I had my second covid vaccination last Tuesday - how pleasant it was, standing idly in the car park in the warm sunshine, waving to friends further down the queue... everyone keeping their distance, oh well, a bit of a hard stare at the couple behind me; they had a tendency to shuffle a little closer to the person in front but they sort of 'came to' and realized what they were doing...
'This is going to be fine, like the last one', I thought as later that evening I could barely feel the vaccination spot on my arm. Oh ho ho and no no. Nothing serious, but as the next day wore on I began to wear out - eventually rescheduling the last piano lesson of the evening to Friday. On Thursday morning I cancelled that evening's teaching, and spent another day sitting about, tottering around the garden for fresh air, knitting, listening to old episodes of 'The Kitchen Cabinet' on BBCSounds. On Friday I taught the one rescheduled lesson (she is an exam candidate and I didn't want to leave her for a fortnight) and found myself breaking into a sweat - what!? - and promptly cancelled the three lessons I usually teach on Saturday mornings.
Now it's Monday, a week later, and I am feeling 'normal' again - what passes for 'normal' these days - for a day or so. Just as well, as I have a chatty social zoom and three challenging piano lessons to teach this afternoon. That's as good a test of the level of my recovery as any I can think of.
Challenging? One is a hard-working advanced student who is learning a Beethoven sonata which I used to be able to play, the other two are younger, and require a different set of skills to make the lesson go well...
Monday morning is the day for recycling the coffee pods.
It seems like such a small task; but also creates a lot of dirty bowls and mess. Clockwise from left; emptied pods, coffee grounds, the contraption that does the work (plastic thing with green top) and last few pods waiting to be emptied. Back in the days of the cafetiere we just swilled out the dregs (making sure they were at least cool if not cold) into the nearest flowerbed. Pre-cafetiere we just chucked the whole paper filter into the compost.
Now here's what I do;
I put the pod onto the green thing, press down with the dark grey lid which inverts the pod so the grounds go into the base of the green thing, put the emptied pod into a tray for rinsing, and every dozen pods empty the grounds into another tray. Got that? Then I rinse all the pods and put them in the general recycling, pour the rinse water through a sieve lined with a piece of kitchen paper to collect the grounds and prevent them from blocking our idiosyncratic plumbing arrangements.
Nearly done now.
Take the grounds and the soggy piece of kitchen paper to the compost bin, and finally wash everything else up.
There. It now takes two paragraphs instead of two sentences to deal with the coffee grounds.
Have I saved energy? It's hard to know. I can't wait until I can get back to John Lewis and just dump all the used pods into their collection point for Nespresso to deal with.
I have used up some of my energy, though - it is a little bit of a work out, pushing down on the pods to expel the grounds.
(I should add that this is over a week's worth for two people - we try and limit ourselves to three coffees per day, although some days do require a second 'second' cup of coffee late morning, or even a third 'third' cup of coffee after lunch).
'Pre dawn of the new era' is the title of this post - and in a sense, the coffee palaver, and possible end of it, is part of that sense of expectation. I am being strict with myself about waiting for three weeks before I start going out and about, visiting shops, going to a cafe, walking around a National Trust garden. By my calculations, assuming the covid infection numbers continue to fall, this 'pre-dawn' has only two more weeks to run, and sometime after 18th May I can consider venturing out into the big wide world again.