Corona Diaries – Week 9&10

Here we are at the time and place where it feels like the pandemic is over while we are actually right in the midst of it. I have to admit I am not immune it it. I have to fight the urge to downplay it, to forget to wash my hands when coming home, to keep my distance because everyone else is being lax about it… And I can feel it in writing about it in the diary. It feels like old news as I have mentioned before – hence the skip last week. But it is still here. And so we, I, continue in documenting this pandemic life. Here it is:

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Number of days at home?

69 days – well I am not sure if I can call it days at home. Let’s switch it to “Day since the pandemic started”

How is the political situation?

Pfff… who knows. Honestly I have not been too involved in keeping track. Restaurants are open again. People go there – I don’t. All shops are open. Swimming pools and fitness studios have opened again. Churches hold service again. Only cinemas, nightlife and concerts are still closed.

How is the work situation?

I had to do some math and unfortunately after checking back with my tax guy I have to pay back the financial aid I received from the government. I had some projects paid in March and therefore some income which is now contra-productive… Also all my inquiries didn’t pan out. So we’ll see what the future brings. I am glad money is coming in but I also know it’s just time-displaced for a few months… On the other hand I had a really productive week here and that feels good.

How is the mood?

Pretty good overall. I really can’t complain. Weather is nice so sitting on the balcony becomes a habit again. Windows are open, light is nice.

Any favorite moments?

  • FaceTime call with my friend
  • Call with my mom
  • A little photo walk while the care got serviced
  • Some driving and exploring with the husband

What was the worst moment?

A rather personal experience from back in the day came up and needed my attention for a day.

What is stressful right now?

We are back at the shopping experience. Saturday morning in the grocery store is a nightmare. Do people really don’t have the decency to stay away? Do they need to push your cart around, slip through three people because well the need to get that carrot right now? And do we really hear better when we take of the mask… seriously I just wanted to scream and throw a bomb.

Any makes/DIYs this week?

Wrote 4 letters, mended some garments, practiced some lettering, another bath of face masks for donation, some image editing…

What’s for lunch/dinner?

Eating schedules are a bit off again as the husband is at the office two/three days a week and so its everyone for itself.

  • 2 x grilled cheese sandwiches
  • his: cereal | hers: grilled salmon with rice
  • 2 x his: pizza | hers: asparagus with tomato and feta cheese
  • his: pizza | hers: tomato soup with shrimps
  • his: Döner | her: Turkish pizza
  • Tortellini with cheese sauce
  • her: Quarkkeulchen (very regional dish with dumpling dough and quark, apple sauce, cinnamon – do you want a recipe?)
  • ???

Ten weeks. That is 2,5 months. It is crazy to think it’s been this long. I keep thinking how life would have felt with a pandemic in a different time area. And I come back to the setting of “The pillars of the Earth” We are lucky to life today.

Take care and stay safe

Tobia

VIRTUAL COFFEE DATE | MAY 2020

sipping a coffe at the window sill craftaliciousme seeking creative life may coffee date

And just like that we are here for our May coffee date. Again Lecy is hosting and I am glad you stop by in my little corner. Today we kinda meet in person but only with feet apart. We bring our own coffee and stay on our own side of the fence. But we chat and we see each other and that is kinda of a good thing.

While we sip our coffee…
let’s discuss the phenomenon I recently came across more often. I listen to a podcast and next time I am on Instagram I receive an ad from the host selling some online course. I sit at dinner with friends (pre-Corona) and she tells me about a new product I have never heard of, never googled and never seen before online yet next time I am, I see ads everywhere. Well my phone was on the table during our gathering. So it’s not surprising that when I look for something on Pinterest I soon get infos about it on other social media. While I know all this is happening (and am not totally opposed as I work in marketing) can I say it is still a bit weird. Or better it’s grounding as it shows me that I am quiet transparent in case someone wants to know anything about me. So in a way it is kind of humbling and it makes me reconsider every once in a while what I put online. What are your feelings?

While we sip our coffee…
I talk about our not happening family reunion on the first weekend in May. Usually we meet up at my late grandparents house in the countryside for a weekend of bbq, playing talking and some exploring. Obviously it did not happen. It’s a bit sad. I decided to go down there on my own on May 1 (a holiday in Germany) to visit grandpas grave as it is his day of death. It was a good decision. I sat at the cemetery for an hour enjoying the sun and listening to the birds sing. Then, after spending two hours in the garden (secretly waiting for my parents to come back from their little drive) I left to go back to Berlin. So no worries the social distancing was still intact.

While we sip our coffee…
I share with you my new practice of writing letters. Just last Sunday I wrote three sitting on the balcony. It is such a nice thing to do. And I really do miss having a slow conversation with people. To wait until you receive the answer. Of course I still like the internet and immediate responses too. I guess it’s the combination of it all. It looks like I am developing a new penpalship with an OLF. And so letters are flying between Prague and Berlin. Have you written more letters since the pandemic?

While we sip our coffee…
we just enjoy the warmth of the sun. After a few really warm days it has been rather cold here. But temperatures are climbing again and when you are in a spot of sunshine it gets really nice. So we soak up all the vitamin D we can get.

