Friday, 25 September 2020

Longer Than Expected

On Saturday, the 12th of September, I was home alone. O.K. was at his godson's birthday, and I needed the time at home to get things ready for our holiday, starting on Monday the 14th.

After a busy morning of household tasks, I had coffee and read my weekly paper. By the time I was ready to set off for a walk, it was well past 4:00 pm. I knew I only had about 4 hours of daylight left, and as is often the case, had only a rough idea in mind of where to go: I knew I wanted to be down by the river, where I had not been in many weeks.

Instead of choosing the most direct way to the river bank, I decided to take a detour by the castle ruins. I was astonished to find them cordoned off with a small flock of sheep grazing; the last time I was there not all that long ago, it was open to the public, and people were having picnics on the terraced hill.

Further on I went, on the path along the river connecting my hometown with the next. I had brought a savoury snack and a bottle of water along and consumed both resting on a bench.

It was so peaceful just sitting there, watching the river flow and boats slowly go past.

The general idea had been to walk up the hill into Marbach, the small town on the other side of the river, and take the 10-minute journey by train back home from there. But after my rest on the bench I felt not at all tired, and decided to walk back home.

Instead of going back on the same path I had come, I walked across the fields. And while I always knew where I was and which direction I needed to go, I am not familiar with each and every path on that particular stretch of fields and orchards, and so I had to retrace my steps once or twice. It meant the way back took longer than anticipated, and I ended up walking almost 23 km. It was dark by the time I arrived home (almost 9:00 pm), but it had been a good walk and I did not feel completely worn out, just pleasantly tired.

Thursday, 24 September 2020

More From That Weekend

We are back from our holiday in the mountains, with a quick interlude at my place to give me a chance to do my washing from 10 days away and to see my family before we'll be off tomorrow to spend the weekend at O.K.'s. Monday will mean back to work for both of us, after a fortnight off.

You will see pictures of mountains and trees and rocks and more mountains and more trees and then some more over the coming weeks, but I have still not finished posting about the time before our holiday.

On the Sunday of the weekend that started off so nicely in my previous post, we went walking in the area around Durbach again. It was cooler and cloudier than the day before; good walking weather (we're back at the 6th of this month).

In the leaflet about the circuit, beautiful views were promised. See for yourself whether the promise was kept:

Back at the cottage, we had coffee and a rest before bringing the grill out again for what could possibly be the last time this season. The grilled zucchini were excellent, and the meat was also very nice. Once again, I took the train back to Ludwigsburg on the Monday morning, and all went well; I was home in good time for my first conference call of the day.

Sunday, 13 September 2020

Still Catching Up

As you have noticed, I am usually at least one week behind with my blogging. There is just always so much going on that it takes me so long to catch up, and I do not find the time (or, rather, take the time) for blogging every day like some of you admirably do.

Let's go back to Friday, the 4th of September. Because O.K. was busy with a music appointment that evening, I did not travel to him until the Saturday. It had been another busy day at work, and when I finished at 5:00 pm, my comfortable yellow arm chair held a strong appeal - but I decided to take advantage of the beautiful sunshine and pleasant temperatures and go for a walk where I had recently been twice.

Like last time when I met the heron on my way back, I spotted a bird at the side of the path. I believe it was a kestrel. He or she remained there until I was relatively close before flying away across the field. I really enjoyed that walk of 2 1/4 hours - it did me much better than retreating to my armchair immediately after work, there is still plenty of time for that in winter, when it will be dark by the time I finish work.

Once again, a bright and beautiful moon lit up the night. The above picture was taken from my kitchen window just after 10:00 pm.

I traveled to O.K. on the next day, arriving around lunch time. After a spot of food shopping, we had coffee at the cottage, along with delicious plum cake made by O.K.'s mum, still warm from the oven.

Later that afternoon, we went for a walk, taking glasses and a chilled bottle of rosé along, which we got out on the bench at O.K.'s parents' allotment - just the two of us, such a nice way to celebrate the weekend:

Yes, my life is good, there is no denying. And yet, it is not all roses and sunshine. I do care about other people, and I do worry about what is going on in my country and all over the world. 

Just to mention a few more personal worries, there is of course always the situation with my own parents, with my Dad's health issues. It would be impossible for him to remain living at home without my Mum's constant care and assistance. Then there was the friend and village band member who died of a brain tumour on August 28, only weeks before her 49th birthday. My mother-in-law in Yorkshire, still mostly self-reliant at 86, was admitted to hospital after she fell in her cottage and was unable to get up on her own. And my parents' friends in Australia have had bad news, too, with one of them having an incurable form of cancer. 

But... much as all of this (and more) saddens and worries me, there is nothing I can do about any of it. The only thing I can do is to make sure I appreciate those around me while they are there to be appreciated, and to try and keep myself as healthy as I can, for as long as I can, so as not to add to the worries.

O.K. and I are going on holiday tomorrow. We are booked into a hotel in a tiny village in the mountains for 9 nights, not crossing any national borders. There is going to be plenty of hiking, visits to the hotel's spa, and culinary delights. I am very much looking forward to it - and although I can not really imagine what it will be like at the hotel, wearing masks everywhere except for at the dining table and in our room, booking time slots for the spa and so on, I do not feel guilty about going on holiday right now

Friday, 11 September 2020

First Walks in September

From what I gather by reading other blogs, it seems like the first of September felt very much like a clean cut for some of us, ending hot summer weather and bringing along the first chilly autumn nights and mornings, together with that beautiful golden light you only get at that time of year.

On Tuesday, the first of September, I finished work as I early as I could, and went walking for about 2 1/2 hours. After a grey, wet morning, it was once again warm enough to go without a coat, and I really enjoyed that walk. Looking at my pictures, I think you can see why.

O.K. also went walking that evening, and sent me this sunset:

Wednesday was a busy day at work, and I was glad of the chance to go for a walk with my sister afterwards. We met these two fellows sitting on top of one of the large greenhouses on the fields between our town and the next:

On the third of September, my sister went on an early morning walk - I wish I could get into that habit, too! - and sent me this sunrise:

And just after midnight on the same day (therefore, technically, on the 4th of September), I had this view from my kitchen window:

Not many hours later, at just before 7:00 in the morning, looking again out of my kitchen window, the sky looked like this:

I'd say September was off to a good start - at least in terms of weather and walks!