One of the most surprising things about being stuck at home for the past two months has been just how ‘un-bored’ we’ve been. Sure, in the beginning, it was a bit touch and go, especially as we soon realised we’d be eating take-out for most meals — because the alternative would have been to cook an actual meal.
“Hah?” Sharyn said on FaceTime. “Home delivery every meal? So expensive! And got so much plastic container some more!”
Saffy threw her hands up. “Well, what’s the alternative, Shazz? You remember what happened the last time I cooked rice. I nearly burnt the whole apartment down!”
“Yah, why you so bodoh? Don’t add water to the rice cooker!”
Saffy sucked in her breath. “I can’t believe you’re still giving me grief about that! I told you I thought the machine would just add water or something! Like the clothes iron!” Saffy’s bosom inflated. “Anyway, you’re missing the point. I can’t cook. Jason can only do salads, and Amanda…Well, that girl has an eating disorder, and that’s all I’ll say on the subject!”
It certainly didn’t help that, as the days turned into weeks, for some reason, all our friends began baking bread. At first, sourdough was the rage and everyone was posting pictures of their starters and gorgeous finished loaves. And then, as if a secret memo had gone out from Bakers Anonymous, they switched bread tins and began churning out milk buns.
“A few hours later, we’d started another MasterClass with Thomas Keller. After the lesson on how to cook eggs, Amanda said, her lips pursed in a contemplative way, “Is it just me or is he also quite sexy?”
“How these people are not all getting a yeast infection is beyond me,” Amanda said one day, as she scrolled through her Instagram feed.
“You can’t get a yeast infection from eating bread!” Saffy exclaimed.
Amanda put her phone down and stared. “How do you know?”
Cornered, Saffy paused and considered her options. Finding none that could stand up to the barest level of fact-checking, she changed the subject but in a way that made it sound like she was responding to the question, but she really wasn’t.
“Because I’ve been watching Gordon Ramsay make the most amazing pasta on MasterClass, and can I just say that maybe it’s being locked down at home that’s talking, but I never realised how seriously sexy the guy is! You should see the pecs and biceps on the guy!” Saffy’s chest lifted. “That man can stir my pot any time he wants!”
“Gordon Ramsay? That aging potty-mouthed Brit?”
I noticed a flicker of triumph in Saffy’s eyes. “So sexy!” she crooned.
Which is how, that evening, we found ourselves watching Gordon Ramsay roll out a thin, perfectly shaped sheet of pasta that must have been at least four metres long.
“How is he doing that?” Amanda sigh. “That’s amazing!”
Next to her on the couch, Saffy munched noisily on corn chips. “I told you. And will you look at those biceps? Not bad for someone over 50!”
A few hours later, we’d started another MasterClass with Thomas Keller. After the lesson on how to cook eggs, Amanda said, her lips pursed in a contemplative way, “Is it just me or is he also quite sexy?”
Saffy crunched loudly. “Yes, but a Lee Hsien Loong kind of sexy.”
“Yes, the older hot man!”
Crunch, crunch. “Totally!”
The next night, for reasons that escape me, we found ourselves watching Itzhak Perlman’s MasterClass.
“Itzhak Perlman?” Saffy asked at the start. “We’re going to learn the violin? I thought we were going to watch Anna Wintour?”
“We can save her for another day,” Amanda said. “We might as well learn something new.”
Saffy hesitated. “Because…we’re going to busk in the Shaw Centre underpass?”
“When was the last time you learnt something totally new?” Amanda asked. “Something you’ve literally never done before in your life?”
“Well, if you must know,” Saffy began, “just before we were locked in, that was this one time when Bradley discovered that if he used his index and middle fingers to tickle…”
The deafening sound of the violin filled the living room as Amanda frantically stabbed the volume button on our remote control. As she later said to me privately, “Have you realised how that woman has absolutely no boundaries? I mean, pick your audience, for crissakes!”
To which I replied that considering there were just the three of us in the apartment at the time, she did pick her audience.
“Hah, you learn violin?” Sharyn said to Saffy. “But you got violin, meh?”
“That’s what I said. But then Amanda asked how different that was from learning how to make pasta with Gordon Ramsay when we didn’t have a pasta machine let alone flour in the flat, and I had no answer to that. So what the hell. I mean, it wasn’t as if I had anything pressing to do, you know? Plus, I was having another senior moment with Itzhak Perlman. He’s kind of cute!”
“So, who you watch next?”
“Hah? Another old man? Why you all so harm sup for old man, one?”
“It’s an illness!” Saffy told her. That was two days ago, and they haven’t stopped laughing.