While we sip our coffee…
I share with you that I have not eaten any cake, chocolate or candy since late February. I am working on crossing of my #74 on my goal list. Basically I try to reduce the sugar intake. I have to admit I had spoon of Nutella once or twice (realizing I really care for it) and I had some semolina with cinnamon sugar and what ever is added to the store bought yoghurts. But besides that I have been good. And my migraines have reduced noticeably. It could be the new treatment with the shots though. I will start having the occasional cake starting in June then we should see but I can’t deny that the sugar is not my friend. I feared that outcome…

While we sip our coffee…
asking you if you keep a regular journaling practice. I have been doing a gratitude journal combined with some habit tracking for years but it looks like the system is not working for me this year. I have hardly filled the pages of my calendar. I used to do it in the morning but now I rather read. And at night I am too tired, keep forgetting or don’t feel comfortable writing in bed. If you keep up that practice please share some tipps.

So much for now. It is getting late. We end our coffee date for today but will be seeing each other next months for sure. And of course in between you are welcome to stop by as well.

Happy May

Tobia

Corona Diaries – Week 8

This whole corona things just feels old… Everything is same same but different but than lots is going on. Life seems to slip back to “normal” with new habits that are taking shape. I really don’t know how to feel about it all. Well, gathering my thoughts by answering my own little questionnaire:

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Number of days at home?

55 days – however I have to admit last week didn’t quiet feel like staying at home so much. I went as always grocery shopping. And I had my first business meeting in person since March. The husband was going to the office on Monday and Tuesday too as they try to establish some sort of office routine again.

How is the political situation?

So face masks are mandatory in public transport and shops. Besides that a few new rules are taking place here in Berlin: all shops are open again, more classes start in schools again. More to come in the following weeks.

How is the work situation?

I was busy most the week. Also I had a received a contract for a new project just to realize during the kick-off meeting that they actually thought I can provide skills I most defiantly don’t have in this depths. It was a misunderstanding on their side as I was open about my skills. Unfortunately it was a very unpleasant meeting. One person made me look like a fool because I couldn’t answer the questions he asked. Apparently he just wanted to demonstrate my lack of knowledge in that area. Finally said I can’t do that and I never said I could. Then he left the meeting to write multiple text messages saying I can’t do the job. Really unpleasant experience.

How is the mood?

I am ambivalent. I can see all the rules being relaxed and people start getting back to pre-corona life. However I feel it’s false security and somewhat denial to just keep on as before. On the other hand I can feel the need to be more outside and had a couple thoughts about seeing friends and family. And obviously I don’t want to continue this state for the entire year. So I don’t really know what to feel right now.

Any favorite moments?

  • relaxed hours with the husband
  • reading in the morning
  • learning about the little sparrow that sits on my window sill every morning 8.30am
  • FaceTime with my sister & the kids

What was the worst moment?

That unpleasant business meeting. A rather depressing doctors appointment.

What is stressful right now?

Feeling like I need a new project contract now that one fell through.
A decision I suddenly need to make – and I am not quiet sure I really need to but I am not knowledgeable enough to really know. Arrrgh.

Any makes/DIYs this week?

I worked on a new shirt. Didn’t have much time so sometimes only one seam but little steps will get me there.

What’s for lunch/dinner?

  • Pesto Pasta
  • his: fish fingers | hers: grilled salmon | both: mashed potatoes and cucumber salad
  • his: pizza | hers: salad with veal
  • his: potato salad with wiener | hers: potatoes and quark with linseed oil
  • grilled cheese sandwiches with apple wedges
  • Omelette

I have to admit I am pondering how long I will keep the weekly reports because quite honestly, this will be somehow the new reality for some time to come – the shopping with masks. The not shaking hands and hugging when you see people. The distance you try to keep to others. And I can’t write the same things every week. Maybe I switch to monthly updates? What you think?

Take care and stay safe

Tobia

BOOKS I READ IN APRIL

April has been a good reading month. And it’s for two reasons: for one I was able to score a free month of kindle unlimited and so I always try to read as many books as possible. And the second reason is I have discovered audio books. Some of the unlimited books came with an audiobook so I was able to switch when from reading and listening. Amazing when you spent hours on the sewing machine with face masks. Ok, I stop my rambling as you probably want to know what I have been reading. Here are the books I read in April:

The Spirit of the Dragon by William Andrews | ★★★★★

What’s it about: A love story that spans decades and wars survives misunderstandings and intrigues and is build on trust. Korean history is again woven into the story and so we fight alongside Kim il Sung and experience the heartaches of time from 1937 to today when we follow the work of a human rights activist.
What I thought: I just love the way William Andrews is weaving his stories. We meet characters we’ve heard about in the two previous books and see their side of the story. But if it is your first you can still easily follow and don’t miss out. The story itself is always interesting, at times heartbreaking and gives a good picture of life in Korea. I found it very entertaining (not sure this is the right word) and could not stop turning the pages.
Language: English – already translated to German
Recommend to: everyone. Seriously I think this is a book or better the last one in the trilogy every one should read.

