I had a nicely relaxed weekend. Saturday, I went on a long walk with Curious Dog in the morning because during the last week the walks were mostly just half an hour or so because the weather was so fickle. It always looked like it would rain, or worse, like there’d be a thunderstorm. Both CD and I hate thunderstorms, so we shortened our walks. But the walk on Saturday morning was lovely. We walked through the fields, past the cattle (which CD is always slightly afraid of) and by the stork nest. The nest is up on an out-of-service power pole, in the middle of a field. Partner and I have seen one or two of the adult storks on the nest very often, but we’ve never seen a young one. Saturday, I definitively saw one baby stork, and we saw it again today. I hope to see it grow up and start trying out its wings (although I haven’t a clue how long it takes for stork chicks to mature).
I spent a lot of Saturday morning vacuuming the house. I hadn’t done my bedroom / office for a while, so I was really thorough for once. Took ages. I also I moved my large palm-like plant outside for the summer. During the autumn, winter and spring it lives in front of the one floor-to-ceiling window in my bedroom, but in summer I put it on the patio. It gets a good dose of sun and I get to open my window properly. Win-win for plant and human!
Curious Dog in in full-on shedding mode. Our living room, Partner’s office (where CD sleeps at night and which is also the guest bedroom), the kitchen and the small hall: all were covered in drifts of dog hair. I vacuumed it all up and on Sunday I gave CD a good brushing session. He doesn’t like that much, but it had to be done. But he’s still shedding. He has only two settings: standard shedding and extreme shedding. At the moment it’s extreme.
Mum and I were having lunch on Saturday when Partner arrived. He’d said he’d probably turn up around 2 p.m. but was earlier because his vaccination was faster than planned. He had hardly any reactions to the first jab, just a sore arm for a couple of days. Hope it will be the same for me tomorrow when I’ll be getting my first vaccination. It was very nice having Partner back.
We watched a quite a few shows and a couple of films on the weekend: three episodes of Bad Batch. In one of them poor Omega was kidnapped by a bounty hunter) and two episodes of Loki. Loki has just recently started on Disney+ and I like it very much. Not sure what it’s all about yet, but it has something to do with time manipulation and some beings that watch over the time stream with the help of a huge administration. It has a lot of Loki being Loki moments and the other characters are fun, too. We also watched the new animated film by Disney and Pixar, Luca. It’s Italian-themed and super enjoyable (although I liked Raya and the Last Dragon maybe just a tad more). The visuals and characters in both films are great, but Raya’s plot is more complex and more intriguing. But both films are fun.
We haven’t managed to watch the last two episodes of The Underground Railroad yet, mostly because it was too hot for a serious show. As the temperatures are supposed to drop again after today (and after probably another set of thunderstorms), I guess we’ll get to these two episodes sometime later this week.
I also read a lot of my current book, The Illiad (translated by Caroline Alexander). I’m now quite near the end, only three chapters left to go. I’d quite forgotten from my first reading years ago that all the violence in it is so graphic. It’s definitively not an epic that glosses over the ugly side of war and only concentrates on the “glory”. There’s a lot of ugly stuff in it. The gods keep interfering and being unfair. Warriors who beg for mercy are slaughtered anyway. Warriors who get killed usually also get their armour and stuff stolen, and their corpse desecrated. It’s very bloody. But there are also a lot of interesting pictures of life during ancient times and short bits of the protagonists’ backgrounds and a lot of psychologically plausible motivation for their actions. I’m surprised at how much I am enjoying it. Since I liked the Odyssey more than the Iliad when I first read them both, I’m guessing I’ll be really wowed when I get round to rereading the Odyssey (only after Jane Austen July).
I was feeling quite happy with the temperatures and precipitation in June this year. There were hardly any days hotter than 25°C and quite a bit of rain, but it turns out that it was extremely hot and dry in the eastern parts of Germany, so that it will probably turn out to have been the third-hottest and driest June since this data has been collected. Not so great.
On another note: recently I saw a short documentary on TV about automatic lawn mowers. If you use one of those in your garden, and you’re located in Europe, please deactivate it from 5 p.m. to 9 a.m. They are dangerous for hedgehogs. Hedgehogs don’t run away from danger; they roll themselves up. Then the automatic mower runs them over and they get killed or badly injured. These accidents are avoided if the mover is turned off late in the afternoons and during the night, as hedgehogs are only active during those hours. Apparently lots hedgehogs are currently being injured by these mowers and taken to animal shelters. I don’t have a mower like that (my patch of lawn is much too small), but if I had, I wouldn’t have known about this issue. So, I thought I’d mention it on the blog (not that I have that many readers, but you never know… it might be useful info for someone).
Work is as busy and chaotic as ever, but one of the most stressful projects has had its deadline moved for about four weeks, which will de-stress things for a little while. The downside is that the project will continue to bug me for longer, but I guess you can’t have everything. I hope it doesn’t get postponed again, because I would like for it to be finished and done with before my vacation in October.
Keep safe, world.