Monday, 11 January 2021

January

The first week back at work was busy, but not really stressful; many of my clients were still on holiday, and those who were there all seemed to be reasonably relaxed about getting into work mode again. Also, we had the added benefit of a day off - Epiphany (or "Holy Three Kings", as the day is called here), the 6th of January, is a Bank Holiday in my part of Germany (not everywhere).

View from my kitchen window on Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021

My parents' balcony the same morning, a little earlier.

Still the same day, Sunday Jan. 3


Traditionally, the 6th is also the day Christmas decorations come down and the tree is put away; I did exactly that and only once I had finished, did I go for a walk.

Jan. 6 - what was left of Christmas!
With the tree gone, the armchair is back in its usual place.

It was snowing and sleeting almost all day, and I wisely wore my fleece-lined wellies for the walk - enjoying NOT having to pay attention at the muddier parts of my path across the fields. I walked for two hours, and by the time I was back home, my winter coat was rather wet, although the wetness had not made its way through to the inside. 

A mix of snow and sleet was falling all day on the 6th.

Having that day off in the middle of the week was really nice; I could easily get used to that rhythm!

On Friday evening, about 20 minutes before curfew hits at 8:00 pm, O.K. arrived for the weekend. We enjoyed the shakshouka I made, along with a bottle of red wine spaced out across the evening.

Saturday was the first sunny day in what felt like weeks but was really just about 8 days. We did not go out until about sunset, though, as we were busy all day: O.K. put up several lamps which I had bought ages ago (one was a birthday present from him last year!) but never "got round to" mounting on walls and ceilings myself. I must admit I am a little scared of working so close up with electricity, not really knowing much about it, and so I was very grateful and glad that O.K. did it for me. The whole thing involved some drilling, a lot of getting up and down ladders, fetching tools, getting rid of packaging and sweeping of dust.

We still were ready to go for a walk before curfew, and were out for about an hour. After that, the warmth of my flat was very welcome.

Sunday was my sister's birthday. With the restrictions we are under, of course no proper party of birthday "do" was possible, but we (O.K and I) were invited to her place for a leisurely late breakfast. As it was another sunny day, we went for a walk together afterwards.

Yesterday afternoon; the clouds looked like a row of terraced houses (photo by my sister).

Towards the end of yesterday's walk, just after 4:00 pm.

O.K. had to leave early, so that he would be back home before 8:00 pm - he made it well in time, but the roads were rather busy.

Now the second working week begins. It will be very much back to normal, with all the regular meetings taking place again, now that almost everyone has returned to work.

It is the coldest day of this season so far, with -7C an hour ago when I last checked. Stay warm and keep safe!

23 comments:

  1. Sounds like you are easing into the new year very well. Glad you are still able to spend time with O.K. and get in some of your walks.

    Brrr. V. chilly day at -7c. Hope you stay warm and safe, too.

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    1. Being cooped up indoors at my desk all day, I really need to stretch my legs once a day, also to get mentally away from work for a bit helps me to focus better afterwards.

      Yes, that was a cold day and night. It is milder today, +1C right now (6:40 am).

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  2. Ah, your Christmas tree is gone! The corner window is still cosy, with your armchair, foot rest, and bookshelf. The long line of clouds look like a row of snow-houses as you say, or like snow-capped hills, dazzling against the blue sky.
    On my walk last night (January 10) I saw two homes with tall Christmas trees still lit up. Other Victorian houses were still decorated with lights, curtains open on oriel windows. The heavy frost had vanished so walking was easy.
    Wishing you and yours a safe and happy 2021 !

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    1. Thank you, John, and the same to you and yours!

      The tree is in two parts now, each slumbering in their own black bag downstairs, until it will be time to carry them back up.

      Like you, I still see houses with all or most of their Christmas decorations up, including the tree. It makes for nice views when walking past in the dark.

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  3. It's comforting to see familiar sights again. The clouds (like a row of terraced houses) reminded me of the clouds in New Zealand which sit along the tops of the mountain ranges and give it the name "The Land of The Long White Cloud".

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    1. I imagine there will be many such small reminders every now and then that make you miss NZ and the home and life you had there quite a bit.

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  4. Christmas is well and truly over now isn't it? I am not sure that I like the idea of a curfew - I'm much happier about curlews.

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    1. As far as I know, there are no curlews here; we did see five herons in the same field during that walk, and of course there is never a shortage of crows.

      We are all not happy about the curfew; it is the first time in decades our government has deemed it necessary to put such drastic restrictions on us.

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  5. I don't understand the purpose of a curfew. Is it because of COVID? Not sure why as people don't become more contagious after 8 pm, right? Will you get a fine or a ticket if you are out after 8 pm?
    I put my decorations away also, although, I just noticed something I left hanging that should be put away too! :)

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    1. Yes, the curfew is one of several measures now in place to bring COVID numbers down. Of course the virus does not know what time it is, but the intention is to stop people from being out and about (not necessarily "out", also just visiting each other at their homes) when they really should be home and limiting their contacts to their own household as far as possible. Pubs, restaurants, theatres etc. are all closed anyway, so there is nowhere one could go - except for someone else's home, and apparently, the majority of infections happen that way.

