Life in the time of Corona – Captain’s log: Day 11

Today for the first time, the weather and the mood was suitable to have breakfast on my balcony, with my pretty flowers, in the morning sun. A part of me had dreamt about this for a very long time. Maybe I imagined an Italian espresso and a dainty croissant rather than a milky mug of comfort and bread and cheese, but even so, I am content.

Working from home is starting to become less of an oddity and more of a part of daily life. I guess we will be doing it for some time to come, so its just as well to get used to it.

I had an appointment for today for an admin task and for it I needed to print some documents. To do this i had to find a shop in the neighbourhood that does printing, so I scheduled my daily walk around that errand. It is very strange to see the otherwise busy streets nearly deserted and many shops barely doing business, or completely closed. I guess one of the some casualties of this disease will be a lot of small businesses that will go under. I was reminded once again to support local businesses in any way you could. If you are allowed to order a takeaway, maybe do that, or shop online. A lot of musicians and artists who make a living from live performances can no longer do so, and I urge everyone who can tune into their live online performances and donate where you can.

In the late afternoon i ventured to the city hall for my appointment only to hear they are only processing urgent applications and apparently I still have another 6 months before my window of opportunity expires, so my errand was in vain, but at least I got to cycle to Amsterdam central without the usual hazard of crowds of people and a lot of tourists that aren’t quite sure what to do with bicycle traffic.

The near empty streets are a slightly eerie sight, but it does offer beautiful views of the city and what is really in those shop windows (not THOSE shops, just the normal shops around town.) Empty squares seem larger and more vast. Repair and maintenance work carry on, including the canal clean up boats, and i got treated to the sight of a bunch of bicycles that were “rescued” from a canal!

Being at home gives me a lot of time to do a lot of the things I love, including making beautiful and tasty meals. I get to try out new recipes and foods, and experiment with things I see around. Just look at this yummy sandwhich!

Perhaps my favourite part of the day was my online music lesson. About a year ago a dear friend gave me a guitar with the instruction to learn to play, because music is really an excellent way to feed one’s soul and deal with other hard things in life. So when i saw the advert for a guy that is offering online lessons, I jumped at the opportunity. I want to at least give it a try, you know. Of course I had my reservations, and I was a little worried that I might learn nearly nothing and its a waste of time. Boy, was i wrong! In the first lesson I learnt some really cool exercises, a handful of chords and even some tips on technique. I look forward to see where this will go in the next few months and who knows, I will come out of this isolation with a new skill!

As I bid farewell to this day, let me share this picture with you. Its a version of my current daily view. A literal window into the lives of my neighbours (or Amsterdam TV as a friend calls it(Seriously, they still dont believe in curtains)) and the crescent moon and the evening star, just hanging out in a beautiful evening sky.

Be kind. And stay safe.

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