Notes on the Grippe

Being an accounting of the recent and continuing pandemic and its various circumstances, from the perspective of an inhabitant of the regions lately called the Lost Quarter. Dates unknown.

Day Two Hundred Ninety Two

A weary, reluctant return to work this week after nearly two weeks off. If I’d thought it would make a difference I would have gone back kicking and screaming. It is always like this after Christmas at the best of times, the lethargy of the holidays lingering, but in the long year of the grippe reborn I feel it even more strongly.

The holidays were pleasant enough, if quiet, apart from friends and family. My love and I spent them together, of course, and that was enough company to bring me happiness. We have grown used to spending all our time together, and importantly we haven’t grown tired of each other yet. It has been a hard few months – two hundred and ninety two days – and we have gotten through it by relying on each other.

My love gave me some books on baking bread for Christmas and this weekend I tried a few recipes from one. Both were a success, if I do say so myself. The book goes against my general inclinations in its approach to baking bread, demanding absolute precision in the weight of the ingredients, the temperature of the liquids and the timing of everything. It is, I guess one could say, professional in method.

One of the things that has always attracted me to making bread was that a relaxed, decidedly amateur approach to all these things could still result in a great loaf of bread. If you added too much water or flour, you just needed to toss in a little more of the other to balance things out. Precision wasn’t necessary, it was a matter of feel with the dough. More an art than a science.

Well this book is all science and attention to details and the results speak for themselves. Perhaps a lesson for me to take into the rest of the year. As our quarantined lives have amply demonstrated, I will have plenty of opportunity to give the details the attention they deserve.

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