craftaliciousme seeking creative life book review April spirit of the dragon Andrew Williams

Der Rabbi by Noah Gordon | ★★★⭐︎⭐︎

What’s it about: A rabbi and his life, his struggles in the first half of the 20th century in America. He lives with a wife who is a Catholic convert and the struggles they face when trying to build a community and a synagogue.
What I thought: I was a bit disappointed to be quite honest. I believe I’ve read a book by this author in my youth and found it very exciting. This one not so much. Very slow, not much has happened. It wasn’t that you learnt much about Judaism. Not much about the life of a rabbi and yet at the same time there were words used you could often not understand without knowledge of the specific faith. It was a bit weird.
Language: German originally written in English
Recommend to: not sure you would like it so I’d say everyone if you have time

Valkyria Trilogy by Clannon Miller| ★★★⭐︎⭐︎

What’s it about: Lilli and her sisters had to flee their own world (Asgard) and are now hiding on Earth. Until one of them is abducted. When they try to rescue the missing sister they start getting involved in century old wars, involved with gods, elves and demons while finding love and life.
What I thought: I enjoyed the world of Valkyria, the different dimensions we jump in between, the fierceness and power that comes along with the strong female characters. However I could have done without the permanente sexual references that gave me more than one eye roll which reduces this rating by 1,5*.
Language: German
Recommend to: everyone loving a good urban fantasy and isn’t afraid of explicit scenes

Hansen Saga 2-5 by Ellin Carsta| ★★★⭐︎⭐︎

What’s it about: The story of a merchants family in Hamburg being in business for coffee and cocoa in the 19th century. We jump between the family in Hamburg – where the run a trading station, Vienna – were they have an outlet and coffee houses , and Cameron – where they own a plantation. Every family member has their own story and we follow them through their lives.
What I thought: I listened to it while seeing and it was perfect for that. Good entertainment, engaging stories and I had my favorite characters while I disliked others. It is probably not the very best historical fiction I’ve read/listend to but it is a good story.
Language: German but available in English too
Recommend to: everyone loving historic fiction wanting to know about colonial Cameron and Germany’s Hanse trades.

Zum Kaffee mit Mr. Dalton: Vollkommen verhext (Die Aseptischen Magier III) by Lilly Labord| ★★★⭐︎⭐︎

What’s it about: Third book in a series of a secret magician circle that is trying to save the world from the mean council.
What I thought: I was so looking forward to finally continue this series but somehow this book couldn’t deliver. It felt like the first draft. The characters had no development specially the main character seemed to dwindle to shadow. The whole story felt dreaded out – sitting in a coffee house while plotting the next big coup that isn’t coming. Boring. Also I felt like the whole world is really not original.
Language: German
Recommend to: if you like fantasy and sorcery and enjoyed the first two books give it a try

Overall this was a good reading months with 10 books in total. I abandoned one ( All the birds in the sky). Did you read anything good you want to recommend? Let’s hear it in the comments

Happy reading

Tobia

Corona Diaries – Week 7

Ahhh this week is over. I am glad. Corona week 7 was not something I need again. I struggled for the first time. I have had lots do do but not the right motivation. I wanted to be outdoors and felt cooped up in this huge city. It was a week I wished I lived in a rural area where I could have just roamed free. Let’s have a closer look:

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Number of days at home?

48 days – I have to admit I went outside more often. So did Mr. ♡. Monday I went grocery shopping and the husband had meetings and a went to the office. On Wednesday I had a photo shooting with my dad while keeping social distance of course. Then went for a another trip to the grocery store. And on Thursday I had big cabin fever so I had to go for a 70 min walk in the park.

How is the political situation?

I have no overview any longer. When I was in the park people did not practice social distancing. Lots of picnics and beer drinking went on. Also playgrounds were occupied. I foresee another wave of infections.

How is the work situation?

Still busy. Trying to get stuff done. Motivation is ok but could be better. I had an interesting job interview Thursday and I would love to get that project. We’ll see.

How is the mood?

Alright. In all the corona weeks this one was probably the one I struggled the most. I wanted to be outside more. I wanted to be more carefree. I wanted to go get some ice cream.

Any favorite moments?

  • Seeing dad from a far
  • Talks with the neighbors
  • Lots of reading and sewing
  • The smell of blossoms in the spring air during my walk
  • Nice feedback for my workshop I gave

What was the worst moment?

Sitting at home right now when actually I was supposed to meet with family at our annual family reunion.

What is stressful right now?

My self aspiration.

Any makes/DIYs this week?

Working on making a pouff. Wrote a letter.

What’s for lunch/dinner?

  • Asian Take-out
  • German Abendbrot
  • Grilled Chicken Breast with salad and fries
  • his: Pizza | hers: asparagus with feta and tomatoes
  • grilled cheese sandwiches
  • KFC take-out

And so we can put week 7 of this craziness into the books. How did you manage this week? Any amazing things happened? Or was it a lowlight for you too?

Take care and stay safe

Tobia