Well, not yet, not quite. Christmas itself may be over, but "dusted" it will only be for me once I have put away the decoration and cards, and will indeed have dusted the cabinets and shelves.
It was a beautiful Christmas Eve with my family. My Dad is better than he was this time last year - he even made his famous spuds salad (click here for the recipe). Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while may remember that for us, Christmas Eve is the most important part of Christmas, and our traditional meal consists of Wiener sausages and spuds salad.
The tree was beautifully decorated by my Mum and my sister. I must admit my contribution to the entire evening consisted in little more than opening a bottle of sparkling wine and clearing the table after our meal; all day, I had been busy at home, with about an hour in between to look after Hobbes.
Next year, I want to have more time before Christmas, not working right up to it, leaving me to press all household work etc. into Christmas Eve itself.
On the 25th, I got up early and was with Hobbes a few minutes after 7:00. I made sure he had everything he needed and his toilet was fresh and clean. Back home, I showered, dressed, packed my little suitcase and the presents for O.K. and left the house at 9:00.
My three trains were more or less on time, and O.K. picked me up at the station as planned. We even had enough time to drive back to the village, leave my suitcase in the cottage and freshen up a bit. O.K.'s parents joined us for the short drive to where his sister and her husband live. They had invited us for a festive Christmas dinner at their beautiful home. We ate, drank and were merry, and of course took the family group portrait of the six of us, just like we have been doing for the past five years. It is fun to look at the group portraits of former years and see how much (or not) we have changed over time.
On the 26th, more rain was forecast, but O.K. and I managed a good walk around the village before it rained again in the course of the afternoon and for most of the evening and night. We spent the day reading, resting and watching TV and were happy with a meal of cheese, bread, wine and salad in the evening.
O.K. has to work this week, so yesterday (Monday, the 27th), he took me to the train station at 7:00 for me to catch my usual Monday morning train. The train was delayed by about 20 minutes because the doors would not open! This happened again during one of the stops on our way to Stuttgart, but in the end, I arrived at my flat only about 15 minutes later than usual. And it wouldn't really have mattered, had I arrived later, because I am on holiday!!!
|I love watching the morning sky on those early Monday morning train rides, but it is nearly impossible to take a good picture of the sunrise over the Black Forest hills when one is rusing past at breakneck speed, plus the reflection of the window.|
After unpacking and doing a quick food shop, I went to Hobbes. He was fine, but happy to have company after having spent two nights and one entire day all on his own. I sat on the settee with him for almost an hour, reading, and he slept on my lap for a while, before I had to go to keep my appointment at the Vaccination Centre just up the road from where I live.
I had to queue at check-in, and then again to get my booster jab, but that was nothing out of the ordinary. Then I had to queue again in order to get my certificate with the QR code. And that last queue just did not move. We could see from where we were standing that the people at the six or eight computer desks were rushing from one desk to the other. Something was clearly wrong. Then, a technician appeared. About five minutes later, another technician joined him.
One lady came to the head of our queue and advised us to sit in the waiting area, because "this could take a little while". With some sighing and shuffling, we all made it to the white plastic chairs in the waiting area. I pulled out my book (still in my bag from my Hobbes visit) and read for 10 minutes, until the lady appeared again. This time, she told us we could leave our paperwork with her and just the keep the provisorial proof of vaccination, go to a pharmacy and have a certificate with QR code printed there.
More sighing and some grumbling ensued from the waiting crowd, but I just put my book back in my bag and walked to a nearby pharmacy, where it took all but two minutes to have the code generated and the certificate printed. After that, I went home to have a well deserved cup of coffee and some Christmas cookies.
I slept reasonably well but am feeling a little off colour today. My left arm hurts, like it did after the first two jabs, but I am confident that by tomorrow, I will be as good as new :-)