Monday, October 19, 2020

Not All Bad

I think we can all agree that the one headline we would most love to see is "Covid-19 is cancelled" and I am as frustrated as the next person at times about the fact that this pandemic seems to go on and on and on. There are, however, some positive side-effect of the past 7 months, one of them being that I have re-ignited my love for sewing. Granted, I've made mainly masks by the dozen, but I have truly enjoyed using up and repurposing old fabrics and thinking of some creative upcycling projects. I've been cooking and baking up a storm and could publish a cookbook called "100 Creative Ideas for Store-Bought Puff-Pastry" at any time. Sure, I loved cooking and baking before, but while I baked on most Sundays, bringing my offerings into the office the next day, I tended to only cook when I had guests over. In the past months I have cooked for Highflyer (and when he was not around, also for myself) pretty much every single day. These "housewifey" endeavours are immensely gratifying and I love how my "sewing room" has come together now that I had my comfortable armchair delivered. Yes, I have a dedicated sewing room at Highflyer's house, right next to my office. Despite the fact that the sewing machine that I have in Vienna is much better and sturdier, I love the little turquoise Singer entry-level machine that I ordered during lockdown. Having limited social obligations and distractions definitely boosted my creativity and I am grateful for that.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Fast Forward


I spent the past weekend in Vienna and it was a pretty action-packed one in the sense that I didn't get to tick off all the chores I had planned. I had wanted to get started on the "bi-annual wardrobe shift", i.e. put away summer clothes, shoes and scarves and change them for my things for the colder months. It feels as if I just did this, only the other way round, and took a bundle of t-shirts and summer dresses to Highflyer's house. The last 6 months have just gone by in a blur and by now most people have resigned themselves to the fact that some things will never be the same. It's noticeably autumn now and nobody knows how much face to face socialising will be feasible over the coming months. I had a pretty social weekend and it felt really good to see some of my favourite people and walk around in the city. A little dose of urban life has recharged my batteries and I am happy I have the option to alternate between Suburbia and City. These days, staying in Vienna feels like a treat or mini vacation and I almost feel like a tourist in my town.

Monday, October 05, 2020

Not Quite Ready for Hiberation

On the past two weekends, I had friends visit me in Suburbia, making the most of the sunny weather that allows you to eat and chill in the garden. "Outside" lets you almost pretend you lived in the good old pre-Covid times and you don't need to worry too much about potential infections. The same holds true for restaurant visits. As long as tables are outside, sufficiently apart and wait staff don't get too close to you, I am not too concerned. I am not planning to invite more than 2 people at a time for dinner when "outdoor season" has officially ended and I am not too keen on dining inside restaurants to be honest. I have already decided that two winter traditions of mine (girls-only cookie party the weekend before Christmas and celebrating my birthday with a large group of friends at a bar or restaurant) won't happen. It's reasonable and in everybody's best interest, but I still wish that we could prolong those sunny days and balmy evenings a bit in order to be able to celebrate life IRL. I'm all for winter cosiness but there are only two options it seems: spending winter evenings and weekends exclusively with the members of your household (which in my case thankfully is someone I am still excited to spend time with) or expanding the circle and venturing outside of your home with a side dish of uncertainty and potentially ending up as someone's contact person. I still have not decided on my ultimate "strategy" for the coming months, but I am definitely not ready to go into full on hibernation yet.

Monday, September 28, 2020

In My Bubble


Whenever there is a discussion about how people have been affected by the recent months, and the lockdown in particular, psychologically, I used to stress how privileged and UNaffected I, personally, was due to the fact that I did not have to juggle homeschooling and work or fight for desk space with somebody else who needed to work from home. Yes, I spent long hours in video conferences and suffered some orthopaedic consequences, but I knew that I still had my well-paid job and enjoyed weeks of domestic bliss with my relatively new partner whom I got to know really well over time. I have come to reconsider my theory because I do think I have been affected myself. For once, I have noticed a heightened sense of concern that something could happen to Highflyer and I am pretty good at imagining all kinds of worst case scenarios in only mildly dangerous situations, like recently, when I was in Klagenfurt and he fell asleep on his sofa with the phone battery flat. My mind went into overdrive (car accident? sudden heart attack?). Also, I seem to struggle with the fact that life is slowly going back to normal for other people as well and when Highflyer got his duty plan for October it turned out that he will be working almost like in the "old days" including all weekends. I was in a sulky mood all evening, feeling sorry for myself and the fact that he would not be able to come to Carinthia with me for example. At the same time, I felt ashamed as I knew how good and important it was that he does have work to do as the industry he works in is one of the most affected by the Corona Crisis. I have just somehow come to feel very entitled and took it for granted that we would have a lot of quality time like in the past months forever, with all inconvenient intrusions into our bubble successfully blocked out.

Monday, September 21, 2020

The Downside of Democracies... that you have to put up with stupid and irresponsible people and can't do anything against them voting for right-wing politicians or putting their personal wellbeing (short-term at least) over that of their fellow countrymen and -women. Case in point being Covid-19 infections rising here and travel warnings by foreign countries having been issued against (parts of) Austria. I'm simply annoyed that people like me who have not hugged anyone other than the person(s) they spent lockdown with in the past 6+ months, have only met small groups of selected people, preferably outside, worn masks in more than the mandatory places and actually kept that recommended minimum distance now have to live with the consequences of other people's selfish behaviour. How difficult is it to follow a handful of simple precautions and put your inner party-animal in a cage until it is safe again to let it out again? Apparently very difficult and thanks to just these types of people we're back to Square One. Sigh.

Monday, September 14, 2020



This Friday I was supposed to fly to Brussels with my mum for a weekend break (booked in January as my birthday present) but we decided to swap the ticket price for a flight-voucher because we are not planning to go.  These days you need to be flexible and its hard to predict whether any projects other than being at home alone or going grocery shopping will take place one month from now. By now, most people have got used to it and it's okay to know that everyone is in the same boat and "force majeure" needs to sign off the permit for Plan A. As I've mentioned here before, Plan B is often not the worst and I am pretty chilled about it. This Brussels trip was the last one I booked pre-Covid-19 and I don't have any travel/vacation plans for the coming months. Planning just is not what it used to be, but I can live with the uncertainty despite the fact that I should probably begin to tentatively plan for a VERY big event supposed to take place in 2022.

Monday, September 07, 2020

All that Kitsch


Last Friday was my (first) anniversary with Highflyer. If anyone had told me a year ago what general craziness 2020 would bring, I would have accused that person of having read one too many dystopian novel or binge-watched end-of-the-world genre films on Netflix. If they had told me about the happiness this year would bring me, the sappy declarations and lovey-dovey looks I would exchange on a daily basis and the fact that I would be engaged months before my first anniversary, I would have accused them of overindulging in tacky romance TV shows targeted at frustrated housewifes. Well, the truth is that 2020 has been bewildering and scary on a global level, but nothing but exhilarating and comforting on a personal one. My cousin (Chiquita) once remarked "you two are so kitschy" when I told her that while I was in Australia with her Highflyer, who had also picked me up from the airport with a bunch of roses, had been practicing a song with very flattering lyrics on the piano that reminded him of me. Maybe it takes two pragmatic people two bring out the most romantic side in one another and be embarrassingly cheesy at times. Whatever it is, I'm totally okay with that.

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