Monday 28 December 2020

Home Alone Lunch

The "Christmas Lunches For Those At Home Alone" operation went like clockwork - "with military precision" was how someone described it. An appropriately masked and distanced team went to the church premises on Thursday and prepped veg etc. Then on Christmas Day, Rick and Angela went and cooked the meals.These were ready for packing by 12.20. The food was put on the hatch. Nadia and Geoff collected it, put the meals in foil trays and then into the hot trolleys. Bob and I were further down the room and requested "four meals" or whatever and labelled the trays, put them into insulated bags - along with cards and chox-in-a-box, then we called out the drivers. They stepped across the room, grabbed their bag and delivery list and disappeared.  By 12.45, every lunch had gone - and all 40 were delivered by 1pm. It was pretty impressive and incredibly efficient.

Angela's incredibly efficient [she's one of lunch club cooks] and there was virtually no wastage. She had the final numbers the week before- but still managed to produce an extra complete meal for a church member whose wife had unexpectedly gone into hospital - and two turkey dinners for Bob and myself, as we'd planned for Christmas dinner in Norfolk! The pudding had all gone - but she also gave us a couple of the turkey carcases.
Bob stripped what meat he could find from these - and we put the bones in the slo-cooker. Eight hours later I had 1½ litres of gorgeous jellified stock - and the Bob made a turkey pie filling with the meat, and I finished the task. 
We have had so many messages of thanks from the recipients - it was well worth doing. 
It's been good to be relatively quiet for a couple of days - we've had a couple of family Zoom get togethers. The children have certainly enjoyed their new gifts. 
We could have gone to Norfolk whilst it was still in Tier 2, and stayed quietly at Cornerstones, then returned under the "Exceptions for travel include work and education" clause. But that seemed to be inappropriate really, and not setting a good example. 
Travel on Christmas Night in the bad weather would have been difficult- quite a bit of flooding. Jon and Liz found their garden was flooded around midnight, but mercifully the waters receded. Cornerstones was ok, but there were flooded roads nearby. We had our own weather excitement here in Dorset, losing two fence panel in Saturday's storms, and the garden store finally cracked up completely. We moved stuff into the shed, and stacked the broken plastic panels ready for a Tip Trip. 
Bob's ancient garden gloves are quite holey. I said they could be worn by Anne Boleyn.
So now we have a week of "Holiday at Home" - like so many others have experienced this year. And we will make the best of it. Our priority is Rest and Relaxation and we can do that almost anywhere!
Talking to a friend earlier, she said how difficult things are in the hospitals - her daughter, a nurse, has been offered pay incentives to take on extra shifts. A neighbour said they her hospital was offering free meals to staff who worked longer hours - and she fully expected her annual leave next month to be cancelled. Yet another friend told us of his cousin who works in a Dutch hospital has said they too are overstretched and understaffed. Nobody is clapping for the nhs key workers any more, yet they seem to be working even harder than ever. 
Everyone is feeling the strain, I think ..the polar bears down the road are totally deflated too. 
I thought the Queen's words were excellent. You can watch her here. And this year, for the first time ever, you can say "Alexa, play Queen Elizabeth's Christmas Day Message" - and hear it all over again!
Her themes of Light and Hope, and respect and gratitude for the sacrifice of others, were an encouragement and challenge to us all.


  1. So glad to hear that you and Bob were able to have a nice Christmas dinner even though it wasn't quite what you had planned.
    What a wonderful thing to do for those on their own - and very efficiently done! My church did it's dinner last Monday night and fed 250 - along with gift bags. We have two professional chefs who donate their time and it always amazes me at how well they calculate the amount of food needed and nothing goes to waste! There are always large containers of soup in the freezers and we all have to watch out for ziplock bags of bananas that have gone soft but will be used for banana bread or in porridge for breakfasts.
    Relieved to hear that your daughter didn't get flooded out. While we had snow on Christmas Eve there was a lot of rain east of us into Quebec and a few hundred people were forced from their homes north of Quebec City due to heavy flooding. Very sad.
    I hope that you and Bob have a lovely relaxing week as I know it is well deserved.

  2. Such a lovely thing for your church to do, Angela. It sounds like it was very well organized, too! I'm glad you received a dinner, as well and not much damage to your house or your daughter's from all the rain. I hope you and Bob enjoy your much deserved week of rest and relaxation!

  3. SUCH a wonderful thing to do! All those (inc you!) sacrificial individuals who donated their time to help. Such love.

  4. I love your Queen for many reasons, and will click on the link for her Christmas message, after I post this comment. That was a great effort at your church to deliver hot meals to people. I imagine some recipients cried tears of joy.

  5. Oh, I am disappointed, the link to the Queen's Christmas Message doesn't work here in the USA, it says it only works in the UK due to copyright reasons. Thanks for the post though.

    1. You may be able to access this


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