Monday, September 21, 2020

The Downside of Democracies...

 

...is 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

Planning

 

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.

Monday, August 31, 2020

The Glass Half Full

In the past 3 months, I have sewn countless masks for myself and others. In general, I have rediscovered my love for sewing, but making masks which takes me so little time and yet is a creative outlet that brings joy not only to myself, but also to the people I give them to. At least they put on a convincing enough show of being happy and grateful
When I first started making masks the general assumption was that after the lockdown we'd need to wear them for a few weeks and then the whole "thing" would be over. Some people asked me if it was worth the effort to make masks my own since we would not be needing them for a long time. Well, I was never that optimistic myself and now that it seems they're here to stay for a while, it's fine with me. and I sincerely enjoy using original fabrics, recycling others that I bought decades ago and matching masks to my outfits. Unlike other people, I don't see this little piece of fabric as an infringement of my civil rights or risk of suffocation, but as a necessary evil that gives me another opportunity to indulge in my love for (over) accessorising. Why not try and see the positive aspects of something you can't change?

Monday, August 24, 2020

Carefree

Last week I had a flashback to my childhood. I spent a few days at our old summer house, aka my grandparents' house one floor of which was our weekend and summer apartment until we moved into a house of our own. I had not spent more than single nights there since that time and while some things in our household there had long become old and defunct, it was still cosy and reminded me of happy summers past. 
I was there with Highflyer and his two sons, the younger of whom still has that completely carefree mode and utter trust in adults when "What are we doing today?" and "What's for lunch?" are the only relevant questions. While the kids were glued to their phone screens like any teenager (and myself) these days and tourist attractions that had wowed me at their age only triggered a "meh" reaction, they still reminded me of myself in my early teens when my own "duty" was to enjoy my summer vacation and not be too big of a nuisance to my parents. Back then, your teenage years seemed to be just a stage you impatiently wanted to grow out of and growing up seemed the inevitable goal. In hindsight, it was the best of times and I readily admit that I am more than just a little envious.

Monday, August 17, 2020

Under Cover

 

So. Vacationing in times of a pandemic. I have been back from Nice for a week now and I am really glad I went as it provided exactly the summer routine I had hoped for, even if it was different from previous years. Spending hours at a time with a nose and mouth covering was not exactly a pleasant experience. From the moment I entered Vienna airport, during our flight, upon arrival at Nice airport, on the train ride to our home in Nice. I was really looking forward to taking that mask off and hop into the shower before heading to the beach when our landlady (a friend of Mademoiselle's) and her husband greeted us wearing a mask. We understood that we were supposed to do so as well and spent 70 (!) minutes listening to her explain things pertaining to the apartment and fill us in on the latest French Covid-19 news. By the time they finally left, I ripped off my mask and was almost gasping for air. My first impression: wow, the French are taking things way more seriously than we do! In hindsight, I think they were a just bit paranoid that us foreigners just off a plane would infect them. Fair enough. The French (at least people in Nice) did take things way more seriously than the general population here in Austria as masks are obligatory in any type of shop and there a disinfectant gel dispenser by the door in every shop and you are requested to use it, too. I don't think my hands have been that clean and germ-free ever in my life. The cashier at Galeries Lafayette disinfected her hands every.single.time she reached for an invoice and handed it to a new customer. Our landlady had warned us that we might not be able to try on any clothes but this turned out not to be true at all. It was possible to do so everywhere and the sales had really good deals, too so I did my best to help the French economy. Ahem.
I decided not to go on any daytrips this time (the idea of sitting on a bus or train with a mask did not appeal to me) so we mostly spent time at the beach, where you don't have to wear a mask. Most people placed their towels and other beach paraphernalia at a proper distance, but there were less tourists than in previous years anyway. We heard mostly Italian and our assumption was that many of these beach-goers were daytrippers as the Italian border is quite close.
Would I go again? Yes, I would, but there is always that tension regarding travel warnings changing at short notice. At the moment, trips abroad by car (ideally to neighbouring countries) seem safer than flying to a destination where there currently is only one flight a day.

Monday, August 10, 2020

Smiling Behind My Mask


I am writing this the night before flying to Nice, where I have been already 10 times with Mademoiselle and other girls. This time, it's just the two of us plus her eldest godson who arrives the day I fly back, and to be honest, if I hadn't booked my flight in January already I would not have chosen to fly abroad this summer at all. After our original flights had been annulled we managed to get rebooked and even though we found out recently that masks are now obligatory outdoors in town, which I am not too keen on, I am actually looking forward to my bit of summer routine. More upon my return!
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