You know I am not in the habit of dwelling on the unpleasant and worrying aspects of life here on my blog, such as the corona pandemic. But last night I learned that it is now official - Ludwigsburg won't have a Christmas Market this year. The Horse Market, the Wine Fest and everything else in terms of festivities were already cancelled earlier this year, and now the Christmas Market won't be happening, either. For as long as I can remember, it has been an integral part of the weeks leading up to Christmas, and will be sorely missed this year. Of course, mine are purely egoistic reasons - what of the stall holders and their staff who depend on the income those four busy weeks usually generate? I can only hope the best for them, knowing there are government programs in place that offer financial help.
And I really have no reason to complain; on a personal level, I am doing very well. My work has never diminuished during all this time (rather the contrary), I can still see O.K. and our families (even though I have not hugged anyone since March apart from O.K.); we were even able to go on holiday, I am allowed to walk to my heart's content and there has never been a proper lock down here like in other countries - and most importantly, those nearest and dearest to me are relatively healthy.
Let's go back to the beginning of this month, to the period immediately after our holiday and the first 10 days of October.
Work started again for both of us on Monday, the 28th of September. It wasn't particularly warm, but mostly sunny, and I went for a walk as soon as I finished work. I came past this church on the outskirts of town; it has a clock like I've not seen on any other building:
On Tuesday, the 29th, I was again working from home, and spent my lunch break with my parents. I picked up freshly grilled chicken for the three of us at a nearby takeaway, a rare treat for us.
The last day of September saw me working at my client's office. Since July, I have been going there one day per week; that has been stopped again last week, when the rising numbers of Covid-19 cases made them close their doors to everyone whose personal presence is not absolutely necessary. Since I can do all my work for them from home, I won't be going there anytime soon by the looks of it.
On my way home from work that day, I got off the train in Kornwestheim and walked the rest of the way across the fields. There, I bumped into an old school friend who was out on her bike. We chatted for a while (at a distance, of course), and that was so nice and uplifting for both of us. We do not live far from each other but manage to see each other only rarely.
October 1st was a Thursday; I was working as usual and then had an appointment at my hairdresser's. Friday meant more work, a very quick walk to my parents' (delivering something my mother had asked me to get for her), and a quiet evening at home.
On Saturday, the 3rd, I took the usual string of trains to travel to O.K.'s. Late afternoon, we were celebrating his brother-in-law's 60th birthday. There were 17 of us in an extra room at a restaurant; it was nice to see the family, and the food, drink and service were really good - but the staff took the recommendations about airing their rooms very seriously, and so we were rather cold most of the time. Nonetheless, we were glad to be able to mark this special birthday in that way.
Sunday the 4th started sunny and windy with fast-moving clouds. O.K. and I decided to leave the car in the garage and walk to Ortenberg. You have seen Ortenberg castle a few times before on my blog; this time, we approached it from a different angle, without actually visiting the castle itself. Instead, we found a sheltered spot where we could eat the sandwiches and other nice things we had brought in our rucksacks, with nice views of the castle and surrounding vineyards.
Suddenly, we heard a bag pipe playing - there must have been an open air performance at the castle, carrying over to where we were sitting. Afterwards, we walked up the hill through beautiful autumn woods, and eventually back to the village. On the last half hour or so of our walk, the dark clouds finally caught up with us; good job we were wearing our rain jackets!
Like before, I went home from O.K.'s on the Monday morning; the commuter train has so far worked well for me, and did so again this time. On Tuesday, the 6th, I was working at my clients' office again. I took this picture from my kitchen window that morning:
And this one from my office in the afternoon, half an hour before leaving:
I didn't know then that I was not going to come back the following week - and who knows for how long that office will now remain empty.
Wednesday, the 7th, meant working from home again, and having lunch with my parents. My after-work-walk was cloudy and rainy, no photos taken.
On Thursday evening, I went for a run with my friend; the evening was unexpectedly mild, and it felt really good to be out. Our running together is just as much about the exercise as about catching up with each other's news.
I spent the Friday in Ulm at a conference with about 25 other data protection officers. Some of them I have known for years, and am always happy to see them; one of them had retired in September, and our meeting was his farewell, with speeches and a few rather emotional moments (yes, data protection officers are not all about rules and regulations all the time!).
On Saturday, the 10th, I was back at O.K.'s for the weekend. The second of two trains was late, making me miss my connection in Karlsruhe. I arrived at O.K.'s about half an our later than planned, but still in time for a (late-ish) lunch. We went for a sunset walk around the village, where I took the last two pictures of this post:
For the Sunday, we had a hike in the Black Forest planned - more about that in my next post.