Life in the time of Corona – Captain’s log: Day 320

Some days are just harder than others. Today was such a day.

I was feeling homesick all day. Its been over a year since I’ve seen my family and I miss them. I have made peace with the fact that I will be able to travel when it is time, but even so, I still wish I could have a cup of tea with my mom and dad on their verandah.

At the end of a long afternoon of meetings, I took Rufus for a quick walk to clear my head, and for him to do his business. My plan was to have my guitar lesson and then get some more work done.

But alas! Returning to my front door, I realised that I left without taking my house keys. The door of my apartment and the building automatically locks as it closes, so I expected this to happen at some point or another. So I had to cancel my lesson and activate plan b: I left a spare key with Marinus for this precise reason.

It might be worth mentioning that it was drizzling when I went for my walk, so while he was being an absolute hero and biked over with the key, I was taking shelter on the little awning at the front door. I could probably have asked a neighbour to let me into the hall, but I didn’t think of that. Perhaps I subconsciously felt that being stuck in rain mirrors my mood.

I have seen people say many things about Dutch guys, but I can now truthfully say my boyfriend opens doors for me. Even if it’s my own door because I locked my key inside.

He has other skills too! I had arranged to have the stripped out laminate removed to make a bit of space, so I had to put the “grofvuil” out for collection by the municipality. There’s some very prescriptive instructions: you need to take it out within a specific time period so it doesn’t mess up the pavement for other users.

So after bundling to the old laminate for easy handling, we stacked the first lot in the lift, only to find that the lift isn’t working!! So we had to carry everything downstairs. At least the stairs in my building is wide and of a normal height, and not those narrow steep Amsterdam stairs from my previous apartment!

After all that, I could put the day behind me and settle into a well deserved rest. Tomorrow is another day.

Be kind. Stay safe.

Life in the time of Corona – Captain’s log: Day 336

Valentines day.

When I was a kid, at school you could order something, a card or a rose or candy, to be delivered anonymously to your crush. I always thought what’s the point of anonymity? I still don’t know.

Since then I’ve lived through a few valentines days and there has been some interesting experiences.

I’ve had an employer that handed out heart shaped chocolates to everyone as they went through the gates in the morning. I’ve attended dinners with friends who celebrated “singles awareness day”. And many more.

This year, in this pandemic, I spent the perfect day.

Marinus surprised me with a bunch of cut flowers! He usually gives me gorgeous orchids, so I am always spoiled with flowers, but it is still impressive.

We spent the day just hanging it together and in the evening ordered a takeaway.

Sometimes the best thing to do is as little as possible.

Be kind. Stay safe.

Life in the time of Corona – Captain’s log: Day 335

It continues to stay cold, but since no new snow is falling its all turning into ice!

This is a bit scary when I am out for a walk with Rufus, but it is also quite cool (see what I did there) to see all the ponds and canals frozen over!

The Dutch once again surprised me with how they embrace the unexpected things in nature, and seemingly all managed to go skating on the ice!

My previous ice skating adventure was when I was a student; longer ago than I care to mention and I really didn’t do well. So I decided it’s not a good idea and stuck to the original plan for the day: DIY!

Today we installed the floors in my dining room, and I couldn’t be happier with the result. We also finally moved the fridge to the kitchen (after a small modification) and started a small repair that would be necessary to mount the dining room light. I should do a proper before and after post as soon as all the floors are done, but here is a little taster.

Be kind. Stay safe.

Life in the time of Corona – Captain’s log: Day 329

The snow continued to fall today, making for some pretty impressive scenery. Canals are starting to freeze over, and I saw a couple of birds make a surprise landing on the ice…

Rufus is settling in and seems to like stealing socks and slippers.

I also bought my first tulips for the new year! I couldn’t decide which colour to get, so I got the mixed bunch. Sometimes it’s the little things in life.

Be kind. Stay safe.

Life in the time of Corona – Captain’s log: Day 324

My name is on the door!

It’s been a few years since I sold my first apartment. Since then a lot of water has run into the sea. I have lived in many cities and in different continents. I’ve traveled to some amazing places and done some things I never thought possible (hello surfing!) and here I can finally say this is my piece of home. And if there’s any doubt about it, my name is on the door!

Be kind. Stay safe.

Life in the time of Corona – Captain’s log: Day 320

If there’s one thing about a house, it’s that it’s always more work than you think.

After receiving my beautiful new flooring, we took out some of the old stuff, only to notice that we need to replace the underfloor too!

What with the lockdown and the click and collect policies for hardware stores, this however meant finding a store that had it in stock, renting a van, and picking up the giant packs of green stuff.

Luckily these sorts of adventures are much more fun with my 2 sidekicks!

As a surprise benefit, Rufus turns out to be a bit more confident on the softer underfloor rather than the slippery laminate and he even showed off a bit of his ball skills!

Be kind. Stay safe.

Life in the time of Corona – Captain’s log: Day 318

Today my new family member arrived…. Welcome Rufus!

After a bit of negotiation and all sorts of nail-biting action, he finally boarded the bus in Lithuania that would bring him home to me.

The drivers were a couple of angels who were driving a van all the way to unite ex-rescue pets with their loving furever homes! They even sent me progress pics as they were travelling!

Late in the evening on this Thursday night, the doorbell rang and there he was! Rufus outside with a driver, papers and doggy passport in hand. (the driver, not the dog) and it was time at last!

He did give us a bit of a scare. On his first walk with me he came out of his collar (he was so furry, so I set it too big) and started running around the neighbourhood. This was just after 9pm and I was thinking if the police stops me, how do I explain that I really was walking my dog but the dog escaped. Poor thing was probably so scared, but luckily we could direct him out of the traffic and the driver could help us get him back to safety. Luckily we could adjust his collar, and bring him home!

Be kind. Stay safe.

Life in the time of Corona – Captain’s log: Day 314

As of yesterday there is a curfew in place in the Netherlands.

To be honest, aside from the fact that I have to think about ordering takeaways earlier, it doesn’t really affect me all that much. And perhaps the fact that I found the grocery shops much quieter at night, while the shelves are getting restocked (win – win) and thought I might start shopping later. But alas, no late nights for us now.

I wonder how long it will last. Will this just form part of life as we know it?

I have taken the opportunity this weekend to continue with my cleaning spree. I really only wanted to stick to the plan (clean the kitchen sink) but then I started wiping down the stove and one thing led to another and the next thing I knew I was deep cleaning the burners on the gas stove. Today I had a few moments of panic that I might have damaged any of the nozzles but it seems it works just fine, luckily.

The problem with enthusiastic cleaning however, is if you clean the stove, you realise how dirty the oven is. Well, I really got into it and it’s safe to say it’s cleaner now than I’ve ever seen it, ever since I’ve moved in at least!

In between my energetic cleaning spree, Marinus and I also took advantage of the nice winter’s day to go for the walk in the nearby forest/park. Let’s really lovely and at least every second person has a dog. It was so lovely to be out and about and to see all the lovely dogs and their owners of course. I am trying to make an effort to have conscious walks, where I avoid listening to music or audiobooks, or interacting with my phone, to just enjoy my environment and the company I am in,and I’m starting to really enjoy it!

Be kind. Stay safe.