|Presents, cards, more presents and more cards!!!|
Neither came about, of course - but I still had a strangely beautiful birthday, with a mini celebration:
At 11:00 am, O.K. and I met with my sister outside my house, in the sunny corner next to the cherry tree. Years ago, neighbours have placed a somewhat rickety table and chairs there, and we took advantage of that, bringing out a bottle of sparkling wine, glasses, a bowl of salted macadamia nuts and slices of chocolate tea cake.
Already all day, I had been particularly clumsy; first thing in the morning, I managed to cut myself on the big kitchen knife we had used the night before to cut our (ordered) pizza; I only had meant to put it back in the drawer and somehow touched the very sharp blade. Then, I put the aforementioned things in a large bag, carried it downstairs and went back up to fetch the bottle from the fridge. By the time I came back down, the stong wind had blown over the bag, and some of the macadamia nuts were merrily rolling around on the pavement. Never mind, there were still plenty left in the bowl.
My sister arrived, O.K. opened the bottle (I had a good excuse as the cut on my finger had just started to bleed again) and poured the sparkling wine, while I was trying to reach my Mum and Dad via Facetime. In my weird state of clumsiness, it took me a while, but finally, we were all there - my parents via Facetime, my sister keeping a safe distance from O.K. and myself.
Again, I found juggling my glass and holding my mobile so that the camera was not half covered by my thumb difficult; eventually, O.K. had to help me. We were joking that I was really turning old now, not being able to handle modern means of communication! (Which really IS a joke, as my Mum, being the second-oldest in my family, is very actively using her mobile phone and her computer, regularly writing in various forums, contributing to my blog every now and then, and communicating by email with many of her friends. In fact, she was the first of us to have a mobile phone and a computer.)
Anyway, we had our little celebration, and after my sister left and we had put everything back upstairs, O.K. and I went for a walk.
The sky was a cloudless blue, but a chilly wind was blowing across the fields. Nonetheless, there were more people about walking, running and cycling than on most other Sundays, even with fine weather. It seemed like everybody was desperate to get out after a grey, wet and cold Saturday.
We returned home 9 km later, had coffee and cake and a bit of a rest before it was time to make dinner.
O.K. left just after 8:00 pm and said he wished the motorway could always be like that, with considerably less traffic than usual on a Sunday night.
Here is a big THANK YOU to all of you who have sent cards, emails, text messages or commented with birthday wishes on my previous post - you know who you are; you all helped making it more birthday-like, even without a proper party.
Now Week 2 of working exclusively from home has started.
New, stricter measures are in place here in Germany from today onwards. We are still allowed to go for walks etc., but no more than 2 people are supposed to meet (unless they already share a household, obviously). Some of the businesses that were still allowed to be open have now been ordered to shut, too, such as hairdresser's and others.
The internet is full of tips what to do at home, how to spend all that extra time in self-isolation. Well, I must say I do not have much extra time; I still work 36 hours a week, and in some ways, work seems busier than before (see my previous post). The only saved time is the 1 hour 15 minutes or so normally spent on trips to and from work, partly used now for household jobs connected with making and having all my meals at home now, instead of having a cooked meal at the canteen every day.
But the world around me is much quieter than usual, and I find that a rather pleasant side-effect of what for many less fortunate than myself is definitely not a pleasant situation.