Monday Miscellanea

Last Thursday I took the afternoon off work for a lot of house-cleaning in preparation for my two cousins who came for a visit from Friday to Sunday morning. Good thing that I’d already cleaned the bookshelves in the guestroom (which is otherwise Partner’s office and Curious Dog’s bedroom), because otherwise I’d never have made it. Partner vacuumed and I cleaned (not only the guestroom, but also the normal weekend cleaning, all condensed into one afternoon). Hard work, but we were cheerful because we were looking forward to Cousin 1’s and 2’s visit. They are both in the process of finishing their studies – and once they start working, who knows how often they will be able to visit. Cousin 1 is waiting for her exam and thesis results. She’s going to be a teacher for special needs children and Cousin 2 will be a primary school teacher – she still has to write her thesis and is planning to be finished with everything early next year. But she’s also already going to start work when the new school year starts. They are both very goal orientated. None of that endless studying that I did for my master’s years ago. The German university system has changed a lot since I did my degree. I guess it’s no longer possible to dawdle quite as long as I did. But never, ever would I have managed to write my thesis and work 12 hours a week as a teacher at the same time. I always had odd jobs, but they were mindless ones.

2021_08_01Friday morning, before the cousins arrived, I went grocery shopping. I went to the shopping mall in one of the towns on my commute because I had to get a quick check of my car’s tires nearby. When I parked in the mall’s park house, I forgot to display the time I had arrived with my parking disc and when I returned, after about an hour (I didn’t exceed the free parking limit), I found I’d got a parking ticket for €25. Would you believe it!? I was super annoyed. I made a mistake, so I got ticket, fine – but €25 is just daylight robbery. €10 would have been appropriate, €15 a bit much, but €25? Absolutely ridiculous. I decided there and then never to shop there again.

The rest of the weekend was much nicer. We did a lot of cooking, we walked with Curious Dog, we played games, we watched films. We caught up with the cousin’s news. We were also invited to their grandfather’s (my uncle’s) birthday in three weeks. Just a small party with a few family members. I hope we can make it. We need to find a holiday apartment where we can take Curious Dog along.

The cousins were keen on disaster films. We watched The Wave, a Norwegian film about a tsunami in one of the Norwegian fjords – it was pretty good. Fairly realistic, not over the top. And we watched Greenland, a film from 2020 about comet fragments striking the earth to create an extinction event. The main plot was a family seeking a place in an underground bunker on Greenland. Very thrilling, very last-minute-escape. We borrowed both films from Amazon Prime. It’s weird that we like watching these types of film when we would not be among the people selected to survive in a bunker. None of us has a job that would make us important for rebuilding civilization. In 2018 I read the Last Policeman trilogy by Ben H. Winters about a policeman who went around still solving crimes while society went to hell waiting for a meteor impact (or something like that). That was all about people who weren’t selected for survival (not sure if anyone was). I don’t remember many details (and I didn’t keep a blog record at the time), but I remember that I liked the series (though it was probably a bit depressing at the end).

We made home-made pizza on Friday and a vegan goulash soup on Saturday. Friday was still fairly hot, but Saturday was quite overcast and cool, so a nice spicy soup suited us very well (and we didn’t want to spend excessive time in the kitchen and soups are not much work). We also had a few cocktails (well, one with each film on Friday and Saturday nights respectively). The cousins brought a cake and the ingredients for Moscow Mules, a cocktail with Vodka, ginger ale, and limes. Drunk from beaten copper mugs – which the cousins got Partner for his birthday, which we celebrated on the weekend. I gave him a nice t-shirt, a game, a book and a film (a few little things as I couldn’t think of anything really special). We had a good time and Partner was pleased.

Sunday, we had a leisurely breakfast and took Curious Dog on a long walk. Afterwards, the cousins packed up and drove back home. Partner, Mum and I also packed up and drove off. Partner needed to be at his place for his second Corona vaccination and so Mum and I headed off to Bavaria, one week earlier than usual. But next week I have to get my second vaccination at my place, so that worked out quite well. It rained a lot on the weekend at our place in Bavaria, but it had let off by the time we arrived. Now it is cool and changeable, only around 20°C all week with rain forecast every now and then. Not useful for working in the garden, but much better than the heat wave in the southern parts of Europe, in Greece and Italy and in Turkey, with lots of forest fires.


Work today was typical for Mondays: lots of meetings which tired me out. Fortunately, there are not so many meetings tomorrow so that I should be able to make headway with my document reviews. I need to get two done this week, as there’s a preliminary deadline next week which may be problematic if my second vaccination ends up making me ill for a couple of days. So best to get everything done this week. Hope we don’t have any annoying hang-ups with tool or databases.

Keep safe, world.

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