13.05.2021 | “And as the walls are crumbling, I am tumbling to the ground”

Lyrics: “I Can’t Do Anything About It” ~ Felix Hagan & The Family, 2011

Emergencies | Monday morning, 6:30 I got a call about a health emergency of a elderly family member. And with that my time off to relax ended abruptly. The patient is doing ok so far under the circumstances, which is the most important part of the story. There will be a long road of rehab ahead, but so far we’d like to stay optimistic. It’s only been three days in fact. But the first 36 hours till Tuesday evening went by in an anxious blur and I’m only now finally getting back to a kind of less anxious state of mind. It won’t be a calm state of mind for while, I’m afraid.

In my family we’re used to similar kind of emergencies and we’ve got a routine down. Who will pack the bag and bring it to the hospital, take care of admittance and organizing one of the phones to rent. And who will be there with the patient in the ER, waiting for consults, exams, holding hands, keeping company. COVID made all of those routines void, because nobody is allowed near any patient in hospital except for palliative or dementia cases and even then there are lots of hoops to jump through.

On Monday early afternoon I learned that they were finally transferred from the ER to a regular floor, I could quickly talk to a doctor (with no valid diagnosis yet) and at least find out how to bring by some personal items, clothes, glasses etc. When I showed up at the hospital front desk and inquired about phones to rent, I learned that there weren’t any available. Damn. That was new and probably due to the pandemic and the visitors restrictions? Like I said our patient is elderly and never owned a mobile phone. They managed to call us from a phone on the floor that night, which was a relief. On Monday evening I went online to order a simple mobile phone (what we call “Granny phone” here in Germany) to pick up at the store the next day and then went to get a cheap prepaid SIM card. Registered the number, picked up the phone, set up the two emergency speed dial numbers and drove back to the hospital to drop it off again.

Tuesday evening they called and I was so relieved to hear their voice and notice that the phone set up worked out and they can now easily reach us in any case. One of us has also been calling them at least once a day, so we’ll stay in touch as we probably won’t be able to visit them until they are transferred to another hospital for rehab. This all sucks so so much, but there’s nothing else to do about it than to hang in there.

I really hope I’ll manage to recharge / relax for the rest of the week though, before I’m back at work on Monday.

Vaccinations | Good news here at least. As of yesterday all of my close contacts have had their first jab of a COVID vaccine. I’m due for my 2nd shot on Saturday 29th May which makes Sunday 13th June my “Freedom Day”. I was joking about that with friends yesterday, but in fact I have marked it in my calendar and depending on what the weather will be like I consider driving up to the seaside for the day. In Germany we’ve eased up on regulations for fully vaccinated people (and those who have been through COVID), so I might just make the most of it. I miss the seaside.

Reading | I had started a fantasy novel last weekend and enjoyed that so far, but it had it’s darker parts of the plot and right now I didn’t feel in the mood for that. So just like with my TV shows (reruns of loved ones in a comfort binge) I turned to a novel (series) I read for the first and only time about 10 years ago: “Into the Wilderness” and that’s just the right kind of comfort reading I need right now.

Fangirling | For the first time – as long as I can remember – Frank Turner started including kid-sized T-shirts on his merch a few weeks ago. That was my opportunity – my duty in fact – to buy it for a child I’d like to “pull over the dark side”. I’m kidding. But she knows I’m fan of Frank, she recognizes the FTHC logo on my car and the beanie and she knows he’s a singer, so… I put together a playlist of a few danceable, swear-free songs as introduction and wrapped it all up as a present yesterday. It was well received, though that might have been just because it was a present! We’ll see…

A few day ago Instagram memories pulled up a post about Lost Evening 2018 and I was getting properly sad and sentimental. I still am in fact, because gig buddies have been sharing similar photos from either of the last three Lost Evenings Festival on their socials as well. I miss this. The gigs, the people, the whole community and the vibe of these few days in Camden. But hey, it’s #notacult ;-)!

Lost Evenings, 2018
Lost Evenings 2018

07.05.2021 | “Perilously close to the precipice…”

Lyrics: “The Gathering” ~ Frank Turner, 2021

Sleep | Glorious 8.5 hours. The right was to start my time off from work, right?

Coffee | Trying to cut down by consciously using my smaller french press (1,5 mugs) instead of the bigger one which gives me about 4. I often only drink 3, so I throw one out which feels a waste. Small steps.

Working out | Not so much since the one time early this week. *sigh* I was quite busy with work stuff and my mind wasn’t in the right place and I was often so so tired. I plan to go on a longer hike tomorrow though to make up for it. Now that I’ve put it down here, I can’t back out, can I ?

