Monday, 26 April 2021

Spring, Inside and Out

There is not a single photo I have to share with you from the week of April 12 - 18, but I have a few from last week.

The picture-less week does not mean I didn't see anything worth mentioning; in fact, I went for beautiful after-work walks, some of them with my sister, some on my own and one with my friend who is normally my mid-week running partner; there were sunrises and sunsets that I admired from my windows, and some really nice meals such as a quiche I made for O.K. and myself on the weekend after this recipe.

On the weekend, we went for one last walk in the palace grounds before the gates were shut again; it was less busy than we feared, and I am glad we went.

On Tuesday, the 13th of April, my after-work walk took me across Ludwigsburg's Old and New cemetery (that is their official name), both beautiful places for a walk and to sit on a bench for some pondering. Not every time I'm out walking I activate the runmeter on my mobile phone, but I did for that walk, and ended up at 8.88 km quite by coincidence.

All of that week and the past week (April 19 - 24) saw cold, frosty nights, but from last Tuesday onwards, it has been warmer during the day; warm enough to be out without my winter coat. 

On the 20th, at 6:21 in the morning - it's not been as foggy as that in a long time!

But as is so often the case, once the fog was gone, it turned out a beautiful day.

Blossoms on a tree on the 21st.

Apple blossoms on the 22nd.

Big open skies feel so good after a day spent staring at computer screens!

Late afternoon light, on the fields between Freiberg and Benningen.

Except for the Thursday of that week, I saw my sister every day; we walked together, and on Friday (April 23), the three of us (my sister, O.K. and I) participated in an online wine tasting from my living room.

I have not been to many wine tastings in my life, and certainly never before to an online one, but it was good fun and made for a nice change. After I had booked us for the event, the winery sent me a box with the four wines that we were to taste, along with a few tips such as when to put the white and rosé wines in the fridge, when to open the red, what to get ready (bread, olive oil and water), and so on.

The technical part went smoothly, too; I used my iPad to show the wine tasting on my TV instead of the three of us having to huddle around the much smaller screen of my desktop computer. That way, we could sit comfortably on the settee and my sister on the armchair, with enough distance.

The lady who presented the wines was very funny (verging on the silly), and the owner of the winery came across as a nice man, knowledgeable and unpretentious (he is the current Duke of Wuerttemberg, and his family have been making wine there for about 400 years).

We enjoyed the four wines and had a fun evening. With the curfew now being shifted to 10 pm (instead of 9:00), my sister had enough time to walk home without stress or breaking the rules.

Spring inside as well - my sister brought me these beautiful tulips last Friday.

Now I have three days left to work before my 2 1/2 weeks off begin!


  1. I wonder what difference to possible coronavirus infections a night-time curfew makes? And what difference does it make if you change the start of the curfew from 9pm to 10pm? As far as I know we haven't had any curfews in England during these challenging times.

    P.S. Hope you have a happy working week.

  2. Neil, I have been asking myself exactly that ever since the first curfew was announced back in November last year. Thinking about it, I can not imagine one single infection being stopped because of the curfew. I would imagine that those who carelessly keep meeting many other folks won't care about the curfew anyway, and law-abiding people like myself do not endanger anyone by quietly walking home from a meal with my parents even if it should be after 10 pm.

    P.S. Thank you. It will be rather intense, as it always is before being away, but I am optimistic about finishing what I tasks I want to complete until Wednesday.

  3. I cannot believe curfews make any difference at all in town, village and country areas where people socially distance and stand aside for others to pass. Where we are you can often go out for a walk and pass less than 10 people. Possibly it does have some effect in crowded places but I suppose you can't have a rule that puts a curfew only on crowded places.

    1. Like you, I can't see curfews making any difference unless they are enforced during the day, to stop people in towns and cities from leaving their homes altogether. They had that type of curfew in France (and I believe in some other countries, too). My cousin who lives in France told us how she truly felt a prisoner in her own home, allowed outside only with a document stating a valid reason.

  4. Darling Meike,

    Given the situation in Hungary where a curfew has been and continues to be in place, it makes no difference to the numbers of COVID cases which have shown a massive rise here in recent months. In our view, a curfew simply encourages people [sadly, most often young people] to go to parties before the curfew and keep the party going until the next morning when they can leave. Madness and, as a result, the average age of COVID hospitalisations is under 50.

    The virtual [except for the wine] wine tasting sounds like huge fun. What an imaginative idea and a very social way to stay in touch with friends and family whilst separated.

    1. Dear Jane and Lance,

      What you describe happening in Hungary is exactly what I think some are doing here. I suppose people would have been much more willing to stick to such strict rules if there had been a recognisable strategy behind it all, instead of the bumbling from one lockdown into the next, complete with many broken promises and contradictory regulations and statements.

      Here, local churches have been organising virtual wine tastings for their communities, too. It is apparently a huge success.

  5. Your photo of the fog reminds me of just how often it can be foggy around here. Living within a half mile of the Chesapeake Bay means fog is a fairly regular event. During these times, I can hear the sound of foghorns from the big ships as they make their way up and down the Bay. A mournful, but somehow beautiful sound.

    Wishing you and O.K. a wonderful holiday.

    1. Thank you, Mary!

      Here, we are too far from any significant water body to hear foghorns, but I know their sound; it makes me wistful for a trip to the North Sea.

  6. The wine tasting sounds like fun. I think these days there is not much that hasn't been done virtually. It's wonderful that you can see your sister so often too. I enjoyed your pictures, especially of those beautiful flowering trees. How exciting for you to have a long holiday coming up soon! I send you and O.K. all my best for an enjoyable time!

    1. Bonnie, you are right; anything imaginable (and probably some things we can hardly imagine) have been done virtually.

      I am so lucky in living close to my family. On second thought, it has less to do with luck and more with the decision to stay in the same town instead of moving away.

      Thank you - I am sure we will have a very good time, no matter the weather!

  7. I like the idea of an on line wine tasting.

    1. I am sure you would enjoy that, too, Pat; you are quite experienced with zoom coffee mornings and book club meetings and so on.

  8. Great post and great comments !

    Skies bluer than blue, cherry blossom, tulips, wine tasting at the Duke of Wuerttemberg's. Then thoughts of Hungary, foghorns sounding on Chesapeake Bay, memories of the North Sea (once called the German Ocean). We live in a global village !

    There is a report in Time magazine on how Americans coped with lockdown, how some shared a support bubble online. It said almost half of Americans (can this be true?) now live on their own.
    I hope we wake up to the reality global warming and the scandal of Third World poverty. India is a vale of tears.
    J Haggerty

    1. The situation in India for millions of people is far beyond what I can imagine even at the best of times. That the pandemic hits particularly hard there is not surprising. Many countries are sending medical supplies and other help, but none of that can change the overall conditions and the huge overpopulation the subcontinent has been suffering from for decades.

      The global village you mention is exactly what I like so much about blogging. It allows me to be in touch with many lovely people and whatever they are willing to share with me; people and thoughts and ideas I would have never come across otherwise.