Monday Miscellanea

Nothing much has been happening. It’s still lockdown, with no end in sight because of the danger of the new mutated virus strains. The numbers are falling, but there’s the concern that they will rise again quickly if the lockdown is opened too soon.

Work has been going on as usual so far, but the near future will see a sharp uptick in the frequency we have to publish updates to our document. We will be having a team workshop (online, of course) this week to consider all the projects and tasks we need to cover. It seems rather clear to me that we have too many projects and not enough people on my team for all the work. I’m afraid I’ll be saddled with something that I haven’t got much interest in and I also think that I have enough to do anyway, especially with the upcoming frequency increase. Maybe I should volunteer for something ahead of time so that at least it’ll be something I would like to work on, but I do think that I have enough on my plate without asking for more. Perhaps I should just sit tight and wait and see.

The weekend was pleasant with warm and mostly wet weather. All the walks and all the fields around here are soaked and muddy. The other day, while taking Curious Dog for his afternoon walk, we came up to a pedestrian underpass to the railway and found it flooded. Because I didn’t want to return the way we had come, I opted to go through a path in the fields. It was soggy and muddy and at one point, not sure if it was because CD was pulling on the leash as usual, I slipped and landed on my hands and knees. I didn’t hurt myself; it was a soft landing in the mud. But oh, the mess!

Today it is snowing and temperatures for the next ten days or so are to drop to 5-10°C (or lower, although I don’t believe that will happen here). The northern part of Germany is already covered in heaps of snow. There’s been an influx of freezing arctic air and conditions are chaotic. It’s snowing here too (we’re in southern Germany, nearer the middle than to the far south). Usually we don’t get much snow at all. If we are lucky, we’ll get 10 cm this time. It doesn’t seem to have snowed much at our place in Bavaria, which is lucky, because otherwise I’d have been worried. It did snow a lot at Partner’s place, but not as much as he feared. It’s very odd that after two years of hardly any Winter temperatures at all, suddenly, on top of Corona, we also get a colder Winter. I read an article today that explained that this weather was due to climate change in the arctic. Some airstream that keeps the cold artic air up North has weakened and allowed it to stream South, to us. It’ll be interesting to see how it develops in the next few days.

On Saturday, while it was still warm, with wind from the Mediterranean, we had lots of clouds and a weird, slightly yellowish light outside. It was a bit as though it was going to start snowing, except that it was too warm. During the night it rained, and the next morning everything outside was covered in a thin layer of yellow dust. My skylight is quite dirty with it, but it’s too cold to clean. The yellow dirt is dust from the Sahara. We do occasionally get dusty air from Africa, but this weekend it was quite noticeable. So, first a blast from the desert, and now a blast from the arctic.

Other than watching and pondering the weather escapades, I did a bit of reading and a bit of watching TV. Partner and I watched the last episode of The Expanse, which ended on a cliff-hanger. Looking forward to the next season. We also watched the Amazon production Bliss, with Selma Hayek. A waste of time. A very odd Matrix-like sci-fi film, not particularly diverting and not very logical.

Partner tried out a couple of new recipes which were a great success. A red cabbage dish where the chopped cabbage was cooked with red lentils and flavoured with a bit of vinegar and soy sauce (also salt, pepper, some sugar). The lentils seemed to disappear but gave a lovely silken texture to the cabbage dish. And a new type of tomato sauce with crumbled smoked tofu with rice, also very nice. On Sunday, I made my mushroom, carrot, and kidney bean stew in dark beer sauce, of which enough was left for today, which is always great. I also baked some oak cookies, but they turned out rather chewy.

Partner and I also played our Settlers of Catan card game again, which Partner won. That makes it twice in a row. But it doesn’t matter who wins, it’s a fun game. Anyway, that was our weekend. A lot of preoccupation with the weather and otherwise quite restful. I even managed to get some housekeeping done, without overdoing it.

Keep safe, world.

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