Lockdown 1.0 2021

Happy new year (not a very happy start after watching news on January6)…

This year I will… pick up my phone less and books more. And favorite magazines. Take Charlie on long walks. Breath the fresh air deep. Continue writing my blog (this blog). Travel to destinations I have not been to (beautiful calendars had to do for the wanderlust). Love fearlessly. Love fiercely… Well, I copied the resolutions from 2020 to 2021. New year new chance.

It’s a winter wonderland (Spain may not call it that positively). It’s a dream for kids, skiers. It’s also lockdown 1.0 in 2021. Or extended from 2020. Numbers increasing. Motivation to stay at home decreasing. It’s winter time. Christmas is over. The only thing looking forward to now: the end of lockdown, spring & better times.

You cannot do much these days but resting and going for long wonderful winter walks (at least that resolution works out very well). In the snow. In vineyards.

A hot tea break.
Good idea!

And every day at 7:30pm it goes like this: watching people on their way home to meet the Swabian curfew at 8pm. Same for us. Dinner starts nowadays at 4pm. Alarm clock included to make sure we leave our friends houses on time (back home 7:59pm. Puh. Made it.). After 8pm ghost towns. Some teenagers still smoking a cigarette (or 2). Poor guys. Feeling with them. The only excuse these days after 8pm: Charlie.

(Holiday) ideas for 2021: in mind, no plans. Waiting what’s going to happen. And more importantly when it will happen.

Winter time. Lockdown time. This time is for long sleeping nights in the hush of snowflakes. Time to snuggle in at home. To read a book. To watch Netflix. Soaking in a wonderful smelling lavender bath. Time to create wanderlust destinations.

New favorite spot.
This is how our kitchen looks like after mum has been taken care of us. Thanks, mum!

Yes, it sucks (beaming ourselves to the Maldives would be great, agree.). Be patient (we got vaccines). Stay healthy! We can do this!

Instead of busting one’s head in the sand… be like Hugo and bust it into hay.

Goodbye 2020!

2020 in one picture!

Dear 2020, you promised so much… soccer EM, Olympic Games in Tokyo, cinema premier of the new Bond (and plenty of other films), rock festivals, classic concerts, red carpets… all canceled.

Wow! What a year! A year like no other.

Don’t worry I am not repeating what happened in the past 12 months… besides the most asked questions this year: Is my microphone on? Can you hear me (echoes and lots of weird noises)? What book are you reading at the moment? Is this allowed? Any recommendations on Netflix? Virtual beer tonight on zoom? Do you want to go for a walk? Where can I get tested? Isn’t the peace and quiet amazing? Do you have your mask with you? Can you go to school tomorrow or not? Where is my mask? How many people are allowed? Can we sit outside, please? Today Döner? How many packs of toilet paper? Is this allowed?

2020. The year of corona, quarantinis and covidiots. The year of the mask. When we all pulled together but lived apart. A global pandemic. There was plenty of reason to get a drink. At 11am! Virtual „Gin&Tonic“ on Wednesdays at 5pm was nice but not enough and a real glass of wine had to follow very often.

Surviving Home Office…
…with buddy Charly!
The most seen thing this year: Social distance marker

Passport stamps this year:

LOL!

But also through the darkest of times, there have been many moments of light: Mr Trump will be replaced & Kamala Harris will be the First Woman in US presidential office. Black Lives Matter inspires global change. Harvey Weinstein is out behind bars. During the first lockdown this year greenhouse gas emissions were slashed worldwide. Working flexibility has become reality. Handwashing saved more lives. We found our community spirit. We supported local and small business. Germany and the USA developed a vaccination in a very short time. Music brought us together in new ways. Small businesses changed direction, became innovative and found new revenue streams in tough times. Germany increased its digitalization. We saw incredible examples of humanity. We learnt to accept boredom. We’ve learned to break new ground, to rise above ourselves and to adapt to changing circumstances. We can be proud of ourselves! (And there was always enough toilet paper!)

I hope this crisis will change the way we think about life now. Each day is a gift.

Bye bye 2020!

Put your feet up and tap yourself on the back for a job well done! Time for 2021!

Lockdown 2.0

Nobody out there… a bit spooky.

Expected and still hoped for a way around it: full lockdown 2.0. We have it since yesterday.

Delivering (secret) Santa gifts – done ✅

All parcels & letters sent into the Christmas world – done ✅

Hair cut – done ✅

Christmas gifts – done ✅

Baking cookies – done ✅

Final alignment of Christmas schedule (after 185 times of change in the past 4 weeks) – done ✅

Well, we have cookies, candles, plenty of frozen food & ourselves. And we have Charlie, our best reason to leave the house for fresh air.

Before 8pm…

Last day of work in 2020 has been also completed today. We are ready for calm days, a cup of tea, a Christmas film, Christmas cookies… time to cosy up!

Mulled wine in Shanghai Christmas market cups!
Cosy up!

Believe

Josh Groban – Believe

Children, sleeping.
Snow is softly falling.
Dreams are calling,
Like bells in the distance.
We were dreamers,
Not so long ago.
But one by one, we
All had to grow up.

When it seems the magic slipped away…
We find it all again on Christmas Day.

Believe in what your heart is saying,
Hear the melody that’s playing.
There’s no time to waste,
There so much to celebrate.
Believe in what you feel inside,
Give your dreams the wings to fly.
You have everything you need, if you just believe.

Trains move quickly
To their journey’s end.
Destinations…
Are where we begin again.
Ships go sailing,
Far across the sea.
Trusting starlight,
To get where they need to be.

