20.10.2023 | A Day In The Life Of…

A ordinary morning on an ordinary “working at the office” day. The regular routine (bathroom, getting dressed, coffee maker, preparing a sandwich for lunch) but just a short meditation as I was already running a bit late.

The drive to work was ok, though I missed the nice sunrise sky I had been presented with the same time on Wednesday. Today the sky was various shades of grey. Recently I’ve started doing the reasonable thing and not pay for parking by the office, but instead use free on-street-parking two tram stations away. I have an annual ticket for public transport, so it makes sense. I’ve just been too lazy for so long. There are three people with me at the tram stop. A teenage boy just wearing a sweatshirt even though it’s raining. I always wonder if that’s a fashion choice or necessity as in he doesn’t own a proper jacket. I hope for him it’s a fashion choice. Besides him and me there is a elderly couple, walking along the platform holding hands, which I always think is lovely to see. From their age I assume they are retired, so I’m wondering why they are out and about at 8 in the morning.

At the office I caught up with a team-member I hardly ever meet in person anymore, as we have opposite office days (in general). That’s one of the downsides of more flexible work from home rules. We both have to rush into our respective videocalls after. Mine went fine, we got a lot of things cleared up, organized and also – as it is sometimes necessary – commiserated over our team-supervisor, who has been on the job for a good year now. Don’t get me wrong, we like our supervisor, we all just sometimes have to learn to deal with their different ways to work or get work done. I definitely need to be more pro-active if I need feedback about something from them.

The rest of the short day I spent finally sorting through our team’s finances and continue to work on planning the training period for our new staff, who will join us in November. One of them is 25, which is almost half my age. And I guess that’s the way it will continue to go in the future.

Back on the tram for the short ride back to my car. Loud music from somone’s headphones. A coughing child somewhere else. I usually take the tram after school starts or ends, so there aren’t masses of people on it. Sometimes I still think I might want to put on a mask again even if it’s just a 5 minutes ride. I don’t think that impulse will ever completely leave me.

There is only one definite item on the to-do-list today: take the car to the car wash and interior cleaning. I do that every once in a while, but haven’t had it done recently. But I thought a long road trip on which I will be joined by friends for parts of it, is a good reason to get it done. I admit that only on second thought I remembered that I myself deserve to ride in a clean car as well. It wasn’t that my car is a dump, far from it. But it’s been a weird “Huh? Why haven’t you thought of doing it just for yourself long ago?” moment.

When I started my car after it had been pampered the car’s digital app system didn’t start properly. That happens sometimes for still unknown reasons and I usually just put the phone in car phone holder to at least be able to use my satnav app for directions. But the phone holder was still in the boot from when I had to clear out everything for the cleaning service and I couldn’t be bothered to park the car again to get it. I was in a city I know well enough and just wanted to drive home; a route I have taken many many times before.

I don’t know if it was the rain or the last day of the week or something else, but the vibe I got from many drivers on the road today was: Impatient. Ruthless. Maybe we (yes, the most general term applies here) all in all are just more ruthless and impatient. Or some of us are and the rest are just too tired and kind and scared to call the others out on it? I don’t know.

As I couldn’t listen to music from my phone either, I switched through the radio stations. Sometimes I feel like I’ve got the attention span of a squirrel. I know there are other animals with even shorter attention span, but I don’t want to to compare myself to those. I like squirrels. But as my attention span sometimes isn’t the longest, I was hopping from station to station. Main stream music radio. Nope. Classic music radio. Maybe. Various news / feature stations. Naah. Back to either of the previous ones for the news.

In the city I was driving through a father and his 12 year old son have been attacked on the street in open daylight for no apparent reason. I heard the news at least twice on the way home and still haven’t understood if the father had died from it or ist just seriously injured. The news stated that the police started a murder investigation, but also called it attempted manslaughter. Another news report about how someone somewhere in the area (don’t recall where, as I said: squirrel) stole an Israel flag flying in solidarity and replaced it by a Palestinian flag. It was also stated that it wasn’t the first time a Israel flag has been stolen here in Germany this past week.

I let my car’s satnav lead me to the motorway, not the way I would have usually gone, but I wanted to trust the system. I guess it wasn’t really it’s fault to not know that the suggested slip road was closed at the moment. So further on to the next one, just to get on the motorway and learn that there’s 30 minute delay on the main one and 15 minutes on the one that could have been an alternative. Further on I saw blue lights (police? ambulance?) on the opposite lanes. I don’t if the traffic jam on my side had anything to do with it. I counted my blessings to not be involved in any kind of crash and decided to ditch the satnav and find my own way, because – again – this is a region I’ve been driving to and from work for the last decade. I know my way around. Mileage wise it might have been smarter to go over the jammed motorway and avoid the stop at red light / accelerate in the city centres, but I couldn’t be bothered.

I drove along some trees with amazing 5 different shades of Indian summer foliage, but there was no chance to stop and take pictures and not in the rain anyway. I also passed quite a few new construction sites I didn’t know about. But I’m only driving to work two times a week these days instead of the five in a previous life (Remember the days when working remotely was only something for the hip and fancy?). These days I hardly ever have to use the side roads so I’m not always up-to-date with the region’s urban developments. More lovely Indian summer sights. More rain. More traffic jams. In the city! But that was no surprise when I turned around the corner and saw that a car seemed to have rammed a tram! I don’t know if it had just happened and thus there wasn’t police / emergency service on scene yet. Or if it had happened long ago and they were just still waiting for a service to tow the car. And the tram? I don’t know. I switched lanes to pass the site and drove on.

Once I had trekked all through the city and was back on the motorway towards home the traffic was finally fine. It was still raining and the clouds / fog hung still low on the hills over the reservoir. It looked rather photogenic, but as I was behind the wheel there was no chance to snap a photo. It reminded me of Scotland, which is never a bad thing.

Photo of a loch in Scotland with low hanging clouds over the water.
Fog over a Scottish loch

I spend an easy and relaxed afternoon / evening at home. It kept raining so there was no way I was going to to do anything tonight. Started with this post (not sure if I’ll do these kind of posts more that often in the future). Send an email to someone in Essex, which I hadn’t actually planned to do until I ‘had a moment’ on my drive to work this morning. Made some dinner as I still try to eat not later than 8 in the evening. Looked for photos from Scotland for this post.

I was watching the news special about the storm across the Baltic Sea. I’m quite glad I’m not planning to spend a few days in Denmark THIS weekend. I kept the regular TV program running, which I hardly do anymore and opt to watch something on a streaming service instead. After the storm special there was a documentary about the craftspeople who conserve historical monuments in Hamburg. Super interesting and right up my nerd alley.

I haven’t read that much further in my current book “Cloud Cuckoo Land”. I like it alright whenever I pick it up, but I’m not that hooked that I pick it up every time I’ve got a free moment. Maybe I’m just not in proper reading mood right now? No idea. I’ll keep you posted.

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