A FOOD BLOGGER DURING A PANDEMIC
It's hard to believe that today marks the 100th day since the start of lockdown, I should apologise for not being on here for several months but we have all dealt with this pandemic in different ways.
My mental health took a real dive at the beginning of lockdown, having suffered from depression on and off for over ten years I found myself crying most days for no apparent reason. I hadn't lost a job, we still had money to feed ourselves and pay bills yet I felt like I had no purpose and was more lonely than ever. Being menopausal obviously didn't help, my hormones are bouncing all over the place and drinking more regularly (not excessively) because of the lack of routine, that in turn affected my sleep, also not helpful.
Social media and television was something that was making me feel worse so in order to get through the day I stopped watching the news and cut down on social media. Like everyone at the beginning it was difficult to know how to be positive when so many people were struggling with losing their jobs and becoming ill with the virus.
Gradually as things are starting to return to a new normal I am coming out of the other side.
I wanted to share with you how I've been trying to help small businesses that are struggling and as I'm a food blogger obviously it's all about food and drink.
Firstly, I supported some of our favourite restaurants, that had quickly started to offer takeouts - Restaurant Roots in Southbourne did the most amazing Beef Wellington we also tried the Wiener Schnitzel equally as good. Simon and I had birthdays and our wedding anniversary in April so it was a treat to ourselves.
Jan (the owner) sourced those hard to get items such as flour and sold veg boxes in the early days - he also made free ready meals and veg boxes available for NHS staff to collect at their convenience.
Casa Carlos (Southbourne) has still been selling his delicious Paella throughout lockdown but as a takeaway, but they (and Makla nextdoor) quickly transformed their restaurants into beautiful shops. I'm not sure what their plans are as restaurants reopen but I loved buying from them it felt a bit like shopping for food on holiday.
May generally heralds the start of food festivals so I used the opportunity to post daily on instagram about some of the local businesses that rely on selling at food festivals. Thirty one days and thirty one families that have had their income decimated by the effects of Covid19, just the tip of the iceberg. I posted details of their takeaway/online options spreading the word wherever I could.
I have been shopping locally since before Christmas and trying to reduce my plastic waste but I realise now how important it is that we don't all rush back to the supermarkets and continue to help those small businesses that proved so useful at the start of the lockdown.
Our meat comes from Neals & Sons our local butcher who has been open throughout, they saw their catering business disappear overnight but huge demand from locals coming into the shop and delivery boxes such as Meatbox and more recently Dorset2door. We have our fruit and veg delivered from Bournemouth and Poole Mobile Market or shop in TD Fruits in Southbourne.
We got together with our neighbours and ordered Sea Bass, Crab and this amazing lobster from BH Fish, a new business born out of lockdown by a couple of local businessmen wanting to help our local fishermen in light of the restaurants closing. When you eat fish this fresh you really won't go back to a supermarket.
As time marched on several birthdays came and went and most presents were food related so thanks go to The Ice Chef for delivering to my niece, Agrazing Platters for delivering to my son who has been working super hard in his garage throughout lockdown. Amore cheesecakes
As we slowly all get back to work and the virus loses its hold on the country let's support our small businesses who really have been through an extraordinary time and gone above and beyond to help us through this pandemic.
Tomorrow when the sun rises on day 101 I'm saying goodbye to this chapter and looking forward to meeting up with family and friends, once again I'll be celebrating all the good food and drink within 15 miles (or maybe further).