Last week we didn’t make it to Bavaria on Thursday afternoon. I’d planned to take the afternoon off, but some last-minute urgent work stuff came up and I couldn’t leave. So, we drove here last Friday morning instead and had a nice trip using a different route than usual, to avoid all the road construction and diversions on the normal route. In addition to my normal non-work Friday, I took Monday and Tuesday off, too. Mainly to get some gardening done. Our front yard looked like a meadow instead of a lawn, because of all the lovely rain we had this year.
It was a great long weekend followed by two brutal workdays, where everything went wrong…
Friday afternoon, after the drive, I did nothing except read, and walk with Curious Dog. Saturday, I went grocery shopping. Sunday was lazing around and reading, on Monday Mum had a doctor’s appointment at the county town (everything is fine) and I went grocery shopping. Tuesday, more lazing and reading. In between hanging around enjoying life, I did an hour’s gardening in the morning and at night (once, in a fit of insanity, during the noon hours, when it was much too hot). It’s amazing how much you can get done in an hour when you keep at it. It was mostly cutting the long grass around our lawn, around the flowerbeds and bushes and in the middle. It was just too long to use the lawn mower. Now everything is looking nice and half-way civilized. I’ve got a lot of gardening refuse to drive to the municipal collection point on Friday (it’s only open for two hours on Fridays and Saturdays).
The plants are doing well. The two sweet potatoes we planted in May survived and seem to be thriving. Our dry-looking small Korean fir has grown a lot of lovely new green shoots; the Juneberry hasn’t bloomed, but I guess it’s too young – it is, however nicely green. The dwarf apple tree is currently carrying 5 tiny apples (not sure if they will survive to be harvested in Autumn, but it’s encouraging). The roses are starting to flower (everything is a bit later here than at my place in Baden-Württemberg). The peonies were still in flower, beautiful. I found that I quite enjoy gardening when it’s just an hour or two a day.
The weather is hot, up to and above 30°C. The first heat wave this year, I think. That makes it a good year in my book – I hate it when the heat starts in May. And next week it looks like it will be cooler again, dropping below 30°C with some rain. It’s hotter at my place than it is here in Bavaria, and I’m worried about the survival of our plants in the small raised beds on my patio. We did water them very well before we left and I constructed a makeshift sunshade (made of an old bedsheet) for them, but I’m not sure that will be enough. Still, it’s a north-west exposure and the sun only shines directly onto the patio from about 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. so maybe it will be fine. We can but hope. I don’t know my neighbours well enough to ask them to water my plants (especially since we’re gone so often).
I did a lot of reading during my days off. More reading than gardening, which is kind of funny. I read three Nancy Mitford novels, The Pursuit of Love, Love in a Cold Climate and The Blessing. I can’t remember why I suddenly decided to dive into Mitford, but I don’t regret it. They are nostalgic, sometimes funny or tragic novels about upper class or aristocratic life in the first half of the twentieth century. I also read The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa – really good and really weird. I read it in one day for my book club which is meeting this week (via Zoom). A good selection (as opposed to the sometimes less than stellar book club choices). And I’m now up to the half-way mark with The Iliad in the Caroline Alexander translation which I’m still loving. As usual, I plan to write a more detailed review for these books (but I’ve now got quite a backlog on book reviews).
Of course, I meant to write blog posts during my long weekend, but somehow I couldn’t motivate myself to turn on the computer and start writing. It’s weird that I have less motivation when I have more time. I need to work on this…
Tomorrow I’m voluntarily working in the morning (but I will be taking half a day of in recompense soon or at the latest the next time we drive to Bavaria). One of my regular work tasks usually falls on Friday mornings, and I don’t want to dump it on my colleagues. It’s a stupid task which doesn’t need much effort, so it isn’t a big deal. But it does have to be done. It’s nice to have an undemanding task after the stress of last Thursday (when I couldn’t take my half-day off) and the two days I worked this week. Last Thursday, I had to work on something with a colleague – basically prod the colleague to do a task which they had kept insisting was easy but nevertheless wanted to dump on me. Well, I resisted and made them do it and found out that they didn’t have a clue what they were doing. No wonder they wanted to get someone else to take over. I had to point out some stuff to them which I had noticed by chance just before our meeting. I didn’t have a clue either, but it wasn’t my responsibility. Since it was an important task which other colleagues depended on and I had been reminding the colleague to do it all along as well as asking for status updates for two weeks beforehand in our team meetings, I was super stressed and quite pissed off. And then I heard that in Monday’s team meeting (when I was on vacation), the colleague again said how easy the task was (before going off on vacation and dropping the rest of the task on another poor colleague). This was just the pits, so I complained to my manager. I don’t usually do this and don’t usually need to because my colleagues are generally professional. But this particular colleague likes showing off and turning their co-workers into their personal assistants (works best with new colleagues, who are too inexperienced to protest). It’s just not usually a problem for me, because I try to avoid working with them – note to self: keep it that way. My manager had already noticed that this current thing had been rather a shambles, which was good, but past experience has shown that they aren’t great at getting the colleague to change their behaviour. The colleague gets away with all sorts of things that other colleagues would get called out on. I used to think it was because they were extremely competent at what they do, but last Thursday has rather called that into doubt.
Keep safe world.