A little bit of strangeness can go a long way


I am becoming somewhat strange, I think. I continually find myself doing odd things. For example, I check my Corona phone app every single day (only after removing the glasses I need to wear to make sure that I don’t step on the dog or trip over the foot stool and placing them somewhere) even though I haven’t left the house in donkey’s ages. Then, once I am quite sure that I am not at risk at all, I start searching for my glasses. Which are often to be found on top of my own head.

I have started to dare to believe that I am actually getting sensible responses from the dog.

I, a person who doesn’t really know what make-up is, have started wearing lipstick to the occasional zoom meeting.

And a couple of weeks ago, I, the person who hates cleaning, the mother whose children used to ask when they spotted a duster “Who’s coming to visit?”, invited friends to an online cleaning party. My husband was thinking of staging an intervention at that point. Especially when I actually purchased stuff. I think he only left it because he realized I also bought stuff for the dog. And a foot spa.

Phew!

*No dogs were harmed in this story – although my knee is somewhat the worse for wear, family members are keeping up the necessary walks.

How are you doing during lockdown?

2021 A changed life…


And just like that we’re deep in the bowels of 2021. Can you believe it? Where does the time go?
It’s after 1pm here, German time and I’m still in my pj’s. It’s not that I haven’t done anything. I’ve done the washing. Done the dishes. Read the news. Got annoyed with the comments on a news article I read (why oh why are there so many trolls? Don’t people have better things to do with their lives?) I’ve written up three recipes for the cook book I’m working on. I’ve chatted to the dog. Written messages and answered messages. Organised work stuff.

So why I am still in my nightwear?

It first struck me yesterday, when my daughter bobbed into the living room, returning from her first zoom meeting of the day in her dressing gown. I asked her, wide-eyed, but not so bushy tailed, “Did you go to your zoom meeting in your pyjamas?”
“Yeah”, she responded, as if it was the most natural thing in the world.

As a side note, she also tells me continuously that she has a meeting, as if a kid attending meetings is completely normal!

Then she added, nonchalantly, “I also haven’t brushed my hair.”

So many of our responses are evolving…

For example, when someone rings the doorbell nowadays: instead of jumping up to answer it, bouncing through the hall, we all abruptly stop what we are doing, and stare at each other like startled rabbits.
We don’t get up. Instead we start to ask each other, in flabbergasted tones, “Who could that be?” And then we proceed on to making statements, like “I’m not expecting anyone.” And still, we don’t answer the door.

The ringer has to ring twice before we finally return to our polite senses and get off our increasingly flabby buttocks and proceed with much caution towards the entrance.

Still bewildered our next predicament is do we don a mask or not? We hop from foot to foot and only come to a decision after asking our intrepid visitor for their opinion on the matter. So basically, “Would you like me to wear a mask (too)?”

In our case, our valiant callers often arrive bearing gifts. Which leads to whole new problem in terms of etiquette.

Do we drop the precious offering like a hot potato, leaving our guest yawning half a mile from our doorway and scrub our hands in the little bathroom while loudly singing “Happy birthday to somebody!”?

Christmas greetings from lockdown


2020 what can I say? You have not been my most favourite year of all, that’s definitely for sure. I am so glad that we are now bounding towards the very end of the year and I am more than happy to embrace 2021 in just a few days. I’ll even give it a big fat, juicy kiss. From lockdown hard (as opposed to lockdown light – that was last month!) however, I concede, that that maybe somewhat difficult, given social distancing and all of that. I may just have to snog my husband instead. But I don’t think he’ll mind too much. I mean, I doubt it will be the worst moment he’s had this year.

But first of all there’s Christmas. We plan to eat, drink and be merry. Albeit the eating and drinking will be in separate rooms, as it means removing masks.

Christmas time…
Masks and wine…

We’ve hidden all of the presents. Not from the kids. From the dog. She is also fed up with 2020 and the lack of cuddles from the usual streams of visitors. So she has decided she definitely needs presents, and all of the presents must be for her. Some sort of compensation scheme, I think.

Merry Christmas to all of my readers. I thank you, from the bottom of my heart for your loyal support. I hope you are healthy and your nerves are still intact.

