Lyrics: “Once We Were Anarchists” – Frank Turner, 2007
I made to the 2nd part of my vacation on Friday evening: an apartment by the beach on a dutch island in the North Sea. Perfect for just relaxing and chilling out after a few busy days in London and the crowds. Too perfect and too chill maybe, because for the first two days I felt a bit overwhelmed by the “nothingness”. Nowhere to be, nothing to do. All alone with my thoughts. Not always a good thing. I spent the first two days puttering around my small apartment, the occasional trip to the near beach – though it’s been windy, cloudy and not all that warm – and distracting myself from too much thinking / worrying with books and books and more books.
Books: I still plan to read quite a lot, because a) I actually do enjoy it and b) it’s a better way to spend my time than scrolling through social media all day. But I need to make sure it’s a conscious decision and not a flight from whatever.
I needed to take a break from “The Paris Library” because – SPOILER – the main character’s mother dies early and unexpected and I just couldn’t go there (yet). I have read mentions of other parents’ death in novels since my mum passed away, no problem. But in this case it just brought up too many thoughts. Thoughts I might want and need to address at some point, but not now. I just wasn’t up for it. I didn’t bring any other fiction book with me, so I went through my list of “want to read” or “have read and mostly enjoyed” trivial, sexy / smutty rom-com options, which I could download for either of my two ebook readers. There is no danger of those stories bringing up personal / family issues. I’m already on book 2 of the “Bluewater Billionaires” and it feels it’s just the right kind of easy, entertaining summer read for now.
My non-fictions, which I’m determined to read a good chunk of this remaining week of vacation:
Invisible Women about what it means for women’s lives (health, safety and all everything), that the world mostly has been designed by men for men. Two chapters in and it’s already making my blood boil. “Amerika Gotteskrieger”, German book about the Christian Nationalists / Religious Right in the USA. This one as well is making me want to scream and throw things :-). The last one is the big one: “The Boundless Sea” over 1000 pages of very small print. I’m getting through it slowly, but it’s quite interesting because I have a thing for history and the sea and also I’ve already learn a lot and realized how Euro Centric my history education in school has been. [Fangirl Nerd Alert for this one: Frank Turner mentioned in an interview some time ago, that he had read it, that’s how I’ve heard about it in the first place].
Pandemic: I’m quite glad I’m in an apartment on my own for a few days now and don’t have to be on public transport and don’t plan to go the theatre or any other indoor event for a while. On my travel to London, my way around London on public transport or the things I did in London (theatre mostly) I often was the only one (still) wearing a mask. I have to say that this messed with my self / identity – whatever you want to call it – more than I expected. For one, because I lack self-esteem and I don’t like standing out. But being one of the few people wearing a mask makes you stand out these days. And even though I know why I still do and I know that it’s the right thing for me (high risk group, not having had the plague yet) to do, it still made me feel like the odd one out. And sadly I’m too self-conscious to not mind that.
The other thing is, that I had a hard time not judging all the others not wearing a mask. From what I read and thus what I trust to know: the pandemic isn’t over. Numbers of cases are rising again everywhere and yes, it’s often just a mild case and not life-threatening, yada yada… But there also is the real risk of Long Covid and there is the real chance for unknowingly passing it on to vulnerable people (like me). And yes, I can take care of myself – wearing a mask or in the worst case isolate at home and miss out on life – but it pisses me off and saddens me, that I have to take more care than others. And potentially miss out on things. And that others obviously don’t care much about me. I know, I know, that’s a big bag of generalization here. But on my last leg home to the mainland, the crowded Eurostar where I was the only one in my vicinity wearing a mask at all, I thought: You all could unknowingly pass on a potentially deadly / disabling disease to me and you don’t fucking care. I hate you! And I don’t like thinking or feeling that way. I usually don’t hate people. I did mention above that I try to avoid thinking / worrying too much. Now you have an idea why…
Anyway, here’s another photo from the beach yesterday evening. Not as much of a “Golden Hour” vibe as I had hoped. It was just too cloudy. I also couldn’t be bothered to edit the photo (yet).