My holiday started on Wednesday, the 29th of April. Why that odd date in the middle of the week, you may wonder? Well, it was O.K.'s Dad's 80th birthday, and although a proper celebration was off the cards, we were still going to mark the day in a special way.
I travelled to O.K.'s by train, having to wear my mask (see a few posts back) from the moment I crossed the street to the train station until we arrived at O.K.'s car when he picked me up, for about 3 hours. It is not much fun wearing a mask, especially not when you also wear glasses, but after the first 10 minutes or so, I found breathing easier.
There weren't many people about at the stations or on the trains; about three other passengers dotted across the car I found a place in, so it was easy to keep one's distance, and I had no qualms removing my mask a few times to drink from my water bottle.
Early afternoon we met on the large terrace behind O.K.'s parents' house, where we had coffee and cake with them. Only the immediate family was present (the parents, O.K. and I, his sister and her husband) plus one neighbour who had come unannounced - something I would not have done, to be honest, but nobody sent her away and she left after a glass of sparkling wine.
As the afternoon slowly shifted to evening and it became chilly, we went inside - still keeping our distance from the others - and had a delicious meal there. A nice start to my holiday, feeling almost "normal" but not quite.
The next day brought rain that was both very necessary and welcome. We made a slow, relaxing day of it, with O.K. doing a spot of shopping while I remained at the cottage. There was a short walk before it rained again.
The 1st of May is a bank holiday in Germany (like almost every else, I believe). Weatherwise, it was a mixed bag with sun, clouds and some rain. We rested, I spent some time reading, there was a walk, and O.K. grilled lamb steaks and sausages in the evening.
At 6:00 pm, all members of the village band were encouraged to step out of their houses, on their balconies or play out of their windows. The song chosen was "Der Mai ist gekommen", German for "May has arrived".
The days before, almost everyone in the band had filmed themselves playing the song on their own, and sent the videos in so that one video was put together. You can see and hear it here:
When it was played live, I could not hear much of the other band members - the village is small, but not that small! Still, it was a touching gesture, and definitely something special.
Again, a sprinkle of rain; we mainly spent the day cleaning and tidying, but there was a walk as well and I had time to read and rest.These two pictures were taken during our walk and show well how unsettled the weather still was.
O.K.'s birthday was here, and of course we had no proper party planned.
Unexpectedly, two friends turned up in the morning - we did not send them away but did not ask them in, either. Instead, we talked outside at a distance. They brought presents, and our chatting made the same neighbour who had come for O.K.'s Dad's birthday come out of her house and join us - something we definitely had not planned on.
In the evening, his parents, his sister and her husband came over; we sat dotted around the living room as far away from each other as possible, sharing a bottle of sparkling wine and ordering pizza.
Although the pizza itself was something of a disappointment - it was almost cold by the time it arrived - it was nice to spend time with the family and make the day special.