Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Pictures of June

A beautiful month with a healthy mix of sun and rain, that was June for me. 
 
After-work walk on June 8, on the fields near Ludwigsburg
Near O.K.'s village, also on June 8



It was also the month when many of the lockdown rules in this country were lifted. For instance, we are now allowed to have private gatherings of up to 20 people, no matter from how many different households they come. As good as all shops and restaurants are open again, and many have returned to their work places after a period of furlough or working from home.
For my part, I have still been working exclusively from home, but tomorrow - July 1st - I have my first on-site appointment with a client since mid-March.

Ludwigsburg palace grounds, June 19
Deer park, Ludwigsburg, the same day



In town, things look and feel almost "normal". 
There are still markings on shop floors to show customers how far away from each other they have to queue at checkout, and wearing masks inside shops and on public transport is still mandatory. But the number of people going about their business in town is as high as "before", and road traffic is completely back to normal, if not more - some of those who were using public transport before prefer their own cars now.

Black Forest, June 20


From some of the blogs I regularly read I learn how different things are in other countries. I am still not sure whether lifting most of the restrictions here has been such a good idea; we have hot spots and massive outbreaks in some parts of the country, and it makes me feel uncomfortable when there are many people around, especially if they carelessly do not wear masks and walk past or stand closer than they should.

But away from the crowded areas, it is beautiful, and I really have enjoyed this month a lot - especially as there was some extra time with two Bank Holidays (on the 1st and on the 11th of this month). It would have also been the month of my annual Yorkshire holiday, but of course, travelling like that was (and still is) completely off the cards. 

After a period of quietness, with walks my only after-work-activity, I have begun meeting friends again; one to one as well as in small groups. Last week, I had some appointment or other every day after work - just like before. I am not sure I want this busy life back; at least not just yet. This week is quieter again, and I try not to allow my diary to fill up with as much "out and about" things as before.

What was June like for you?

32 comments:

  1. So this is the new normal. It must feel so good to be able to meet up with more people. UK isn't there yet unless you count Zoom meetings. This enforced period of isolation has allowed us to be more mindful and less materialistic. I wonder if this will continue. It's like coming home from a holiday with good intentions of changes you will make in your life.

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    1. Hello Linda, it is nice seeing some of my friends I have not met in months, but I still feel a little uncomfortable at times, and we are not hugging or shaking hands. As for the mindfulness and being less materialistic, I can only say that Ludwigsburg's city centre is as busy as ever.

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  2. I had surgery the first week of June so have been recovering for the whole month. It was rougher than I thought but I am lucky that all is well and I am making good progress. I have not ventured out much and am still very apprehensive about being around groups of people. The US has not done a good job of being consistent with masks and gatherings. I look forward to getting busy in my garden again and going for quiet walks. I haven't minded the quiet life at all! I have enjoyed your many hikes very much!

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    1. Thank you, Ellen! I hope you keep making good progress and can soon work in your garden again and go for walks. I do not mind peace & quiet at all, either - it is what I most look for in my after-work walks, apart from stretching my legs after a day at my desk, of course.

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  3. Awfully glad I can enjoy the fields, trees, flowers, deer, and skies of Ludwigsburg, even vicariously. June is like a child at play, it laughs and runs away. There is a moment like this in Elia Kazan's film Red River; Lee Remick, watching the leaves fall from the trees, says to Montgomery Clift: *I hate to see the summers go!* I follow a YouTube vlog about a Wiccan lady, Hanny, in North Virginia (Green Witch). She has the same hopes as Linda about a better world after lockdown. We have to keep summer in our hearts even in winter.
    John

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    1. The end of summer is usually a time that fills me with much melancholy, but I find things to love about every season. A winter sunset or sunrise and the leafless silhouettes of trees have their very own beauty.
      I like the comparison of June to a child laughing and running away.
      A better world after lockdown? I am less optimistic. Walking in and around my town shows at least as much traffic as before, if not more - one person per car is the norm.

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    2. The line I borrowed from the Johnny Mercer lyric: *The days of wine and roses, laugh and run away, like a child at play.* From the Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick movie. Hear the Henry Mancini song on YouTube, sung by Andy Williams or Matt Monro.
      If only we could solve the motor car problem! The bicycle is our future!

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    3. Wine and roses - definitely both featuring in June! Although most roses in the gardens and parks here were at their best in May, but their scent is still overwhelming as they fade.
      I gave away my and my late husband's bikes years ago. It is just no fun riding a bike here in the city; too many cars, too little consideration (from both parts). But I enjoy cycling with O.K. around the village; good job he has two bikes!