Awww Betty


Betty is the main character. She is funny, odd, loves her dog and her kids (like me). She’s house proud, somewhat subservient at times and great at sewing. NOT LIKE ME.
Though my son, funny boy, did ask me when I was explaining her character to the family if, as Betty is a bit like me, that means I also let the dog go on the settee when nobody is looking…

I am supposed to be at 50,000 words by the end of Monday. Phew. I have a way to go.
Wonder what I will be doing this weekend then?
Apart from running up and downstairs with food etc for a young man in quarantine…

#NaNoWriMo

Just to let you know…


So NaNoWriMo begins tomorrow, and I am all excited and raring to go.

It was one of those last minute, split second decisions after a throw away comment from my husband, which encouraged me to go ahead with it.

Writing has taken a backseat for me the past few years, despite it being my passion. Of course, bringing up four whole children needed to take priority and then, as they aged and became more independent, I started up my own tutoring business and that took up another massive heap of my time. I have enjoyed doing that, I love kids, as you might be able to tell, with me having four of my own.

But then Covid hit and what with lockdowns and risk categories life changed for me quite fundamentally.
It meant that I had time to write again, but as my husband pointed out, what I really needed, to stop my procrastination, was a deadline.

Hence NaNoWriMo.

I’m ready to go, after much pondering. I know my main character well and I’m ready for her adventure.

To help me along my way with my target I’ve enlisted my family. I ordered asked my daughter to draw me a tortoise (otherwise known as Molly). And I commanded requested that my husband make it into a gif. He taught my daughter how to do it and she has quite literally spent most of her school holiday on the computer designing the graphics. Which he has in turn compiled, and all I can tell you is, when it’s uploaded onto my page, some kind of magic stuff happens.

Molly has way exceeded my expectations. I welled up when I was initially introduced to her. And now, of course, I am even more excited.

Molly will be available for you, from tomorrow, in the form of a sticky post (quite thrilling in itself as I’ve never had a sticky post before!!). So you can always check and recheck how I am doing.

50,000 words here I come.

Hue thanks to my hubby and Akasha!!

Specific rules for a specific fireman


Two rules seem to have been broken in our house today, as far as I can tell.

The first is the washing rule. Our washing rule is: prepare your own dirty garments before you put them in the basket. That requires:

  • Closing zips
  • Emptying pockets
  • Turning inside out items outside in

But I found myself pondering the question, this morning, “Why is there a toothbrush in the wash basket?”
I’ll admit, it was a less offensive surprise than the dead frog I once found in exactly the same basket. But I don’t think that was down to the children. I think that was down to the hole in the vent netting.
I believe to this very day that a random frog deserted the troops and found solace in our basement. Only for the poor chap to sadly discover that there was absolutely no sustenance to be found at all. Not even when he dived into the deep, dark realms of our dirty laundry.

But the second rule to be be broken, was somewhat more serious.

My husband disturbed my washing activity to pose another question:

“Are you aware that there’s a chainsaw in the bike shed?”

I shook my head and started babbling about the toothbrush in the wash basket. But my husband had that stubborn look on his face which said, ‘My discovery outranks yours’. And I knew, deep in my heart, that he was right.

Cleverly, he’d already broached the subject with our son. But our young man had answered, in his defence, “But I didn’t bring it into the house.”

I suspect, the technological wording of the ruling is down to me. I suspect what I actually said was, “There will be no chainsaws in this house…” Or something decidedly similar.

A few minutes later my husband returned. “And there’s a large axe in the small shed.”

I’m really sure though, that I hadn’t actually come up with an axe rule…

You might be led to believe that after 20 years of dealing with autism, I might have learned to be more specific. Evidently that’s not the case.




NaNoWriMo 2020


Friends,

I have decided to take part in NaNoWriMo 2020. Does anyone know if there is a widget or something I can attach to my blog to show my progress. I found one but I’d have to pay WordPress 300 Euros (I guess Euros) for the year. I would like a free widget!!

Does anyone have any ideas?

Thank you!!

For those who don’t understand this post – NaNoWriMo is a writing project which takes place every November. The idea is to write a novel of at least 50,000 words during the month with support and motivation from within the group. If you are also interested in taking part here’s a link https://nanowrimo.org/ and if you want to check me out as a buddy my username is: schnuffi.

Confusion, delusion…


I’ve reached the grand old age of 48 and yet there are still so many things in life that I don’t understand. On many an occasion I am left flabbergasted and I cannot explain to my children what just happened and why.

Take this afternoon, for example. The awaited electrician rang the doorbell at the appropriate time (between 1pm and 7pm) to change the counter meter as is required currently by the electricity company. So far, so good.

But as he stood there, on my step, waiting to be invited in, he was not reeking of disinfectant or donning either gloves or a mask. And I wondered, at this present time: why not?

