Monday Miscellanea

We had a lovely 10 days in Bavaria. The weather was great, slightly freezing and foggy in the mornings until noon and bright, sunny and warm in the afternoons. It was perfect weather for walking with Curious Dog. I am again trying to teach him not to pull so much on the leash and after the first three days where our walks took ages because I kept stopping whenever he pulled and only started up again when he stopped (and came back a few steps), I fancy I’m seeing results. If I keep it up the entire next month, maybe it will stick.


Otherwise it was a fairly quiet week. The only exciting thing that happened was that I got an SMS from the Bavarian Vaccination Centre (Bayrisches Impfzentrum) where I had registered my mother in preparation for getting a vaccination appointment. The SMS said that I could book an appointment, so I went online and got one for last Friday for Mum’s first vaccination. She’s now got the first shot of the BionTech-Pfizer vaccine. She felt a bit woozy and headachy for the first two days, the injection site on her arm also hurt for a couple of days and now she’s still feeling a bit weakish, but on the whole, it seems to have gone very well. Hope the weakness will fade quickly.

I was expecting this huge vaccination centre, sort of like those they’ve been showing in the news on TV, but ours was actually quite small (which is no wonder, since our county town isn’t very large either). Not sure what I was thinking. In reality it’s just a handful of containers set up at the fairground where the county and town summer fairs and festivals and usually take place (not much of that has been going on in the past twelve months as we all know). There was no queue and no waiting. We got there a bit early, and Mum was allowed to get her vaccination straight away. The only weird thing was that Mum was asked to hang around outside in the parking lot for ten minutes afterwards, to see if she would have an adverse reaction. That felt rather improvised. What if it had rained? You could wait in the car and there was a very small tent nearby so not too bad, but still, I’d expected a kind of waiting room.

The appointment for the second vaccination is next time we are going to be in Bavaria, so that worked out perfectly. I’d kind of expected that I’d have to take any random appointment at any time and would have to drop everything and take Mum to Bavaria for the shots, so it’s very nice that that’s not necessary. Mum still has her main residence at our old family home in Bavaria, that’s why she’s getting her shots there. For myself, I got a letter from the government of Baden-Württemberg that basically said that it will take an unspecified amount of time until it’s my turn and they will be in touch…

Last week I learned that the Winter in Germany was too warm, despite the very unusual cold spell we had in February, with -15°C to -20°C in places (it only got to -15°C at my place). And then, following the cold spell, we had a very warm spell that had the weather scientists worried. And then there was the report about Germany’s forests which said that 4 of 5 trees are damaged by drought and pests following the dry years of 2018 and 2019. I watched a documentary about the state of the forests on TV because I love the woods with the result that now I’m even more worried about climate change than before. When I walk in the woods, I keep checking for dead or sickly-looking trees. Well, we’ve got state and federal elections coming up this year – I will be having a good look at the various agendas.

Our next door neighbour is getting solar panels installed on his part of the roof. It wouldn’t make sense for my part of the roof because it has northern exposure (and anyway, I don’t think my landlady would want to invest). There are workmen clomping on the roof and drilling and whatever, making a lot of noise. Curious Dog is hiding out in Partner’s office. He is scared of the noise, poor guy. Pity it wasn’t done while we were away. At least it seems that it’s progressing quickly. As far as I can see, the work on the roof is almost finished. As the neighbour’s roof is only a quarter of the entire roof area, there isn’t a lot of space for his solar panels.

I’ve got tons of things to do at work this week, and not much time for it. Half of one day is reserved for another team workshop and another day seems to be reserved for some HR-required administrative stuff to do with goal setting and people development. We had two years’ of respite from formal goal setting (of course we had goals and we even did very well on them), but now they’ve decided that we have to return to documenting everything. Not sure why, except that HR likes to switch things up every now and then. Goal setting is the pits. First you have to come up with them, then you basically forget about them until it’s time for a review and then you spent ages painting yourself and your accomplishments in the best possible light so that you’ll get a glowing report from your manager which then hopefully translates into a substantial pay raise in the next year. A dreadful bore. We managed just fine in the last couple of years without the administrative overhead. We knew what we had to do, we did it, the company did fine and the raises were underwhelming as almost always… Still, I shouldn’t complain, as I do quite like my job and it has been safe during the pandemic.

Keep safe, world.

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