feeling. It was like being in a film where the human race was extinct or approaching extinction and there we were just the two of us venturing forth like warriors in a zombie apocalypse!
Ok so Hollywood drama aside, the reality was still quite terrifying and relief came when we arrived at the first doorstep. As I’m greeted by eager faces it assured me that even though the surroundings may be void of familiar activity, behind closed doors there were people, real people with real lives, just like me and all trying to adapt as best they can. We were all bonded and connected by this one thing no matter who we were, what we did or where we lived.
So thank you Sasha, much of what was achieved during lockdown would not have been possible without you!
Till next time everyone, keep you and your loved ones safe.
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