Monday, October 26, 2020

It's Complicated


Now that infection rates are rising at an alarming rate and many countries have put Austria on their red list, travelling is not really on my radar at all. Also, in view of public appeals by poltiticians to stay at home, it almost feels like a criminal act to leave your hometown, even if (like me) you are an extremely cautious and rule-abiding person.  I am writing this at my parents' and if I am honest I have moments of panic thinking that I might be one of those asymptomatic cases who unwittingly infect others. Ironically, I spend most days in isolation in my suburban home office and can't remember the last time I was at the cinema (pre-lockdown in any case, potentially in 2019) while my mother, who herself is at risk because of her age and who shares a household with my super-high-at-risk dad has been in the cinema a few times recently. In comparison to some old people I am careful to the point of paranoia and I feel safest at home, truth be told. 
The other side of the coin is that "people like me" who take social distancing very seriously and are in full cocooning mode contribute to the demise of the hospitality industry. I really pity all those hotels and restaurants (the family-owned ones in particular) who don't know how they will survive the next months. Due to Highflyer's job I have way more insight into the current state of the aviation idustry than I want as it makes me extremely anxious to know just how bleak the situation is (sometimes there's more crew on a plane than there are passengers) and that no silver lining is in sight.
When I see people posting about trips abroad in my Instagram feed I am torn between self-righteousness ("wouldn't it be better if you stayed at home?") and respect ("so good that at least some people are buying flight tickets and supporting those poor hotel owners") as I am too much of a coward myself. It's so easy to judge people for their behaviour in times of crisis, but it definitely is not as black and white.

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.

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