16.07.2021 | “I’ve got the Twenty-First Century Survival Blues…”

Lyrics: “The Twenty-First Century Survival Blues” ~ Frank Turner, 2018

I might suffer from a mild case of belated shock over the flood catastrophe here in Germany. I’m away on vacation by the sea at the moment, but of course followed the news and reports from friends and family on Wednesday night / Thursday morning. My hometown was hit by some floods and there are some damages, but nobody was injured or died and streets and bridges are cleared already as far as I know. None of my family or friends there were affected at all. Another friend in a neighbouring town, which was hit much worse, got through it without any damages to their apartment or car either. The photos and videos they sent from this day were scary enough. So I spent the first day of this horrible time focusing on those cities and my loved ones and didn’t really pay much attention to other regions in my home state. Maybe I was supressing it, as I didn’t want to deal with more negative news on my vacation. The main purpose of this vacation was to relax and recharge. I already have my share of negative or at least serious stuff on my mind handling the current healthcare / care situation in my family.

But of course by now it has caught up with me and… now I can almost not stop watching the news on TV or online and reading the horrible news about fatalities and lost homes and livelihoods. To see whole neighbourhoods or even small villages in such a devastating state? These people have lost EVERYTHING! Home, belongings, memories. It breaks my heart and it leaves me speechless. I really don’t know what to say.

I work in the climate action sector and I am political person. Which goes without saying in this job, I guess. And yes, first and foremost we have to take care of the people, communities and cities in need, we have to help them get through this and rebuild their lives. But we also NEED to talk about what we need to change in the future. Because of course climate change is a big part of the reason these kind of catastrophes happen. More and more often and with more severe consequences. And I think as a democratic society we are or at least should be able to multitask and to do both kind of things at the same time. It’s not one or the other. I can donate to emergency funds and share helpful information and still criticise our state’s prime minister and his government and his party for the lack of serious climate action policies or measures. I don’t just want to send “thoughts and prayers” and then forgot about the real issue at hand. The “now is not the time to talk about it” is the same crap of avoidance tactis the NRA and Republicans use after any school shooting in the US and I’m fed up by it.

Deep breath.

As you can imagine my relaxing, recharging vacation isn’t going quite as relaxed as I had hoped. Another reason for that is, as mentioned above the ongoing (health)care situation in our family we need to handle at the moment, which means even here I’m making phone calls or sending mails and researching stuff. Mostly in the mornings so that I can relax and recharge in the afternoon and evening. This plan at least is working quite well so far and I can compartmentalize quite well.

I’ve spend most of my recharge time the last two days with reading “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” and I loved it. So much that I have a hard time starting any of the other novels in my big book bag, so I went for two non-fictions as well. One is “Atomic Habits” and even though I’m only at the beginning, it already gave me a lot to think about. I’m not sure I completely buy the “even tiny habits add up” philosophy yet, but the whole “‘who do you want to be’ instead of ‘what do you want to achieve'” angle is something very interesting. So I’ll dig into this more tomorrow. On my last day here. This week went by quickly. I didn’t venture out into the village much or did any of the activies on offer other than the tidal flat tour early one. And that’s fine. I came here to not do anything. And I did that well 🙂

Sunset by the sea, 2021
Sunset by the sea, 2021

13.07.2021 | Day 3 by the sea

Not much to write about. Which is exactly what I wanted this trip to be. Just be. Read. Sleep. Listen to music or podcasts. Be still and watch the few clouds in the sky. Repeat.

More or less. But seriously, one lazy day blends into the next and I wouldn’t want it any other way. Even with not doing a lot I’m still sleepy early every day. I don’t know if that’s a good thing.

Kites at the Sea, July 2021
Kites at the Sea, July 2021

Read: Dozens of articles I had saved in the last few days / weeks. Some time ago I discovered the Raindrop.io app (and web service) for saving links to stuff I want to read later. And to sync it with all my devices. It’s such a lifesaver for me who finds interesting things to read all over but often don’t have the time or don’t want to take the time to read it right away. This way I store them and when I’ve got a bit of time read one or two of those. Or a lot of those like I did over breakfast this morning.

For my German readers I can also very much recommend the journalistic cooperative (if that’s the right way to describe it): Krautreporter. Some articles are for free, the rest is available for subscribers. It’s a crowdfunded project and really really good. I caught up with a lot of their stuff this morning too.

I’m also halfway through the “The Downstairs Girl” , but have to say it hasn’t really hooked me yet. I feel a bit indifferent about all the characters and that’s never a good sign. The whole plot seems interesting enough so I guess I’ll finish reading it.

Listened to: I also finally managed to hear the last hour or so of the wonderful “Alles Gesagt” podcast with Maja Göpel (in German). As always, very interesting and got me thinking. I’m also still listening to “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” as my goodnight story. But as I manage to fall asleep rather quickly with it, it will take a while till I’m through.

Besides that: Like I stated above: sitting on the beach, doing nothing. Watching the sky. Listening to the typical, familiar, lovely sounds of a typical beach day around me: Seagulls. Children laughing, chatting, playing…

On a quick trip to the supermarket this evening I also managed to scratch my car door a bit, which sucks and put me in a bad, self-blaming, feeling stupid mood for a tiny bit. But I managed to leave that spiral of negative thinking quickly, thank God. Yes, it’s annoying, but it’s not a big deal. I can get it fixed, if I want to. I will definitely drive more carefully through this small passage here the next time. It’s nothing to get too upset about in the big scheme of things. So I won’t.

12.07.21 | Back To Shore….

Lyrics: “If Ever I Stray” ~ Frank Turner, 2011

I’m on vacation by the sea. Yay! I was looking forward to these few days of chilling by the sea for so long. I’m not as calmed and relaxed as I would like yet, but it’s early days.

And there is still a lot going on at home, which keeps my mind a bit worried. A bit of a bad timing with my long planned vacation now happen at the same time as a transfer from the temporary care home to a rehabilitation facility. It’s great that we got a spot so quickly, but I just wish I could have been around to… be there and do things. It will work out fine without me though and I can spend the days here pondering why I feel or think that I am needed there. And why I feel a bit guilty for not being around.

Not much more to ‘report’ here. I try to stay off social media a bit, which I manage to do okay-ish. I went on a guided tour of the tidal flats yesterday evening during sunset, which was lovely. it was also during the EURO finale which I didn’t really miss watching. And I was back home and showered in time for the overtime and penalties, so… done everything right 🙂

Sunset on the tidal flats

I whish I had the energy and headspace to comment on some of the current events in the UK, but also over here in Germany. But I’m overwhelmed by so much of it at the moment and can’t find it in me to get my (mostly angry, frustrated, sad, worried) thoughts in order to write up a coherent post about anything. So I’m staying silent.

I DID write a post about Frank Turner lyrics last night / this morning, but that’s always easy to do and often a welcome distraction from other things on my mind. Classic case of procrastination.

But at least I did sit down and update this space with a (rather mundane) report of my days. My blogging brain and fingers are rusty after all this time. Bear with me.

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