Quarantine bedtimes

This quarantine thing has quite an impact on my daily rhythm. I find it difficult to get to bed before 1 or 2 am. Last night it was 2 am, or a little after. I’m a pretty sound sleeper and usually can fall asleep quickly but last night our black cat had decided to grace our bed again. She’d been sleeping curled up near Mr. Esther but as soon as I got into bed, she first decided to lay on top of my side, but that got hot for me, so I pushed her off. I then had to battle her for space on my pillow. She likes to lie on it too, particularly half on my head, which is not comfortable for me either. In the end, after about half an hour, she settled somewhere between Mr. Esther and I and I could finally fall asleep.

Then, this morning, after barely 5.5 hours of sleep, I got up again so that I could help my daughter get some food into her and give her some moral support before she went to school for two socially distanced exams (she has an exam week this week). She does really well in all subjects, except for math, and she was nervous, despite studying really hard for that on her own and also via video calls with friends. She’ll be getting extra help with math from school from next week onwards (we had asked for extra help some 7 or 8 weeks ago as Mr Esther and I are pretty useless with math) but for this exam that help comes too late. Anyway, I figured the least I could do was give her that little bit of extra support this morning, so that meant waking up some 45 minutes before I normally do. When she left I was still tired, so I decided I could just lie down again for another 25 minutes or so before I took a quick shower and started work at 9. Of course, I fell right back asleep and didn’t wake again till 9.30! I hastily got up, threw something on that looks halfway decent infront of a webcam, did a quick brush of the hair, put on a dusting of mascara and then got to my laptop to prepare for my first meeting which was at 10 am. Luckily, there wasn’t too much to prepare.

So, here I am, unshowered and tired. Luckily no more video meetings today, just some chores to do on the computer that aren’t time sensitive, so I took a little time eat a late lunch and now to blog. I’m wearing the Pride & Prejudice green book cover earrings I got from Guylty and lunch was a slice of bread with a little butter and chocolate sprinkles. I look wrinkly, old and my hair is an unwashed mess, but I am happy with the earrings and sprinkles! They are the only things to really bring me joy so far today (and the news from mini-me just now that the exam seemed to go OK, we hope enough for a passing grade).

I really need to work on getting to bed sooner, though. Half an hour past midnight should be doable, right? And then get up at 8.30 am after 8 hours of sleep? And yet… Last night, Mr Esther went upstairs at 1 am and I said I’d be right there and before I knew it an hour had gone by! A little while ago during a video conference, my boss told me she pretends she needs to travel to work, so she gets up early and does her normal routine and that helps her be on time. I am not that disciplined, however, and I just can’t do that because in the back of my mind I keep on thinking it isn’t real anyhow so why bother?

I think it’s time these lockdowns ended and some sense of normality comes back into our lives. Only then will I be able to discipline myself for better bedtimes, I think. However, it will be a long while yet before normality returns. There are talks of possibly setting an evening and night curfew here and vaccinations don’t seem to be progressing that quickly either. I know I need to self-discipline but I’m so terrible at it… Am I alone in this or are you guys just as terrible as I am?

Winter wonderland

It was snowing this afternoon, our first snow this winter. I love a winter wonderland, even if it is only a dusting of snow, as here in our back garden…

Had some chores to do but the afternoon became good when the mail came and finally, finally my winnings from the RA Christmas auctions arrived! It took close to 6 weeks to get here but that didn’t take away from the awesome Christmas decoration (thank you Rachel!), my lovely mini Pride & Prejudice brooch and earrings and a fun Christmas card (thank you, Guylty!) and some nice reading to look forward to on Jane Austen related subjects.

At the end of the afternoon, Mr Esther and I went for a nice little walk in the little bit of snow we had…

This evening, the house looked like this, still just enough snow there to make it look wintery…

Junior now has a friend over to play videogames with him in his room, while Mr Esther and I enjoy some wine and mini me has been enjoying some hot chocolate, with our cat trying to get to the whipped cream she still had in her cup.

We’ve just been watching Michael Palin on the BBC walking through the desert with a camel caravan in his travel programme Sahara from 2002 (very different from a winter wonderland!) and now some blogging before I put my nose into a either book or a movie. Some quarantine days are quite lovely.

