Saturday 20 May 2023

May Break: Saturday and Sunday

My late husband always corrected me when, before a long weekend such as Easter, I would say that I was having four days off. He said that I was not having four days off, only two (Good Friday and Easter Monday, for example); the Saturday and Sunday were the regular weekend anyway. Technically, he was of course right. But what I meant (and still do) was that I was looking forward to a certain number of days without work.

And therefore, although the previous Saturday and Sunday (May 13 and 14) were "just the regular weekend" and not days taken off work, I still consider them part of my May Break - its last part.

Saturday was chilly and cloudy but mostly dry, with the sun coming out when the day was nearly over. 

O.K. and I went for a late breakfast (as is so often the case with us on weekends, closer to lunch time than anything else) at "Bubbles", one of our favourite caf├ęs. A little, somewhat aimless, stroll in town followed, as sometimes happens when we know it's not worth starting anything like a longer walk, and we don't actually want anything from the shops, either.

Shortly before 2:00 pm, O.K. left for home. We both needed the rest of the weekend to sort out things and get ready for work on Monday. Also, O.K. intended to spend much of Sunday (Mother's Day in Germany) with his family.

I went for a quick food shop and spent the next two hours at home before I set off for a walk at about half past four.

When I have been away from home for a while, like these past two weeks, one of the things I love to do to make me feel really "welcome back" is walking my most familiar paths. I did just that on this afternoon, walking to Benningen as I have done so many times. It felt really good.

View from my kitchen window around 7:30 pm
In the evening, I watched an episode of Shakespeare & Hathaway, and read for a while before bedtime.

Sunday was sunny and beautiful - but first thing in the morning was a message from my Mum: She had been unwell all Saturday (nothing to do with the Indian food on Friday evening), and this morning's self-test revealed that she was COV-19 positive. Oh no!! 

Over the past months, my Mum has been looking after herself much better than what was possible for her while she was caring for my Dad 24/7. But she is going to be 79 this August and has several health issues to deal with; she certainly did not need that virus on top! My sister and I were worried but there was not much either of us could do other than urge Mum to take things easy (which she did) and drink plenty of tea and water and eat at least a little bit (which she did, too). 

With my sister being in Berlin for a break, my Mum and I had originally intended to spend the afternoon together, maybe walking to the cemetery, having coffee on Mum's balcony in the sun or similar. Of course, this was now completely out of the question.

Instead, I went out on the fields on my own, and from one of my favourite spots picked a small bunch of wild flowers. Together with a little souvenir from our stay in Limpach, I brought them to my Mum. We only met in the stair case; Mum was wearing an FFP2 mask, and we neither hugged or came nearer each other than 2 m. I put the bag with my little gifts on the floor and left.

On the outskirts of Pflugfelden, near the cemetery
Back home, I had a quiet rest of afternoon and evening ; blogging, reading, playing, watching TV and talking to O.K. on the phone.

This year's May Break was over.


  1. Your friends will be concerned to hear your mother has Covid.
    It is hard on you both, only being allowed to meet on the staircase.
    Walking familiar paths, towards beautiful Benningen, is the best way of returning to reality after the bliss of Holiday.

    Strange, how we see familiar sights with born-again eyes, after we have been away.
    Glasgow feels different after I have had a day away in Stirling or Edinburgh, never mind foreign travel
    Your prose is window-pane, everything you write is as clear as those red mansard rooftops from your kitchen window; cobalt-blue scudding clouds, could be Scotland.
    Your mother will be well again.

    1. Thank you, Jack - she already is much better. I still managed to catch the virus from her (it must have been on the Friday evening, when she unwittingly already had it) and have been testing positive since Wednesday.

      You are right; we see familiar sights with fresh eyes when we've been away, especially when in those short two weeks there has been such a lot of growth as is typical for this time of year. The apple plantations between Freiberg and Benningen were just beginning to bloom when I walked there before my break, and now there are almost no blossoms left, and the green leaves are developing fast.

    2. Great news, your mother is much better !

      I escaped the virus; already a semi-conspiracy narrative is growing apace.
      People of my own age who like me received all the vaccines have joint problems.
      One friend suddenly has a crutch; another is dragging his foot badly; a third has septic toes; one of my sisters has diseased tendons in one of her and will always need an aluminium walking stick ...
      A Catholic friend said she noticed the same thing in Dunblane, a close community in Perthshire where everyone knows everyone else.
      (Eating blueberries, spinach, kail & nuts is a good way of fighting ostio-arthritis.)

      The pictures from your last day in Limpach blew all the cobweb conspiracies away.
      Only Turner could have painted your skies !
      *A Glimpse of Lake Constance* by Meike the Librarian is just the travel book I would buy in Waterstones.
      The cemetery on the outskirts of Pflugfelden is quite entrancing.

    3. I should have written, my sister has diseased tendons in one of her feet.
      It is Stage Two and may remain like that. She has deferred an operation which may not succeed anyway.

  2. Oh, I have been wondering how your mom was faring with Covid - sounds like she was wise in taking care of herself. Hope you have a similarly mild dose - are antivirals available there? We had it last summer and took the antivirals right away, of course no way to tell if that made it easier or not.

    Best wishes and thank you for sharing your holiday pictures.


    1. Thank you, Ceci!
      I am sort of slogging through each day right now, it mostly feels like a big fat cold and we all know that the best thing for that is to rest, take plenty of fluids and don't overdo anything.

  3. Oh no! First your mother and now you! I hope you're both feeling better already. Please take care of yourself.

    1. Thank you, Jennifer. My Mum is much better, I am still in the middle of it, but optimistic about being back to my normal self in a few more days.

  4. Sorry to hear that you and your Mom have Covid. Hope you both heal quickly! Rest, relax and recover soon, Meike!

    1. Thank you, Ellen! See my reply to Jennifer.
      We are just glad that neither my sister nor O.K. caught it - after all, we were all gathered around the same table on Friday night.

  5. I'm reading this on the 25th and I know that you also contracted Covid. I do hope that your Mum and you are now well on the way to being better.

    1. Thank you, Graham! My Mum was about 3 days ahead of me with everything from showing symptoms to testing positive, to getting better and testing negative again. We are both well again, with a bit of a cough still lingering.