On Thursday morning, I woke up with a nasty scratchy feeling at the back of my throat, but as usual, I tried to ignore it, thinking it would go away. Well, it didn't. Instead, it developed into a full-blown cold that meant I was able to work on Friday only with the help of drugs (which I usually do not take, but I had to complete a job for a client by Friday evening). It also meant I was not fit for travelling, and certainly did not want to pass my cold to O.K., who has only just recovered from his own first cold of the season, while at the same time in the middle of rehearsing for the village band's annual concert.
So, home alone it was. But don't worry, I was not alone all the time. My sister did a spot of shopping for me on the Saturday and stayed to watch an episode of a series we both like, and my Mum came for a cup of coffee on Sunday. We lit the candles on the Advent wreath, and she kept me company until it was time for her to go home and administer the next round of medical care to my Dad.
And of course, O.K. and I talked on the phone both days. Hooray for flat rates!
You are all so kind, asking about my Dad. He is doing better but still needs a lot of help, and my Mum's life revolves around him right now. All the more important it is that she gets to be out and about every now and then on her own, and do nice things for herself.
The weekend before last (the 1st Advent weekend), I was at O.K.'s. Therefore, I did what cleaning and decorating I wanted to do on the Friday evening, so that I would find my flat nice and cosy on my return.
We had planned a day trip to Lake Constance with a group of friends for the Sunday, but it rained all day, so we cancelled that trip. This resulted in an unexpected quiet and relaxing Sunday at O.K.'s home - very nice for a change!
He cooked Shakshouka for us that evening - so delicious, and a "first" for us. A colleague of his had told him about this dish, and we'd been wanting to try it for ourselves for ages. Now was the time, and O.K.'s version was very nice, hot and spicy, and very filling. This dish has its own wikipedia entry right here.
Because of the day trip that had originally been planned for the Sunday, I had taken Monday off work and returned home that morning; O.K. dropped me off at the station on his way to work. I went to lunch at my parents', also to see my Dad of course, and last but not least to pick up "my" tin of Christmas cookies made by a close family friend who is like an older brother for me and who was trained as a proper baker when he was a young lad.
On the Monday night, I was scheduled to host the "Living Advent Calendar" (see my previous post). The weather was awful - that much needed rain was coming down in buckets, and not one single person showed up! Good job I had not needed to invest much time and effort into the preparations, and I made the most of it by enjoying another unexpected quiet time to myself.
The rest of the week was busy work-wise, and as I said above, I spent the weekend nursing my cold.
Today I am much better, although not yet 100 %. I used the time alone at home to write my Christmas cards (hand-writing takes me AGES) and wrap my gifts, and get the parcels ready for family and friends in England. When I finish writing this post, I'll take the parcels and cards to the post office - venturing out for the first time since Friday! It is sunny and cloudy, probably won't be raining, and not too cold at currently 4C.
Sorry - this was a bit long.
It's always interesting to hear (why do we say 'hear' when we really mean read?) what friends are doing in their lives. I'm glad that you are almost back on course and almost over the cold. I can't make up my mind about the Shakshouka but I think I'll probably pass on making it although I'd try it if it was put in front of me. I did all my New Zealand cards today and am just off out to post them. Europe will follow shortly and lastly will be the UK ones. After a horrible weekend it's a lovely morning and I should be going for my walk in the woods but I think too many other things are going to take precedence.ReplyDelete
I'm just back from the post office. The lady at the counter was patient, friendly and kind - plus we found out that we are almost neighbours, her mother lives in my street and she lives just round the corner. Somehow, we have never bumped into each other outside.Delete
Do go for that walk in the woods, Graham! The cards can wait another day, and it gets dark so early that you can still get a lot of things done then.
Colds do really improve it you take good care of yourself - so glad you had a free weekend.ReplyDelete
I really wasn't fit to travel, Pat; I miss O.K. terribly when we can't see each other for some reason, but at least I got all my cards and parcels done.Delete
Very neat Christmas decorations as always - and you're dressed to match your couch! Do you still have separate post offices in Germany? Here, they're all gone, years ago... The "post office" for me nowadays is a general service counter at the supermarket.ReplyDelete
There is the proper, main, big post office in the town centre, inside a shopping mall. It offers all the services at 8 or so counters, and it is where I have to go when I was not at home to receive a parcel personally. I went there yesterday and queued for a long time, but I don't mind that at all - somehow, it is part of my pre-Christmas time :-)Delete
There are many smaller post "offices" dotted around town, in sationery shops, garden centers and supermarkets.
So sorry that you had a cold, but happy that you seemed to conquer it rather quickly. Glad to hear your Dad continues to improve. I send him best wishes. Your family has a lot of care for one another! That is a blessing in this life. Your flat looks nice and Christmassy! So many pretty cards already. Shakshouka looks interesting. even though I am not sure I would like tomatoes and eggs together. (I probably would, just don't mentally respond to it in a very positive way.) But I like trying new things. ....Please don't apologize for a long blog post! I love reading what you are doing.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Kristi! The Shakshouka is really nice, and you can throw in whatever you like, add other vegetables or fresh herbs, or even some meat or bacon or fish. It is eaten straight out of the pan.Delete
And forgot to add, I love your fox and your blue outfit!ReplyDelete
Thank you! The blue dress is pure wool, very warm and soft, and the fox is filled with some kind of granulate, it can be heated in the microwave and then draped around my neck to ease the tension in neck and shoulders.Delete
Never, ever "sorry". I love all the details of your life. When you write, I feel like you are an old friend writing me a letter. I thought of you when I heard the news about the Christmas market shooting. You had just described the precautions taken at yours, but even they might not have stopped this guy. It is so awful.ReplyDelete
The precautions at Ludwigsburg Christmas Market are all about stopping a lorry driver, like the one who attacked a market in Berlin two years ago. The shooter in Strasbourg feels rather close to home, though; we can see Strasbourg minster from O.K.'s village, it is only about 20 km away, and the evil man is still at large.Delete
Thank you for saying that it feels like reading a letter from an old friend! That is exactly how I would like my blog to be perceived. Thank you!!
Scary that they didn't catch the guy.Delete
It is. And still nothing!Delete
A nice post, I can understand how you miss OK, but it is nice that you are in a friendly little town with family around. Shakshouka is popular here but I've never tried it. I never used to like eggs and tomatoes but perhaps I should give it another try, it does look delicious whenever I see it!ReplyDelete
I can recommend it, Jenny! And if you are not keen on the egg, just spoon the spicy sauce out of the pan with bread.Delete
That shakshouka looks delicious. It is not a dish I have ever tried before. By now I guess you are well over that nasty cold and back to normal. I hope so.ReplyDelete
The limiting effects of the nasty cold are gone, but I am still coughing and sneezing occasionally.Delete
We both enjoyed the shakshouka and I guess it was not the last time we had one.