Monday, June 28, 2021



Last weekend I stayed at a hotel for the first time in about 1.5 years. This may not sound like a remarkable fact for a lot of people even if there were no Pandemic, but for me, who used to travel a lot it definitely is. We spent the weekend at a hotel by Lake Neusiedl, redeeming a voucher we had got as a Christmas gift from my parents. 
Masks aside, you could almost forget this was still not quite the "old normal" and even if it was barely an exotic location by any means, it felt quite extravagant and also a little bizarre to be sitting among so many strangers (with a safe distance) and being able to stroll around on a sightseeing mission. 
Unlike many of my friends, I am still not that keen on travelling abroad when this is still dominated by tests, forms and uncertainty if rules and regulations may change while I am there, but I am definitely looking forward to the day when the new variants won't be anything for news headlines any longer.

Monday, June 21, 2021

Water Babes


The older you get and the more you have compromised in your life (even if you only realise it in retrospect) the more you realise that it's often the little things that make you compatible with someone for the long haul. I have mentioned that according to several "personality tests" Highflyer and I could not be more different from each other, but theory apart, we get on so well and have still not had a single argument or situation where one of us was offended or sulking. One of the things I love about him in particular is that we can spend action-packed days (e.g. on the slopes, skiing) just as well as uneventful quiet days with him doing some thing or other in the garden (such as obsessing about the grass) and me pottering about in the kitchen or my "crafts room", or, case in point, also spending a whole day by the lake or pool. I have only once in my life (on vacation in France when I was very young) seen my father in swim trunks and not once has he accompanied my mother and me to the lake. I also have a "pool friend" in Vienna who has been in a happy relationship with a nice guy for decades and yet he has absolutely no interest in swimming and sunbathing. The fact that Highflyer (who by the way is a remarkable diver and morphs into a fish once he is in some body of water) is more than happy to come swimming with me is just the icing on an already perfect cake. We obviosuy have almost identical happy memories of spending childhood summer days by the pool/lake/sea and the joy of getting an occasional soft serve ice-cream or some fries and this makes me very happy.

Monday, June 14, 2021

Back to School

This week, I'll be back at the office for the first time this year. It's for the first module of a training I'm attending and we'll all be masked and tested. Having had my first Covid vaccine a little more than 2 weeks ago I also feel a bit safer. Other than my own planned two-day interlude at the old treadmill, people are all talking about when and how often they are going back to their respective offices. Some companies have decided to just press the "factory reset" button and pretend this pandemic never happened, others allow their employees to choose whatever they want, location-wise and my own employer is somewhere in between those two extremes. We will be able to choose one of three models on the condition that our job description allows it and I will opt for a mix of actual office and home office, planning to sleep in my apartment in Vienna on those days when I go to the brick-and-mortar office and in Highflyer's house when I work from (his) home. Definitely not complaining about having this choice of real estate that allows both for an easy commute on public transport and a tranquil home office setting with a garden.It seems this New Normal we've been talking about for months is now finally on the horizon.

Monday, June 07, 2021


On Saturday, I visited a restaurant AND a café together with 2 of Highflyer's (fully vaccinated) elder sisters who were visiting. It felt unreal after about 9 months or so of not having been able to visit any of those establishments. Also, having house guests felt like a remnant from another world. Highflyer's teenage sons were staying last week as well. The last time they (who live in Germany with their mother) visited was after Christmas when they had to self-isolate for 5 days in his house before they could break quarantine after a negative Covid test and take the train to Innsbruck for our joint skiing holiday.
I am also meeting a group of friends for dinner on Wednesday night and it feels almost decadent to be able to socialise in a proper way, rather than going for endless walks with a coffee-to-go and no opportunity to use a toilet when you need to.
Truth be told, I have not missed the actual food part that much since cooking and baking has been my primary creative outlet for the past months, but it's nice to eat some things (like fried food) that I won't or can't cook myself. I never ordered any takeout other than an occasional pizza since I a) hate all the packaging that comes with it and b) don't really like the condition the food is in, mostly.
Spontaneously meeting friends for dinner or an ice-cream in town after work is something I used to do a lot and which feels like a habit from another world. I am definitely looking forward to slipping back into my city-girl costume once I am fully vaccinated (so far, one dose with no noticeable reactions or side effects) myself and will be back in the office parts of the week.

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