19.10.2021 | “Lately I’ve been feeling all worn out…”

Lyrics: “Faithful Son” ~ Frank Turner, 2009

In parts of the German blogosphere (is that a term people use still?) there is a monthly thing called “WMDEDGT” meaning “Was machst du eigentlich den ganzen Tag?” as in “What do you actually do all day?” in which people blog about exactly that in their various jobs / responsibilities / activities. It’s usually on the 5th of a month. But I feel like a rebel today 😉

06:00 I didn’t wake up 60 – 90 minutes hours before the alarm, which I count as a success these days. I had a few weird dreams in the early hours, which I only vaguely recalled for the first few seconds after waking up. And then not at all anymore after. Except for the fact – do dreams count as facts ? – that Frank Turner had a part in one of those dreams, but that’s not really so much out of the ordinary. Fangirl and all.

08:00 Dawdling the morning away as I do so often these days. I’m still in a bit of a weird funk after my visit to the care home yesterday. It wasn’t a particularly good day yesterday and while I’ve reached the state of mind where I don’t sit in my car crying after, the emotions and memories still haunt me for a while. Even today I guess, if only subconsciously. But going in the span of only a few months from being mostly a self-reliant person – even in old age – to being 90% depended on other people for every thing you do is so fucking hard. For the person themselves, but also for all of us caring about them. There are good days and bad days and yesterday was a bad day and I still felt the reverberation emotionally today. Which obviously put me in a dawdling funk this morning.

10:00 Spent almost two hours mostly focused on work stuff. Go me! I only did the mandatory hours yesterday, so I needed to catch up on some stuff and luckily had planned accordingly when I ran a bunch of errands yesterday and did all my shopping, so there wasn’t any need to leave the house today. It’s a foul weather outside anyway…

11:00 Am I the only one always a bit freaked out when someone calls you on the landline? This time it was my landlord’s wife wondering if he was still in the building, because he had left his mobile phone at home? I checked for his car and then walked up to the flat from which a removal company is removing stuff left from the previous tenants. But he obviously had left already. There is so much to tell about the last people who live there, but I don’t want to gossip (too much). But they were a mess. I sometimes felt sorry for them, because they obviously had a bunch of issues. You don’t become an alcoholic / messie when your life is going to plan, do you? Anyway, they have finally been asked to move out and they obviously didn’t fight it, so now the remaining stuff is cleared out and then we’ll hope for decent and friendly new neighbours.

I allowed myself a short coffee break as well, without officially clocking out. I did feel guilty about that kind of thing in the beginning of lockdown/working from home. But then I remembered the moments at the office, where we were socialising with other coworkers. Having a coffee, chatting, catching up, not just about work. I don’t do that over the phone anymore. Or just very rarely. So I allow myself the occasional 15 minutes of “coffee and something not work-related break”, especially if it’s going to be a long day. And don’t feel too guilty about it.

12:00 Lunch break before I need to log into a longer video call. Spending a few minutes reading “Malibu Rising” which is so so so good.

Malibu Rising, novel

14:30 Done with the meeting. Phew. I’m in charge of that project and I shouldn’t still feel overwhelmed by it, but I do. Feeling prickly whenever someone in the internal project-team says something critical, not even about me, but our external partners. Like I should have a better handle on things. I know that’s not how my colleague meant it, but that’s how my overly self-critical mind perceived it. I don’t like it.

17:00 I was finally winding down with work. I felt productive for most of the day, which isn’t always the case. The tiny voice in my head already whispers: “But you could have been even MORE productive”. That voice is a jerk sometimes. All afternoon I thought I had to leave the house to run some more errands tonight after all. I even got dressed into proper “leaving the house” clothes until I realized: I don’t NEED to pick up the stuff today, just because it was delivered (to the Packstation/ the bookstore) today. I don’t need that item right away / won’t read the book today anyway. It can wait a day or two. So I changed back into my comfy clothes, got the rest of my coffee, snuggled up on my sofa and kept reading “Malibu Rising”.

20:00 I feel pathetic writing it down, but I will be heading off to bed soon, because I feel knackered. Again. I don’t want to pay too much attention to the “body battery” stats on my smartwatch, because I still don’t quite understand how these data is measured. But it’s been down since the two nights of crappy sleep on the weekend and still hasn’t recharged as much as I like. And that’s something I notice even without the data. So more sleep / rest than usual it has to be . I finished “Malibu Rising” this evening and loved it. I am always tempted to read another book of the same author when that happens, but I think it’s a good idea to give my brain a break and read something more fluffy in the meantime. If I read much at all tonight, because… knackered!

17.10.2021 | “Make sure to take a Polaroid Picture…”

Lyrics: “Polaroid Picture” ~ Frank Turner, 2013

Sleep | Another crappy night due to the traffic noise. Through the closed window. I can’t find the words for the rage I felt at some point last night. For a moment I considered packing in and driving home in the middle of the night. But that would have been a colossal waste of money. At least I left a review stating how disappointed I was on Tripadvisor and Google maps. When I was looking through other reviews I saw a few who mentioned the noise but considered it “neglible” or “almost nothing” and I thought WTF?!?! Am I such a light sleeper? And I’m really not. I think, so screw those reviewers. I did mention the rage, right? But now I’ve got a first hand – tiny – experience what interrupted / bad sleep does to your mental and physical state. Anyway… tonight in my own bed will feel like bliss, I guess.