When it seems that we have lost our way…
We find ourselves again on Christmas Day.

Believe in what your heart is saying,
Hear the melody that’s playing
There’s no time to waste,
There so much to celebrate.
Believe in what you feel inside,
And give your dreams the wings to fly.
You have everything you need, if you just Believe.

If you just believe.
If you just believe.
If you just believe…just believe…just believe.

I truly believe!

Just remember: the true spirit of Christmas lies in your heart ♥️

Have a wonderful Christmas!

A must see at Christmas! Also for adults!

Ho Ho Ho Ho

December 6.

St Nicholas is coming to town (German tradition)…

It’s all about boots…
…and socks.

Kids are handing over Christmas wish lists to Nicholaus who (hopefully) shares it with Christ Child (we’ll see on Christmas Eve if logistics and project management worked out).

Snuggling on the sofa: is there anything better than watching “Love actually” while sipping eggnog? (No, there isn’t!)

St Nicholas is also following corona rules: Knecht Ruprecht had to stay at home this year. Or is it because all kids behaved so nicely this year?

We built a witches house with a lot of snow… and baked cookies while listening to Christmas songs!

another merry mess…

A little Christmas shopping combined with walks marveling the beautiful Christmas decorations and lights. It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Definitely.

A beautiful, active & very relaxing & festive weekend. Be merry!

Is there a Santa Claus?

“Is There a Santa Claus?” was the headline that appeared over an editorial in the September 21, 1897 edition of The New York Sun. The editorial, which included the response of “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus,” has become an indelible part of popular Christmas lore in the United States.


Is There a Santa Claus?

“We take pleasure in answering at once and thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The New York Sun:

“Dear Editor: I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says ‘If you see it in The Sun it’s so.’ Please tell me the truth: is there a Santa Claus?” Virginia O’Hanlon.
115 West Ninety-fifth street.

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You may tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.”


This work was published before January 1, 1925, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago. I’m sharing, enjoy reading.

Have a wonderful Christmas, everyone!

Christmas tree

It’s about to become a Christmas tradition. We did it last year. It was fun. So we did it this year again: hunting a Christmas tree. Unfortunately not with our friends (Scott and I got sick).

It didn’t take us too long to find the most beautiful tree. In the winter wonderland (what a nice surprise).

We carried it all the way to the van (no space issue this year). We drove it carefully home. And put it up. Following American traditions: Christmas time starts with thanksgiving.

Voila. So beautiful. So festive. So sparkly.

Loving the most wonderful time of the year.

December.

The most wonderful time of the year has started. Christmas is almost upon us, but, as this has been a year unlike any other, the festive season is sure to follow suit.

Less than four weeks to go. Yeah!

The virus infections keep increasing… well, we have been good in making up plan B all year… so let’s make our Christmas as festive as we can. At home. It might be the last event in 2020, so let’s eat, have fun and enjoy family & friends. Happy holidays! Be merry! (Next lockdown seems just a matter of time so let’s spoil Christmas…).

French Christmas market in our living room.

That being said, let’s get prepared for the last event this year: don’t consume blind (Lametta stays in dusted boxes as in the last years) but rather let’s get to work and plan along with maximum effort. Don’t only decorate your house as beautifully as usual. This year we all should decorate so it would be ready for a filmset.

Why not…! Lol.

How about not getting your ingredients just in the shops around the corner but rather travel some kilometers for a change and explore what’s out there. Get the best. Hopefully local.

Don’t only plan dinner strategically to get the most time with the family. But rather make it a family event. One (or two) glass of wine included.

No time for all of that? Oh, you have plenty of time! Remember, it’s corona time. And lockdown “light” got extended. No Christmas markets… no big parties (social distancing)… actually it’s sad but it’s also great news: you just won time this year. More time than ever before. It’s the plan B!

Time for baking cookies. For hours (one or the other batch will end in the bin anyway). Time for a glass of (Glüh)wine. Time to chill. Time to make own candles from bee wax (and smell it. Sooooo good). Time for thinking of Christmas gifts (sorry out there, this year no excuses for last minute gifts… the goal this year: happy gifted loved ones. So, if you haven’t started gift thinking, now it is the time). Followed by my absolute favorite part of all: listening to Christmas songs while wrapping gifts. Time for enjoying those cold (white) December evenings with candles. Time for Christmas dinner thoughts (I love reading my Christmas recipe book to get inspired… and try one or the other out and make it a festive pre-Christmas dinner). Time to light a fire. Time for long walks. Time to think what to wear. Time to sit back and watch old & new Christmas movies (all time favorite: actually love. Cannot wait… this is when hubby will run away). Time to find a Christmas tree & giving it a festive dress including many many lights. It shall sparkle. (PS: decorating the tree without listening to Maria Carry is a no no. That will be the second time for hubby to run away… you got it: he is the Christmas grinch).

Time to create merry messes in the kitchen.
While Charlie is sneaking bits of dough.
Home made.

Oh, so much gifted wonderful time. Don’t take it as granted! Make the best out of it! I am looking forward to it!

Happy holidays!

My favorite time of the year has just begun.

Frozen beauty.
Just watching the sunrise out of bed.

And what about now, with the possibility of a lockdown Christmas looming? Let’s not sugar-coat the sadness of missing loved ones, but it does mean that, should the worst happen, you don’t need to think of a reason why you cannot attend your outlaw‘s dinner or you won’t have to suffer a chat with the uncle you haven’t seen in a year. No, instead you can lounge in your, well, loungewear for weeks on end.