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    4. Glad you don't cycle in the city. In 2018 in Britain, 99 cyclists were killed; 4,106 seriously injured; 13,345 slightly injured. The TV reporter Kate Adie covered the demonstrations in Tiananmen Square, Bejing in 1989. When she went back twenty years later she said the bicycles had all gone, replaced by cars. Paul Goodman campaigned for no cars in New York City in the 1960s! You can watch the YouTube trailer, *Paul Goodman Changed My Life*, a documentary.

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    5. "Thank you" for the stats, Hamel. I am heartbroken.

      My son is dead(!)set on buying a mountain bike. His last one died, thank the Lord, many years ago. The good news is that the bike shops are currently out of bikes because everyone bought one due to reasons not quite clear to me during the worst of the Corona crisis. Apparently new stock of bikes going to be slow, so we are looking at autumn, maybe spring next year. Which does buy me a little time without that particular worry.

      My father took a rather drastic measure when I voiced interest in getting a motorbike (I was about eighteen). At the time he worked for a rehabilitation clinic (brain damage) not that far from where our host, Meike, lives, Southern Germany. Oh my god. Don't ask. You don't want to know. Rather than those ruined lives documented to me, what nailed it in the end because, naturally, when we are young we think ourselves invincible, was my father's dry remark that it'd be unlikely I'd be able to lift a bike upright when on its side in the middle of a crossroads on a busy Friday afternoon. And I am strong. I never quiete believed him considering that to virtually any detriment in life there is a technique to right it. Neither did I put that particular one to the test.

      U

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    6. PS Forgot to mention that my anguish re the Angel's cycling amplified by a cyclist having kissed a delivery van just round the corner from here. Dead. Flowers put down still there. Wilting. Haunting.

      U

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    7. I have not looked at statistics for Germany of accidents and deaths involving bikes, but I see enough hair-raising situations on the roads and streets when I am walking. Much as I dislike it when cyclicsts claim the pavement, I can understand why they do it. Cars are getting broader and higher and more powerful by the minute, and in an encounter, the cyclist will always be the loser.
      Motorbikes were never on my wish list; they seem to combine the worst of both worlds - the noise and pollution of a car and the vulnerability of a bike. Right now, a heated debate is going on in Germany about motorbikes. Around 100 communities are trying to enforce a motorbike ban for their streets on weekends, to reduce the noise. They should ban leaf blowers first!

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    8. Any road death is terrible and so many need not have happened. The death of the cyclist near you is a warning, Ursula. I am very interested to hear of your father's work in a rehabilitation clinic for brain patients in southern Germany. My father (1915-2000) toured Scotland on his Great Scot bicycle before WWII, and said he would not want to be a cyclist on the busy postwar roads.
      As for motorbikes, in the 1980s a Chief Constable in Scotland told me he forbade his teenage son from buying one. Then he said, *But if you quote me in your newspaper, I will deny saying it, because we run a voluntary Road Safety class for motorbike riders, which runs one evening a week for six weeks.*
      I begged the chief constable to let me quote him, because many mothers and fathers would wish to know that he had such a dread of motorbikes that he forbade his son from getting one. He refused my plea. Not long after I was staying with my sister in Cheltenham. For a week I saw a lad roaring around the suburbs on his brand-new motorbike; a few days later I came upon an *incident* involving an ambulance and police cars; the boy on the bike had crashed and was dead.

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  4. I wish you a perfect recovery from your surgery, Ellen. Better to have had it done now than in the winter. I pray that you will have a good summer. My widowed sister who lives in Cheltenham, England, is devoted to her garden, particularly since lockdown.
    John

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  5. Other than a couple of medical appointments and getting my hair cut (stylist has a home salon with a separate entrance; no one else there), I haven't really gone out, but then I'm fortunate to be retired. Our governor has been cautious and our numbers are decreasing, but there are still too many folks around who don't take it seriously. Big office complexes, including most federal government offices, are not yet reopening. Majority of folks who can work from home are still doing so and I don't see that changing anytime soon where I live. Nor are our schools likely to reopen to anything remotely like a normal schedule in September, which will continue to impact workers with children at home.

    Was talking to a young receptionist at a medical appointment. She lost one of her aunts to Covid and has another friend, aged 40 with no previous health issues, who survived the virus, but now has permanent kidney damage. This is what people don't get--all the ramifications of this ongoing event--even those who survive sometimes don't return to good health. And with millions losing their jobs, in the US it means they no longer have any health insurance. Any healthcare--even a doctor visit--is extremely costly. Exorbitant medical bills are one of the leading causes of personal bankruptcy in the US. No simple answers; no return to normal.

