Monday Miscellanea

My identity card and my passport both expired sometime in March. Since then, I’ve been procrastinating on applying for new ones. One, because I had to get a copy of my birth certificate and two, because I had to call the municipal council for an appointment. I hate anything to do with bureaucracy. The first problem wasn’t one at all, because Mum has all that kind of paperwork collected in our family registry (which I’ve been carting around in my notebook backpack for the last three months) and the second one wasn’t a problem either, because it turned out an appointment wasn’t needed (only during Corona lockdown). You could just turn up during office hours. Since we are planning on a short vacation in Italy in October, it was high time to apply for a new identity card, otherwise I’d have been too late. Takes about 4 weeks for the new one to arrive. So, I combined my Friday grocery shopping with getting a new ugly biometric passport photo taken (those photos make one look like a criminal) and a quick trip to the council office. Then it turned out that since August 1 they have to scan your fingerprints to add as biometric data to your new identity card. First, they try to scan your index fingers (didn’t work with mine). Then the thumbs (didn’t work either). At last, they managed to get the prints off my middle fingers. As I never wear gloves when I do anything, the tips of my fingers are worn almost smooth and it’s hard to take prints (at least that’s my theory – maybe it’s due to dry skin or whatever). I had this horrible experience once on a business trip to the U.S. where they couldn’t get my fingerprints to scan. They took me to some back-office at immigration and gave me the evil eye until they at last managed it. It was super nerve-wracking, because I felt like a criminal and I feared they’d send me straight back (well, better that locking me up, I suppose). It’s not very nice being fingerprinted at immigration in the first place but being taken out of line to the back office was worse.

Anyway, at long last I’ve now applied for my new identity card (I didn’t get a new passport as well, as I don’t need it for travel inside the European Union and am not currently planning any other travel where I would need one). Now I only have to wait until it’s ready to be picked up.


Otherwise the weekend was much as usual. I had a lot of plans for cleaning the house, but then, as usual, gave up on everything except for what couldn’t be avoided. Spent a lot of time reading and watching films and series with Partner instead. Or cooking. After all, I bet I’m never going to regret all the cleaning I didn’t do when I look back on my life (this is an excellent reason for not doing stuff one thinks one has to do but can get away with not doing).

Partner made a delicious vegan tiramisu (with silken tofu) which we had with coffee on two afternoons. I cooked a vegetable curry with rice on Friday and together we made a potato salad with soy yoghurt, which turned out very well and was enough for both Saturday and Sunday, so we didn’t need to do any cooking at all on Sunday. Always a win. We had fried tofu with it for one meal and fried tempeh for the other. We also used up the ingredients for Moscow Mules on two nights – leftover from when my cousins visited us the a few weeks ago, drunk out of the copper mugs they gave Partner.

We watched the last few episodes of Bad Batch on Disney+ as well as the last ones of The Mysterious Benedict Society. Both are fun and I’m hoping for new seasons. We also watched the film Fisherman’s Friends which is based on a true story about a group of singing fishermen who became famous. A nice feel-good film – also, it’s set in the small seaside town where the series Doc Martin is also set (it’s about a grumpy doctor who used to be a famous surgeon until he developed an aversion to blood). Partner and I love Doc Martin and enjoyed seeing Port Isaac in the film.

We went on nice long walks with Curious Dog early in the morning. It was quite hot on the weekend, so we got up as early as during the week, to avoid the heat. Once we walked through the woods, the other times just the usual long walk though the fields, checking on the storks’ nest. It was pleasant. The rest of each day was spent indoors until the sun disappeared behind the hill in the evening. I did a bit of gardening on Sunday evening (if you can call pulling weeds out between the paving stones of our driveway “gardening”). It was too hot to be outside otherwise (but then, we are wimps when it comes to heat).

The rest of the weekend I spent reading. I discovered that Joan Aiken, whose children’s series The Wolves Chronicles I adore, had written a lot of adult novels and mysteries as well. I’d read one or two previously but didn’t know that she’d written such a lot. So, I downloaded four of her novels (one after the other) and read them all on the weekend. I’ll write reviews about them. They were very good (almost everything by Joan Aiken is great). She wrote a lot of sequels to Jane Austen books. I read one of those and three others: Eliza’s Daughter, Castle Barebane, The Silence of Herondale, Foul Matter. I would only have read three, because I meant to have read my next book-club book but found that it wasn’t available on Kindle. I had to order that book as a paperback and will have to finish it quickly as soon as it arrives (hopefully today) as my next club meeting is this week on Thursday. It seems to be a dreadful but quick to read thriller (quite often the book club selection is not what I would read voluntarily). Bad planning on my part. I also continued reading the biography of Gavin Maxwell with which I didn’t get far due to the overabundance of Joan Aiken.

Keep safe, world.

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