On Monday (13 November), I had no opportunity for a walk other than the five minutes it takes me to go to Aldi's. All afternoon I spent in an online meeting, finishing only at six; it was of course dark by that time.
In between, a phonecall from my favourite neighbour (the one whose garden I see from my kitchen window) came in. We'd not seen each other in a while, and sometimes she rings for a little chat. This time, though, she called to let me know that she has now moved into a care home. She is 91 years old and had been living on her own for decades, managing quite well. Recently, she'd had several falls - none of them too bad, no bones broken -, and her relatives had discussed things with her and she decided to move there.
She is still quite mobile and won't be sitting in her room or in any of the common rooms all day, but it is good to know she's not alone now if anything happens. I will visit her soon, probably this coming Friday.
It is weird now to look out of my kitchen window at her house, knowing it stands empty - one of three in my immediate neighbourhood.
Nothing worth mentioning happened on Tuesday (14 November); I worked at the office in Weilimdorf and, for a change, all went well with my trains.
I was at the office in Weilimdorf again on Wednesday (15 November).
The first anniversary of our dear friend R's death kept me in a subdued mood all day. I had not been out for a proper walk since Sunday, and when the sun made one of its rare appearances around lunch time, I decided to leave work early, walk home from Kornwestheim and continue working from there. It did me good.
One year ago, when my sister texted me to tell me of R's death, I had been at the office, too. I left in the early afternoon then, too, walking across the fields and crying for good part of the way. It felt strange to think that a year has passed already.
On Thursday, 16 November, I was expected in Marbach to give a training and attend a meeting. Train drivers were on strike, meaning no local trains were running. There is a regular bus service to Marbach, so I thought it wasn't going to be a problem to get there and back. However, the scheduled bus never arrived, and the next one was an hour later - much too late for my appointments. I rang Marbach and explained the situation.
The very capable secretary said "Hold on a minute - I have an idea!" and returned a moment later, telling me she was going to send their driver to pick me up! I have never before had such luxury when travelling to my clients, and enjoyed the ride as well as the chatty driver. It was similar on my way back, only with a different (but equally chatty) driver. Up until that day, I had not even known that my client has a fleet of cars and a few drivers at their disposition.
Friday (17 November) was a busy day, working from home and having my new fridge delivered and installed. I was very happy with the way the two men worked their way through everything efficiently, and gave them a generous tip. Of course there was still some cleaning and sorting left for me to do, but now I have a brand new fridge, the second since I moved into this flat 20 years ago.
O.K. arrived at about 9:15 pm.
On Saturday, 18 November, after breakfast we took O.K.'s stereo to a nearby radio shop for repair and then drove to Pforzheim (about an hour's drive) straight from there. The drive was through some beautiful countryside with autumn colours everywhere; had it not been another grey day, it would have been truly spectacular.
In Pforzheim we visited a "Martin's Market" hosted at a school. A friend of O.K.'s is a very talented and creative craftswoman, and since she was selling her things there (she lives nearby), she had invited us to come and have a look. We found nice things for Christmas, had a good look around the entire place, something to eat at lunch time followed by coffee and cake later, listened to a choir and had a chat with our friend before driving home.
Back in Ludwigsburg, we walked to my Mum's place, where we were gathering for a meal of roast goose with all the trimmings, a tradition this time of year around St. Martin's Day. We're not Catholic and do not actually "do" St. Martin's, but we have always made it an occasion for a family gathering around that time.
We woke up to sunshine on Sunday (19 November) and went for a walk in the palace grounds after breakfast. My pictures can only partly convey how beautiful the autumn leaves were in the sunshine, and how luminous the colours. The day was windy but very mild for November at 15C/59F.
At 3:00 pm, we met with my sister at a newly re-opened café in town to test what it had on offer. I enjoyed my slice of pumpkin cake and coffee.
From there, the three of us walked together until my sister went home and O.K. and I continued for a short loop on the fields to take in the sunset.
Back at my flat, I made shakshouka for our evening meal, and we shared my last bottle of white wine which I still had from summer.
For a change, O.K. did not have to drive home that evening (hence the wine) - he has today off. It was nice not having to say good-bye and then wait more or less anxiously for him to let me know he'd arrived home safely after the 150 km drive.
(For my family, another day to remember a loved one: 34 years ago, my granddad - Mum's Dad - died.)