Here is my summary of the week from November 7 to 13.
Monday, the 7th of November, started adventurous as my train trip home from O.K.'s did not touch Stuttgart but went to Esslingen, where because of it being completely overcrowded, I could not get on the intended train to Ludwigsburg but had to take the local train to Stuttgart and change again for Ludwigsburg. Good job it wasn't too cold or wet, or all that waiting on platforms would have been very unpleasant. I arrived home quite a bit later than planned, but as there were no meetings scheduled in the morning, it was ok.
There was no time for an after work walk, as I had the fortnightly meeting with my volunteer group.
On Tuesday (Nov. 8), I worked on-site at my client's and went to help my Mum with a few things afterwards. It was good to have at least a little walk in the sunshine during my lunch break.
Wednesday, the 9th of November, was rainy. I was back at my Mum's after work to help writing the thank you notes to people who had attended my Dad's funeral or written to us. We wrote close to 60 cards, and that did not include some of those who we were in touch with via email or telephone.
These are only the condolence cards sent to me - my Mum received many more. This one was included with one of the cards - the sender did not know how perfectly the colours match my new rug. I will keep it on display in my living room.
It was sunny and mild on Thursday (Nov. 10), and I was glad to meet up with my friend and her six-year old daughter, dropping little C off at school and then continuing our walk. The exercise, daylight and opportunity to catch up with my friend and share our worries and joys really makes a difference to a day.
The news about our gravely ill friend were not good, and so my sister, his brother and another friend traveled to where he was in hospital. My thoughts were with all of them, and I found it very hard to focus on work. Shortly after 3:00 pm, I realised it was no use, shut my laptop and went out again. I dropped off some of the thank you cards at those friends who live in town and then walked on until sunset.
Friday, the 11th of November, saw me up early. My boss picked me up well before 8:00, driving to Metzingen with me where we were to attend an event organised by a regional group of our professional association (data protection officers). It was the first time this year that I saw my boss "live" and not just on a computer screen. We made good use of the drive to catch up with each other, on personal matters as much as on work-related things.
The event was interesting in many ways, and it is always good to meet my fellow DPOs. I was home at about 5:15 pm and did my cleaning etc. in preparation for the weekend. O.K. arrived at my place at around 9:30 pm. We sat down for shakshouka and a bottle of pinot noir which we did not even empty - unusual for us.
I had invited my Mum and my sister for a family meal on Saturday (Nov. 12), but with my sister now away to be with our ill friend, there were just the three of us that evening for my home-made Yorkshire puddings, roast spuds, parsnips and parsley roots, with beef goulash made in a rich and creamy sauce based on the same red wine we later drank with the meal.
But that was the evening; during the day, we went into town (where I took the photos shown on this post) for a late breakfast at a café we like. Our next stop was a clothes shop where O.K. found a shirt he wanted, then on for an espresso at a coffee shop. We dropped in at our favourite wine merchant's before going home, where another coffee was in order before I started cooking.
It was good to have my Mum over for the evening, but we missed my sister and our thoughts and much of the conversation revolved around our dear friend.
Sunday, Nov. 13, was again sunny and mild. After a leisurely breakfast (almost at lunch time, really) with fresh croissants and rolls delivered to my door by our Brezel-Taxi, we went on a long walk down to the river and back across the area called Hungerberg which I first showed you here.
|View across the river towards Neckarweihingen|
|Cemetery chapel in Hoheneck|
|Footbridge between Hoheneck and Neckarweihingen|
|Steps leading up from Hungerberg|
|View from the top of Hungerberg|
After coffee and a rest, I put a ready-made vegan lasagne in the oven for our evening meal. It was alright but I won't buy this particular product again; it was a little disappointing in terms of taste.
O.K. left shortly after 8:00 pm, and I ended my week watching another episode of "All Creatures Great and Small" (the DVDs were a gift from my sister).
I am very sad to tell you that our friend has died on Tuesday, Nov. 15. The week I describe here was overshadowed by the worries about our friend - and also about my sister, who was very close to him and is suffering the most.
All this was of course not made any easier by our Dad's death only five weeks ago. You can truly say that, as a family, we are having our roughest year yet. It will all take time to process, and the gaps in our lives will never be closed. But at least we are still here, and can be there for each other.