      Most years, I forgot to put one piece of my Christmas deco away, too - a small chalkboard in the shape of a Christmas tree outside the door to my flat. This year, I remembered it!

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    2. Sorry, Ellen, I forgot to reply to your question whether we are fined when we break the curfew. Yes, we are. Police are patrolling the streets here, and they stop people who are out and about after 8:00 pm, asking their reason. There are exceptions when one is permitted to be out, but if a person can not claim that exception as their reason, depending on the "severity" of their breaking the rules, they are either only admonished or fined.

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  6. I like the first photograph from kitchen window with the snow - because of the style of the houses it looks like a Christmas card scene to English eyes.

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    1. Maybe the large tree has something to do with it, too.
      I like that view across the gardens, there is always something to see, no matter the time of year or day.

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  7. liked your pictures of the snow. We haven't had any yet but it has been cold and frosty until today was not frosty. They are talking about a curfew here in the UK but I don't really see the point, people will just get together sooner. Trying best to cope with all this as my husband is classed as vulnerable and he tries to get me not to go out. Our daughter will do any shopping we need at the moment so that is good. Hope your work goes ahead ok.

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    1. Thank you, Pat, so far work has been going well.
      Apart from the curfew, the number of people one is allowed to meet is also restricted - just ONE other person not from one's own household. That makes it impossible to have, say, two couples meet at one of their homes for a meal, or my sister and I visiting our parents together.
      My Dad is vulnerable, too, which is why my Mum has almost all her shopping delivered. Is no such service available in your area?

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  8. You had a beautiful snow! It looks much like our New Year's Day snow was here. I love the Christmas decorations but there is also something nice about getting everything back to normal when they are packed away. How nice too that O.K. was able to get your lamps put up. I'm just like you about electricity. I would rather not take chances with it!

    I'm glad your return to work went well. I think it can take a week or two to adjust to the holidays being over and get back into a routine. A belated Happy Birthday to your sister!

    Take care and stay warm Meike!

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    1. Thank you, Bonnie!
      It is much milder today but with more snow forecast.
      Those lamps were waiting for me to do something about them for way too long! I am rather "good" at that, rather going out for walks instead of doing repairs and other work around the house; O.K. had to insist on finally getting it done!

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  9. Your snow is so pretty! I love it and I love your yellow chair in your pretty home, too.

    How I wish we would get some snow! It's been three years since we've seen so much as a flake. Two friends in Texas got 3 or 4 inches over the weekend-a rarity there just like here-and I told them to send those snow clouds east when they're done with them!! :)

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    1. Snow in Texas is not something I would expect. Maybe the clouds are now on their way to you! It was snowing this morning, and for a while, everything looked rather pretty again. Then it turned to sleet, and later into rain. By the time I finished work, I was splashing through puddles in my wellies.

      I love my yellow chair, too - it is my usual lunch break spot these days, as I can read the paper without needing artificial light near the window.

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  10. Your blue sky photo looks so nice to me. January has been mostly grey or wet. Depressing! And our Jan. 6th was pretty depressing also. Wish I could come to Germany and walk with you! Take care!

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    1. It was the same here, Kay, much of January so far has been grey and/or wet. Those rare sunny days needed to be enjoyed!
      You too take care!

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  11. Hi dear - after Bob and I looked at your snow views, he went online and found an awesome video about your beautiful Ludwigsburg - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTkfkqFr-cc - we enjoyed it so much.
    Even though things are different now, as everywhere, we put a visit there at the top of our Wish List when travel is back to normal. Bob said, do you think Meike would meet up with us? I replied I just know she would and she'd take us to a wonderful gasthaus where we'd raise a glass together! I am correct?

    Glad you are settling back to work and enjoying the post Holidays calm. Sad you couldn't do a birthday party for your sister - please wish her belated greetings from me. Curfew here also but doesn't bother us as we no longer go anywhere after supper - just curl up by the fire and watch far too many TV series, mostly British, and I knit!
    We have started walking every day in the afternoons as the weather has been lovely this week. We do just 2 miles around the neighborhood and get home by 4 pm for a cuppa on the front porch - taking advantage of the sunshine and comfy temps (52-54F) before much colder days and more rain arrives.

    Stay safe and well dear Meike.
    Hugs - Mary

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    1. Dear Mary,
      That was great - seeing my town with tourist eyes! So much of what is in the video was not possible this year, as you know, but all these traditions and activities will be back - I am sure of that!

      Of course the answer to Bob's question is YES - I'd love to meet up with you, be your guide and have a nice meal (and glass of wine) together!

      My sister actually enjoyed her quiet birthday, she told me yesterday. She still had plenty of phone calls, messages, cards and presents from family and friends, and we did make it a special day for her, even the weather played along with sunshine.

      Good to know you have taken up afternoon walks when the weather is good! That cuppa will be all the nicer for it, I imagine.

      You too stay safe and well!
      Hugs
      Meike
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