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 :-)
Sounds like a busy but fun Christmas celebration! It is good that you have figured out how to celebrate with your family AND OK's family! I am sure you are tired after all of the traveling but you wisely booked your holiday so you have time to rest and recover (and read!) Now on to New Year's celebrations! Stay well!ReplyDelete
The celebrations as such were quiet and cosy, it was just the "before" and "after" that was a little busy. By now, we are used to travelling back and forth between our two households this time of year, and as you say, I have this week to rest and recover.Delete
You too stay well, Ellen!
A good Christmas from the sounds of it. Glad you were able to celebrate with your family and O.K.'s.ReplyDelete
Lucky Hobbes to have you come and keep him company while his people are away. And lucky you to have your booster (got mine in early November...but then, I have a couple of decades on you :). Hope your arm is less sore today and that you are feeling prime again. I only had a sore arm with the booster and maybe a bit fatigued. Nothing like I felt after the second jab. Thankfully.
I felt fine the morning after my booster, but in the course of the day realised I had been over-optimistic and had to rest in the afternoon with a headache and generally feeling rough. But I still managed to visit Hobbes for an hour in the early evening, and today I am much better.Delete
Glad you had a good Christmas, even if rainy - and that you got your booster jab sorted, even if it involved some queuing. Here, we don't get the vaccine pass in connection with the jab, we're supposed to download it online ourselves (or if one doesn't have that possibility, send in a form somewhere and get it sent by post).ReplyDelete
With the QR code, we can load the certificate into the Covid app on our smartphones, which almost all shops, restaurants etc. will be able to scan for verification. It is more complicated for those without such phones. But if one person has a smartphone and the app, that person can store the certificates for other household or family members, too (like my Mum has the one for my Dad on her phone, too).Delete
I am now going back to have a look at your Father's potato salad recipe.ReplyDelete
My Dad's spud salad has been a firm favourite with everyone in the family for decades, whether it be for Christmas or other occasions. It goes very nicely with BBQs, too!Delete
A jab at Christmas! Some here are calling them Jingle Jabs.ReplyDelete
It was on the 27th, so technically, after Christmas. But still jingling in my arm and head for a day or two!Delete
Ed Milliband, former Labour leader in Britain, once said:ReplyDelete
*If you want the American Dream, go to Finland.*
I would nominate your fiefdom in Germany as another place to live out the dream.
The thought of taking three privatised trains in Britain is daunting: Germans know how to run an efficient rail service, give or take a malfunctioning train door.
And then there are your winsome towns, wide skies, bonny hills + Black Forest.
I was fascinated to read that you study roads from the train which you later walk.
Trains and bicycles are among humankind's best inventions, cars + motorways the worst.
I am sorry you had the onerous task of opening the (first?) bottle of sparkling wine, but someone has to do it. I'd enjoy a beer + lunch in Stuttgart. Perhaps 2022.
Very glad your Papa is better than last year, sorry your arm hurts after the Booster.
I am reading a useful book by Dr. Jeff Rediger (Harvard Medical School):
*Cured - The Power of Our Immune System and the Mind-Body Connection*.
Dr. Rudiger is a psychiatrist and studied the role nutrition plays in fighting disease.
There are many stories in the book, patients battling serious health issues.
His book was published in Penguin paperback 2021.
Jack (John) H
Jack (John), should you ever be in the Stuttgart area, let me know, and I shall join you for that beer (although mine will be a Radler, most likely).Delete
Your sentence "Germans know how to run an efficient rail service" almost made me splurt out my coffee when I read it! I think I shall do a post about that persistent myth. An efficient rail service in Germany has not been running for the past 30 years or so! In my personal experience, four out of five train trips have some problem or other; trains late and/or cancelled, connections missed, an entire coach missing (so that my booked seat is simply not there), and so on.
I completely agree with you that cars and motorways are the worst when it comes to transport. And like almost all our problems as a species, the problems with individual transport can be put down to there simply being too many of us on this planet.
The book by Dr. Rudiger (or Rediger?) sounds interesting. I have always been fascinated by how mind and body work together.