MagicCon | I spent a couple of hours at a Fantasy / History TV/movie convention – MagicCon – this afternoon. I had bought the One-Day ticket last year, but of course that event had to be cancelled and even though the guest I bought the ticket for wasn’t there this year, I still went. Trying to see how my camera works under these conditions. And I think the photos turned out well for being shot from the gallery. Good to know.

Craig Parker & Liam McIntyre at MagicCon 2021
Craig Parker & Liam McIntyre at MagicCon 2021

Thoughts | I have some more thoughts on things – like how much more misanthropic the pandemic – has made me. I’m not sure I like that development, because it might give me an ulcer, but oh boy, if people would just read the signs. And / ore adhere to the rules – correct wearing of the mask / distancing etc. It’s not that difficult, people! But I’m too tired to write all those thoughts down in a coherent fashion tonight. And I’m not sure if I even should. Be more kind and all…

16.10.2021 | “And we haven’t done enough of this simple kind of stuff…” (2nd Edition)

Lyrics: “Dan’s Song” ~ Frank Turner, 2009

Hotels | You’d think that a hotel form the Radisson Hotels Group would spend some money on noise cancelling windows on the side with the busy, busy road. Obviously not. Note to self, make sure to book rooms on the other side if you ever come back here. I’ve got the window closed and still need headphones to block out the rumbling from outside. Post-Lockdown – Rookie -Traveller, that I am, I didn’t remember to check my washbag for earplugs. Crappy, crappy night. Oh, well…

The Weekend | I’m doing another “lets get out of my familiar, boring surroundings weekend” and checked into a hotel in Cologne for two nights. Being somewhere else, new distractions and activities to distract me from my tendency to ruminate and go down spirals of self-doubt and self loathing and all that.

Cologne | This city isn’t too far from me and for quite a few years I have been here a lot. I was a huge fan of their hockey time for a while. Before that another fandom I was involved in had lots of ties to this city, so I was here in TV studios, for smaller events, for meeting with other fans, just hanging out. I’ve also just come down for some shopping. But I haven’t been back as regular in the last decade or so. Especially not since the first lockdown. While I was making a list of what all to do while I’m here I had to stop myself from putting errands on the list as well. Like shopping for clothes. I know some might do that for fun, but for me it’s an errand and this weekend was supposed to be about fun in the widest sense. Eating unhealthy food for lunch. Shopping at he LEGO store. Trying out the new-ish camera some more. I did that last night, though the harbour area had less nice photo spots for me than I had expected. Oh well.

"Kranhäuser" at night, Cologne, October 2021
“Kranhäuser” at night, Cologne, October 2021

Cathedral | This morning I walked around the huge local graveyard for a while. Morbid possibly, but it was quiet and fresh air and all that. I didn’t come to Cologne for the buzz of city life after all. I’m here in fact, because I have something else planned in another city 30 minutes south of here. 🙂 There was a lot of fog from the river till noon and I had already given up snapping some nice photos of the cathedral.

Cathedral in the fog, Cologne, October 2021
Cathedral in the fog, Cologne, October 2021

But it cleared up after all, so even though my legs were rather tired I walked back up on the bridge next to the hotel for a few photos.

Chocolate Museum and Cathedral in Cologne, October 2021
Chocolate Museum and Cathedral in Cologne, October 2021

Love Locks | The “Hohenzollern Bridge”, which spans across the river Rhine directly at the cathedral is a railway and pedestrian bridge. Like in so many other places around the world people started hanging “love locks” on the railings. And by now even on every kind of structure leading up to it. I know people do it. I just don’t fucking get it! At all. If you want to commemorate your undying love do it at a place that has some meaning for you and your loved on. Seriously.

Love Locks in Cologne, October 2021
Love Locks in Cologne, October 2021

Chocolate | The last activity for the day was a visit to the Chocolate Museum. Because how could I not? Also… it’s right next door. I’ve been to it before but it’s been a while. And what can I say? Under different circumstances I’m sure it would have been a good idea. But I realized my mind was too tired to actually take in all the information on the displays. And also… there were quite a few people. All masked and all, but not always adhering to the distance rule, which was not always possible anyway. The did leave people in in time slots so it probably wasn’t even THAT crowded. Still… Will doing these kind of things ever feel normal again? I’m planning to attend a TV / Movie convention tomorrow. No idea how that will make me feel. Anyway, here is my bounty from the museum store 🙂

Bounty from the Chocolate Museum, Cologne, October 2021
Bounty from the Chocolate Museum, Cologne, October 2021

Bridges | When I got out of the museum – which is located on a small island at the entrance to the harbour for small private boats – a lot of people were gathering by the riverside, which I thought was weird. But of course I went to have a look what they were looking at. The bridge connecting the island to the city, was… not drawn up, but turned to the side to let some boats pass through. Interesting. I had no idea the bridge could do that…

Moving Bridge in Cologne, October 2021
Moving Bridge in Cologne, October 2021

Just be… | All in all… this feels like a successful outing in the way that I was distracted enough to not worry about ‘things in general and specifically’ for most of the time. Be in the moment and not stuck in my head.

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