Monday, October 18, 2021

Yup, I've Changed


This past weekend, I spent mainly at the "Country House", i.e. Highflyer's home. This would not be such a remarkable event if it had not been for the fact that the Lord of the Manor himself was away and I chose to be there on my own...not for the first time. Two years ago, I would not have thought this possible and in fact I could not understand friends who met a partner with an address in the back of beyond and voluntarily chose to move there and commute to the big city. Well, I have no plans to give up my flat in Vienna, ever, but my attitude really has changed. Moreover, I have definitely changed. I attribute it to a combination of factors, the most important one being that I spent so many months of lockdown here and have so many happy memories of really getting to know Highflyer and realising that this is indeed the man I want to spend the rest of my life with as spending weeks together 24/7 did not result in a single argument or disagreement. Lovely company aside, I just became quite attached to this place that will forever be associated with this crazy period of all our lives. Another important factor is that what I first visited as a house with (to my taste at least) very questionable interior design choices (which were mostly the previous owners', but I didn't know that then) has now had a subtle makeover by yours truly and feels like my home as well. I treaded carefully at first, very carefully as I learnt the hard way that anything less than enthusiastic exclamations about furniture and decor can really offend some home owners so I didn't say anything, relieved that I probably would not have to spend a lot of time there. In those first months of our relationship, we mostly met in Vienna. When it soon transpired that the furniture, curtains, cushion covers, etc. had already been there and were not beloved heirlooms of Highflyer's family, I started making suggestions that met both approval and appreciation. This, combined with the fact that I have so much more space here for my hobbies, feels like having hit the jackpot and I love the generous kitchen counter space (my kitchen in Vienna is tiny) and my DIY room upstairs. Having a garden and terrace is an added bonus and something I don't have in the city so, yes, I love spending time here and now understand my friends who chose to always spend their weekends at a country home, much to my disbelief.

Monday, October 11, 2021

In an Ideal World...


...I would have a 3-day (at least) weekend and get to do my various DIY projects all day. I really love making Highflyer's home prettier and its really gratifying to see the transformation from when I suddenly moved in during Lockdown 1. He had bought the house more or less fully furnished and decorated from a family with 2 children who had emigrated to the U.S. Some of the things (like the dining and sofa tables I actually like and might have picked myself, others were exceptionally tasteless. The previous lady of the manor must have had a liking for granny-smith-apple-green and thus had curtains, carpets and pillowcases in this colour. I have gradually replaced everything with off white an by and by this house with questionable interior design choices turned into a cosy place that started to feel like mine. When I'm in Vienna, I miss the counter space of my "country kitchen" and separate office and DIY rooms. The only thing missing is enough time to enjoy it to the fullest.

Monday, October 04, 2021

Post-Epidemic Socialising

 

In the past 1.5 years I have mainly socialised with a handful of people, in particular during the lockdown months when all you could do was go for walks until the need for a pee drove you home again. Even now that life is mostly back to normal I have yet to get back to my previous routines and often find myself in a defensive role when some of my friends finds out I am in Vienna via my Instagram posts or, as happened last week, accidentally bumps into me. Some pre-pandemic routines (Badminton, book club) seem to have died or if not, be in a temporary (self-) induced coma. Whether I am fine with that and it was a long overdue culling none of the participants would have been able to without force majeure if you so will, or if it is just a question of laziness and general apathy, I am not quite sure yet. Without the convenient excuse of honouring society's health and safety the naked truth may sometimes be awkward and socially unacceptable.

Monday, September 27, 2021

Bonus Time

I don't know if it is those weird 1.5 years of mostly being in lockdown that have made me extra appreciative of small pleasures, but just the fact that I just spent a lovely weekend with my love after a rather intense, meeting-loaded work week made me extra happy. The glorious Indian summer weather was an added bonus and Vienna and its surroundings felt positively mediterranean. Also, Highflyer got his October duty plan and the fact that we will have more than one full weekend together next month as well is a treat. Weirdly enough, until two years ago I did not have any friends, least of all BOYfriends who did not have "normal" work weeks with weekends and public holidays off.  Obviously, this is not a given for quite a lot of people working in several differrent professions, but I happen to hang out mostly with office staff and teachers, it seems. Now that I have resigned myself to the fact that airline crews don't have those Mon-Fri nine-to-five-ish jobs (unless in times of extreme lockdown when all planes are grounded and they are at home more than retirees) like the rest of us mere mortals, it always feels like a lottery jackpot when we do have time off on the same days.

Monday, September 20, 2021

Walls...

 

Back in May, when I still had no appointment for my first Covid jab I was very impatient and did not really believe all the experts who promised that very soon, there would be more supply than demand. Needless to say, they were right and vaccination rates have stagnated for weeks at a very frustrating level. It honestly makes me mad that I live in a country with an excellent and reliable healthcare system and still people choose to trust "good sources" from the internet that tell them they should not use the free opportunity to contribute to ending this pandemic earlier rather than...never? The fact that a certain political party blatantly supports anti-vaxxers is as sad as it was predictable in hindsight. The media talk about the divide in society between the two camps and it is true of course that there seems to be this impenetrable wall that no good argument can dismantle. I am very grateful that at least I don't have to argue with any friends or relatives as I would really struggle to totally avoid this topic. I recently saw a flyer outside a supermarket with the date of an anti-vaxxer protest march and a URL. Back home, I googled it out of curiosity and was utterly disgusted by the content on the landing page. Freedom of speech is great and all that, but sometimes!...sigh.

Monday, September 13, 2021

The Little Things

This past weekend we had planned to go away somewhere, preferably redeeming a hotel voucher I allegedly have for the hotel (prepaid) in Budapest my mother and I had planned to stay in May 2020. Well, 3 in-vain long phone calls to Hotels.com later that plan didn't work out and we briefly considered an alternative weekend trip abroad before I thought, hey, the weather will be lovely, we don't have to go anywhere. We ended up spending Saturday at blissfully empty-ish Therme Wien, followed by an ice-cream at Tichy and a lazy Sunday at home, enjoying the beautiful weather in Highflyer's garden and on a short bike-tour through the neighbouring fields. Old Me would have itched to go abroad or at least somewhere, making the most of the fact that Highflyer didn't have work duty, nor father duties. but New Me is like most people these days and enjoys the little things way more than she used to, less eager for an "exotic" change of scenery or some kind of action. It does not help that trips abroad involve filling out of forms and the chance that you might get a phone-call informing you that you were sitting near a person on the plane or train who later tested positive for Covid. For now, a weekend at home is not the worst that can happen. Still, one and a half year since Lockdown 1, the OG edition.
 

Monday, September 06, 2021

Round the Corner


On Saturday was Highflyer's and my second anniversary and I decided to treat ourselves to a night in a nice hotel. It was actually less than 20 km away from his house and I had found it by googling "hotel with pool in lower austria". We also explored the surroundings there and I showed him some places ont the way he had never been to so we spent a lovely 24 hours literally close to home, but somehow in another world and on vacation mode. Sometimes, the best things are nearby and not that hard to obtain, but our minds work in a way too complicated fashion and we think that in order to do something special, it has to be rare and somehow hard to get. Well, I have made it my mission to discover treasures round the corner and fully appreciate them.

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