Quarantine continues

We’re just about ten months into Corona quarantine now. We see a handful of other people/family (socially distanced) on occasion but most of all we’re in and around our home, for work and for most of our free time as well. We go for walks, like today, with the sheerest, thinnest sheet of ice on the water. Alas, it isn’t cold enough for the ice to become thick enough to stand on.

As we’re in quite a strict lockdown now, everything’s closed and there’s nothing much else to do outside the house than that. In all that time, I’ve only had my hair cut (a bit) once, so it’s grown quite long now, the longest it’s been since my early twenties, which means I can now even braid it again…

Vaccinations have started here this past week but it will be a while yet before it’s our turn. Mr Esther has asthma, so he may be called in for a vaccination first (just checked, they say from February) before the kids and I (from April/May). Already, they aren’t sure whether this schedule can be adhered to, it all depends on enough vaccines being available. The number of hospitalizations and positive tests here aren’t falling fast enough…

Source

… so there is every chance this stricter lockdown will be extended after January 19th. We have quite a way to go yet, so I guess it’s just best to not look too far ahead. Speaking of the short term, what would really make my week next week would be if Donald Trump were indeed impeached and kicked out of office – not likely, but I live in hope.

Corona hair & encouraging figures

Yay! My Friday afternoon 3.30 pm video meeting was cancelled! Of course there are a million other things I could do, but hey, why not shoot out a blog post instead, I thought?

Just before starting this post, I came out of a close to two hour phone call with someone who had all sorts of questions. She was so glad to be speaking to someone that she took the opportunity to ask about a hundred other questions as well. At least I left her happy, and that’s always good, right? I thought the call would be a short one, so was going to eat lunch after, but instead lunch didn’t happen until just a little after 3 pm (after also emptying and refilling the dishwasher). Yep, I had chocolate sprinkles on small matzoh crackers…

Not sure why I have the headphones in, probably habit once I sit down at my work laptop. Anyway, Mr Esther is growing his corona age beard and I decided to just let my hair grow as well and see what happens. Getting quite long now, which means I’m brushing my bangs a bit to the side now. Befitting the age of 50, it’s also getting greyer and greyer and I admit I kinda like the grey! We’ll look like real hermits once lock down is completely over, like this guy in Monty Python’s Life of Brian… I’ll have that hair and Mr Esther will have that beard…

This week further easing of restrictions have been announced here in The Netherlands as of July 1st as the figures of Corona containment here have become encouraging. We’ve have a few days in the past week with no Corona deaths at all, as shown in this graphic I took from the article I just referenced.

With the easing of restrictions, the 1.5 meter distance rule still holds true and work from home, if in any way possible, is also still encouraged. This social distancing thing does work when people stick with it, so we’ll be sticking with those rules a while longer. We do have a 4 week holiday coming up in a few weeks’ time and have decided to rent a self-contained holiday cottage in the south of The Netherlands for 10 days. Mr Esther jr will probably have to work at the hotel he’s interning at but may come down for a weekend to join Mr Esther, mini-Esther and myself. We can continue social distancing in such a cottage and we can nip into Belgium and Germany if possible but will still be close enough to home should things change, restriction wise.

So, all I can say in closing is: stay socially distanced, stay safe and hope that the Corona vaccine will come soon (first human trials have already started)! Oh, and get back to work Esther, enough mucking about…

#StayAtHome music

It’s just after midnight here, so this qualifies as a Sunday post now.

Mr Esther and I were catching some of the news on German TV and at the end they showed this wonderful clip of the Serbian National Theatre Orchestra playing together via conference call.

More artists have been singing songs or giving stay-at-home concerts on social media, from Pink to Coldplay to John Legend and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Vulture has a a whole list you can scroll through and pick up whatever you fancy:
https://www.vulture.com/2020/03/all-musicians-streaming-live-concerts.html

This is when the internet and social media are totally cool, I just love this. Happy Sunday listening everyone!


Modified to add that the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra here in The Netherlands has also made a video together playing Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy”.

This could be a new orchestra trend in the making. 🙂