...the Reading and Blogging, I am happy to be allowed again almost all of my usual activities. After last week's eye examination, my doctor has given green light to sports, reading, writing and computer work - all within reasonable limits, though, which is why she has extended my enforced break for another week (this week). My first proper working day will be next Monday, but I am home now for the rest of the week and will do a few hours here and there, to see how my eye feels and reacts, and to make the diving into a very busy schedule a little easier.
First things first - here is a picture I meant to show you weeks ago. It was taken in March, at the end of our Spa break, from the top floor living room window at O.K.'s. This beautiful tree is in a neighbour's garden and looked like a pink fluffy cloud while in bloom. By now it has lost all its blossoms; the leaves are a dark burgundy red. The tree is home to a family of magpies, and while the blossoms were there, it was humming with probably hundreds of bees.
Before I left for O.K.'s, I went for a walk with my sister. She took this photo of me. See how sensible I am, wearing a cap (courtesy of O.K.'s) to protect my eyes from the bright sun!
The following pictures were all taken around O.K.'s village on the last day of April:
Later that day, just like last year, the maypole was erected in the village. The village band was playing, and after the ceremony, everyone moved to the big beer tent for food and drinks, while the band played some more.
Last year, I helped handing out food from behind the counter, but this year, I was not yet allowed doing anything strenuous (and my eye sight wasn't really up to it, either), so I couldn't be of any use and went home after I'd had something to eat.
As I had another appointment at the doctor's on the 2nd of May, I travelled home on May Day and returned to O.K.'s after my appointment. It was his birthday on the 3rd, and we hosted a party of about 17 at his cottage. It was fun, and I was glad I was allowed to help - cleaning up after the party took us until almost 1:30 in the morning, but it was well worth it, I think.
The next few days were really warm and summery, with temperatures up to 28 Celsius or more. We started working on the wooden balcony rail; sanding it down took us one entire day. We rewarded ourselves that evening with our favourite summer drink, Apérol Spritz (a mix of Apérol, which is a bitter organe liqueur, sparkling wine and soda). Very refreshing!
Sunday saw us on our bikes, meeting with friends at a beer garden for a meal (and a few drinks). On the way back to the village, we stopped in the town center for the most delicious ice creams. Instead of riding home directly from there, O.K. showed me this beautiful spot where two streams meet. In the more than 2 years I have been coming to his place, I had not yet been there. The evening light was so beautiful, and I loved the view towards Ortenberg castle from this perspective (you've seen the castle several times on my blog already, but never from this spot).
Monday and Tuesday, we gave the balcony rail its necessary two coats of paint. Another day of - for me - unusual physical work. I enjoyed it, but of course I am not used to it, especially not after the enforced break from most of my usual activities such as running, rope skipping etc.
I had to take the train home last night, as I have another doctor's appointment today. I have no doubt that I will be able to go back to work on Monday, but it is always good to make sure and to have everything checked.
Today is another summery day; tomorrow is a public holiday in Germany and it is forecast to be at least 10 degrees cooler and rainy. Well, we need the rain, but I am sure a lot of people had barbecues and other outdoors stuff planned - they will be disappointed.
The cherries on the tree in front of my kitchen window are as big as the top of my thumb already!