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    1. What is happening in the US is scary, and I must say I am truly glad to live where I do, and to have the job I have, which allows me to work from home. So far, none of my clients have given me less to do than before, and our tiny company (there are four of us) is doing well.
      Nobody in my circle of family, friends and acquaintances has died of Covid-19, and the big wave that we feared was going to hit our hospitals has not come about. Right now, though, there are thousands infected in a part of this country relatively far from here; entire blocks of flats are under quarantine. It is worrying, and I can not help but wonder how much of the necessary changes will actually be made - and kept.

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  6. My June was very quiet. My July will be fairly quiet, too, though I have some medical appointments to go to. I fall in too many high risk groups to want to take risks...But I am enjoying the natural beauty in my own yard (1.5 acres) and on drives out into the country. I really only see members of my own family and often only outside.

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    1. I have been reading your blog, Kristi, and know about your lovely family meetings on the deck and at your daughter's place. It is very good that you have so much natural beauty around your house and are not stuck in a high rise, with nothing but concrete to look at. You are doing the sensible thing not to take any risks, just like my parents.

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  7. I always enjoy your pictures from your lovely walks! I especially liked seeing the Deer park at Ludwigsburg.

    June has been a busy month for us as we finally got out to see family after three months of staying inside and seeing no one. We celebrated several family birthdays and a graduation and it was so wonderful to see our loved ones again. However, now we have put ourselves back in lockdown as Covid is increasing quite a bit in our country and our state. The county we live in has now, for the first time, made a mask requirement. You would think that should have happened a long time ago! People here are very stubborn. The US has not handled this pandemic well at all in my opinion and we are now paying for it.

    I am happy you are able to see your friends after work now! Enjoy your week!

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    1. Thank you, Bonnie!
      It must have been great to see your family after months of being able to talk to them only on the phone or on video calls.
      Some people over here stubbornly refuse wearing masks, too, but the majority seems to be rather reasonable about the whole thing.

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  8. Well, as always I enjoyed your walk on this occasion when I was eating my lunch. Now it's evening. Scotland is still behind England in freeing things up. Personally I am still almost isolating and just have some personal socially distancing coffees with friends instead of virtual ones. However most are virtual. Today I spent almost the entire day in the garden so I'm a happy bunny.

    How was my June? Very much like May and April. I drove a handful of miles, walked a lot and worked in the garden. I've watched very little television except late at night and I've been busy the whole time. Busy is a vague term. I've been busy writing and drinking coffee and heaven knows what else. But who cares? I'm happy.

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    1. You are right, Graham, busy is a vague term. One can be pleasantly busy, pottering around house and garden, reading, writing and so on, or rushed busy as in one work meeting after the other. I am glad to know you are happy.

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  9. Lovely pictures. Thanks for sharing. June has been good and bad for me. Some good walks in lovely weather and a grey, miserable spell in the middle of the month. Our government's COVID performance has been poor. You only have to look at the statistics to see that. Frances and Stewart announcing that a baby pudding is on the way was beautiful news.

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    1. Thank you, Neil. Your walks have been good, and I thank you for sharing your great pictures on your blog. And you and Shirley will be grandparents!

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  10. Your photos show a lovely month of walks in the countryside. June for me was a strange month, staying home, meeting no-one. We had some unusually nice weather so I was perfectly happy in the garden. I am looking forward to seeing family this July but little else will change. Our government has not handled the crisis with any intelligence and there is confusion and irresponsible behaviour from some of the general public and that will keep me in lockdown mode. How nice that you are now able to meet up with your friends.

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    1. Knowing the pictures of your garden, I am not surprised you are perfectly happy there! And you are right to stay away from places where inconsiderate and irresponsible people are about. We have enough of those here, too; I don't enjoy shopping for groceries etc. any longer and more often than not let my fridge and other supplies run completely dry before I reluctantly go to my local Aldi again.

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  11. I have wondered if people will change their patterns of living when all is well again, whenever that may be. I don't really trust what is going on now. I fear it all returning again. Sometimes it seems a bit if people and government people were wishing it normal, and making it so in their own heads.

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    1. I believe it is exactly that, Nan; people reverting to most of their former behaviour because they WANT things to be normal again.

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  12. Germany has done so much better than many other countries and especially better than the US. I often find myself mad, angry, frustrated and often speechless about the stupidity of people, including and specifically our federal government. I'm not sure whether there is one other country where wearing a mask has become a political issue. In many states people gather in crowds and the "president" even encourages big crowds to celebrate him (ugh). Fortunately there are also more reasonable voices.

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    1. Hello Carola, this is your first comment here, isn't it? Thank you for reading and commenting, and welcome to my blog!
      There are more than enough people here in Germany, too, who treat wearing a mask (or not) as a political issue. It scares me how so many are willing to lap up even the weirdest and most bizarre theories about the whole thing, negating the existence of the virus being one of the more harmless ones.

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