Your Christmas Eve dinner table is beautiful! I'm glad to hear your father is better than last year. How nice to be able to keep to old traditions. We do that too in my tiny family...Christmas day brunch and gift opening.ReplyDelete
My Mum has a knack for laying out a table beautifully. She has always been doing that, even when the three of us (Mum, sister and I) just had lunch after school.Delete
Christmas is all about (old and new) traditions, isn't it!
There's just nothing like a family Christmas. It's the time of year when it hits me that I have no family left in Germany and my 'foreign' family is busy with 'foreign' family things.ReplyDelete
Aber Knacker mit Kartoffelsalat gibt's doch, sogar mit deutschen Senf.
Frohes Neues Jahr, mag's endlich besser werden.
Wie schön, dass es auch bei Dir Würstle mit Kartoffelsalat gibt, und sogar deutschen Senf dazu!Delete
Ja, frohes Neues Jahr, Friko.
I'm glad you got your jab, despite all the waits and such. And your Christmas sounds lovely. So, too, does snugging in with Hobbes after your return. He's such a handsome boy! There's something about the orange cats, isn't there? My mamrmelade gypsy was the snuggiest cat of all time, and it's taken me some time (nine years!) to adjust to the fact that lap time is just NOT Lizzie Cosette's thing! I hope you have a lovely Christmas week and new year -- and smiles that your dad seems to be improved!ReplyDelete
Hobbes is happy to have me there with him on the settee for now - but I bet once his people are back, he won't even look at me anymore :-DDelete
I didn't mind queuing a bit for my jab, and I was lucky in that I did not have a later appointment - everyone who was scheduled for after 3:00 pm could not even be checked in, and they probably had to go home un-jabbed.
It is wonderful to hear about your Christmas traditions. I'm so happy to know your Dad is doing better too. Isn't it nice to have that third jab done now. I also felt bad the night after and the next day but was fine after that. A small price to pay for some protection! Hobbes sounds like a sweet cat and I know he enjoys your visits. I hope the remainder of your time off work is enjoyable and relaxing!ReplyDelete
Yesterday, I felt perfectly fine again, and you are right - it is good to have that third jab done; I was the last one in my family circle to have it.Delete
Hobbes is really sweet, and I enjoy our snuggle time, too. He is probably not even going to look at me anymore once his folks are back, though :-D
I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, too, Bonnie; I know times have not been easy for you recently.
Your parents' home is beautiful and looks so festive in these photos! I love the way you and your people decorate and the aesthetic of it all. There's a certain warm simplicity that is so appealing to my eye. :)ReplyDelete
Once again, Happy Holidays to you and yours, dear friend. May we all have a healthy, happy, and prosperous New Year!
My Mum loves to decorate, and she loves lights and candles - can you tell? ;-)Delete
All the best for 2022 to you, Gregg, George and Marco, dear Jennifer!
Just a thank you for all your posts and to wish you a Happy New Year.ReplyDelete
Thank YOU for reading and commenting, Dave, and a Happy New Year to you, too.Delete
Happy New Year!ReplyDelete
I wish you good health and happiness in 2022.
Thank you, Crane, and the same to you!Delete
You did well with the picture from the train in spite of the difficulties. It's great that your father seemed better this Christmas than he was in 2020. Maybe my special gift to you will never arrive but I haven't given up hope yet. Happy New Year Meike!ReplyDelete
I‘m not home this week so maybe when I return I will find your special gift in my letterbox. Happy New Year to you, too, Neil!Delete
Wishing you and all your family a healthy and happy 2022.ReplyDelete
Thank you, and the same to you!Delete
As always I enjoyed reading your post of all your activities around Christmas (probably because I usually do so little these days now that may parents are long gone) but on this occasion I was particularly happy to read that your Dad has improved since last year and that you've had your booster jab. Being a vulnerable oldie I've just had my second booster. Having said that I not only do not have a QR code for this one but I forgot to ask what vaccine I'd been given.ReplyDelete
Yes, it is amazing what differnce a change in medication and his hearing aids have made for my Dad. I did have one rough day after the booster but that was a small price to pay. The QR code is absolutely necessary here, because it is scanned left, right and center - almost everywhere you go, you need to prove your vaccinated status now.Delete