Of course, me being me, I just told him straight away that he would have to put a mask on before entering our building and he unhappily did so, and of course, I also wore a mask for the duration of his visit.

His visit, to make it clear, took around 5 minutes.

But the planned allotted time we were informed to remain at home was a slot of 6 hours. As he was literally going from house to house, how many houses could he actually enter in that time period?

Since February only three people have been invited into our home. My daughter and her boyfriend and my son (the chimney sweep also came – but we hadn’t requested him). Anyone else who has popped by, has stood on the bottom step or sat in the garden.

Now, I can tell you, that I have a lot of respect for Covid 19. I am both pretty concerned that if I get it, I might not be able to fight it off all that easily and I am a little troubled that perhaps my better half or one of my offspring might be fairly ill.

Additionally, I am concerned about passing on the virus to a friend, an acquaintance or even a complete stranger who may have even more issues fighting the virus off than I would. And so, when I do have contact with others, I try to keep my distance and pop on a clean mask whenever necessary. I wear glasses, which steam up sometimes and I am asthmatic, which isn’t ideal, but really, it doesn’t cost me much. And when I wear my mask, I wear it properly, as in, both my nose and mouth are inside it!! I wash, wash, wash my hands and I have disinfectant in my car and in my bag and in my pocket.

I have a responsibility to all of you just as you all have a responsibility to me.

What I don’t get is, why don’t all people feel this way?

That brings me to President Trump. I’m rarely, if at all, political on this blog. Though those who know me in person, know that I am a very politically motivated person indeed.
What is going on with the President? If he is so sick that he needs to go into hospital, why is he driving around in a car waving at supporters? Why is he risking the health of the driver and passengers? I’m sure there must be at least one secret service agent in the car. If he is well enough for a drive around, why is he even in the hospital?

Although I had an enormous amount of trouble understanding people voting for him first time around, I am struggling even more to understand why they are still supporting him.

Life is precious. I really don’t think that Mr Trump understands that. It’s difficult to admit, but I think, sadly, a lot of people really still don’t seem to understand that. That every life is precious.

It’s a hard knock life baby, but there’s still you, and there’s still me


It’s difficult. And you have no idea, really, just how difficult it will be. To leave your country behind. To leave friends. Family. You look in the mirror and you are madly in love. Your passion and your optimism lead you to believe everything will be just fine. With love like this, your world will just keep turning around and around.

But then issues start to creep in. First his family don’t really accept you. You’re different. Foreign. You can’t speak the local lingo and you have different ideas. Different traditions. A different outlook on life. A different world view. You see life through a different set of eyes. Through a different background. Through different circumstances. He loves you, and as the dutiful husband he grows more and more apart from his family, as you do too from yours.

The children are hard work. They too have their issues. The language. The new customs and traditions. Health issues spring up out of nowhere and sometimes, they have difficulties just fitting in.

You spend hours translating homework. Hours sitting in doctor’s surgeries. And very little time at all doing normal things, like you did before and that’s an enormous loss.

You feel alone. Few people help you. Friendships are rarely deep and come and go. You miss your land, your air, your sea. Things you thought had little consequence suddenly mean a lot more.

Opportunities reduce. Exhaustion increases. Life becomes one long bumpy road. You have a lot of children, but no village to rear them, instead you are out there, alone.

Disapproving looks. Little comments. Repeated rejection. You feel it. In your heart. In your pulse. In your soul.

You begin to be less independent. Less resourceful. You cling to your husband and he takes the brunt of all your anguish, your pain, your deep seated sadness.

You love him, but you crush him. He, too, is overcome with tiredness.

Sometimes there are glimmers of hope and torches shining in the darkness and when they suddenly fail to burn or are abruptly extinguished, you plunge into what feels like a never ending abyss. And worse still, you drag everybody else with you.

Our worlds feel so different. Yet we are joined at the hip all the same. Our love, though repeatedly tested, is still as strong, maybe even stronger than it ever was. We traipse and test new pathways, together, and we falter together. Tumble together. Catch one another. Trip one another up but land joined together, hand in hand.

Another punch has hit us. But we feel the same pain. The same disappointment. The same loss. We unite in a way I never could with another. And that makes it somehow bearable. Somehow endurable.

I am with you in this strange land. With its strange customs. With its strange ways.

I stand with you hand in hand.

Through the hard stares. Through the false starts. Through every battle ground.

Hand in hand. Always.