Books | I’m reading the glorious “The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue” by V.E. Schwab at the moment and I’m hooked in a way I haven’t been in a while. It’s part history / contemporary with a splash of fantasy – Addie makes a deal with the devil after all – and I love it. I don’t want it to end. I’m a bit anxious I might not like the end. I also ordered the first of Schwab’s “A Darker Shade of Magic” series, even though magic / fantasy isn’t something I usually read or at least haven’t read in long time. But with Addie LaRue I like Schwab’s writing a lot and thus though I’d give it a try.

Outlander | I’m still re-watching it not every day, but at least every other and then a few episodes in a row. I’ve reached Season 4 by now and I don’t remember if I actually ever watched that more than once. My interested had definitely waned a bit by then and some of the plot changes from the book annoyed me. I’m still not the biggest fan of those, but am now detached enough to enjoy it for the good TV show that it is. (Ask me again after that stupid stupid “Roger/Bree travel back” plot in Season 5 ๐Ÿ˜‰ ).

Social Media | I’ve managed to cut back on my use of it at least to some degree, by logging out of the Twitter app on my phone each time and thus make it more laborious to just “real quick post / check something”. And I think that’s definitely helping with my state of mind. I sometimes still get caught up in a thread on Twitter or Facebook, but luckily there often is a post early on which annoys me to no end and instead of dwelling on that or writing a reply and thus get involved, I just click away from that thread and log off. Last example this morning: “But he doesn’t play anywhere near where I live”. Ugh. Be grateful he plays any gigs at all this summer. Do you have any idea how difficult it probably was to put a set a gigs together under these circumstances? Be grateful, bitch! Phew, glad I got that out of my system here and not got in a fight on the internet ;-)!

Thoughts | Too many. Too many negative and anxious ones. At work and over work related things mostly. I worry so much. And I’m so sensitive and thin-skinned. Always feel like I’m on defense. And not just feeling like it, but acting like it as well and I really don’t like that about myself. I feel I’m not doing my job as well as I could / should / is expected of me. I don’t know. And that makes me even more defensive. I’m floundering and then I feel guilty for not doing the best I can or being the best I can, which in turn makes me bitchy. It’s a bit of an endless cycle and I’m glad I’ve got the time to step away from it for a few days now and… regroup. But yeah, these lines from Frank’s new song sum up my state of mind quite well…

Lyrics The Gathering, 2021

05.05.2021 | Some Randomness

Sleep | Hard to come by these days. On Monday and again today, I awoke over an hour before my alarm, which is already set early, as I’m rather sluggish to get my day started these days. The process of resetting the alarm to a later time or to try to fall asleep again keep me awake , so I usually get up at some early point. At least this morning I got some emailing out of the way, so that’s something.

My Peak Challenge | I did it. Restarted on Monday. Holy Shit, I’m out of shape. But I’m working on it, hopefully for a while longer now. I felt a bit guilty for scaling down from the planned 4 to the minimum 3 rounds of the circuit, but hey, I’m starting over and I did it, so… I might need to scale down on the weights for the dumbbell bench press as well. The last round was killing me. I really need to keep going with the 2nd workout today, which I didn’t feel up to yesterday. It was a busy day at work, that’s my excuse….

Highlight | Getting in my car to drive somewhere to run an errand seems to be the highlight of my day these days. On the weekend I ordered an new Garmin smartwatch, because the battery on my old one seems to have run it’s course after 2.5 years. Out of warranty. Of course! Anyway, I ordered it to pick up at a big electronics store in the mall about 20 minutes away. Just the process of getting in my car to drive somewhere that isn’t just the super market or the doctor’s office gets me excited these days. It’s pathetic. Naively I thought it would be a quick trip – go in, pick up, leave. But of course I wasn’t the only one with that idea. *headdesk* I had to stand in a queue for about 30 minutes. It was ok though, it’s not like I had anything else to do, really. And so far I’m very happy with my new gadget. Battery is still at 74% after almost one day in use, whereas the old watch ran out of battery after not even 24 hours.

Corona | I really don’t want to write too much about it here, as it’s on all our minds and all the news all the time anyway. But… 14 months in and there are still so many things I just can’t wrap my mind around. A surgeon’s practice where the doctors in charge and the staff obviously were rather lax about the masks and hygiene and someone came into work who clearly had symptoms. 200 patients in quarantine. In another state there are temporary farmworkers, often from southeast Europe and with no health insurance in Germany ( legally! as they’re only here temporary): 80 cases, 1000 in “working quarantine”, which means they still live together in cramped quarters, still need to go to work or rather probably be shuttled together in vehicles to the fields. I doubt they wear masks while they are out there doing hard manual labour. We are one sick society.

Pic of the day: The parking lot at the mall. On a Monday afternoon…. Still so weird.

Empty parking lot at the mall
Empty parking lot at the mall

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