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!
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!
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!
This week they extended the lockdown until at least 9 February, and it’s anyone’s guess until when. Either way, it looks unlikely that I’ll see the inside of a gym anytime soon.
Couple that with the fact that I do a job that involves a lot of sitting in front of a desk, and a commute between my bedroom, kitchen and my second bedroom/home office, it means that I don’t exactly get a lot of movement in at the moment. It certainly doesn’t help that it is dark and often wet outside either.
I’m not sure what came first, but luckily 2 things happened around this topic. The one is that my employer is making a real effort in looking after the mental and physical health of us all. This involves a number of initiatives such as a buddy system, access to external coaching, a confidential health assessment and workshops around movement etc. One of my team mates hosts an afternoon stretch session, and my team also started a challenge to take a daily 20 min walk!
At around the same time I was evaluating my own lack of fitness and I realised that when it gets warmer I’m going to have a hard time trying to surf unless I do something about it. So I ordered a kettlebell and a balance board thing to start working on it.
When I got the notification that it will be delivered, I thought that I probably need to find a sort of program to at least work with a plan. Luckily I remembered a fitness program I did a few years ago, and I still have the workouts somewhere. Thinking back I can’t remember how well I did with the program, but I remember doing the workouts with other people on the program and I really enjoyed it.
So I printed the Beginner: Month 1 program and did it before work today.
Afterwards I went for a relaxed 20 min walk too.
I have a feeling I’m ging to be stiff over the weekend but I know that too will pass. I’ve seen this movie before.
I have no control over where I was born or what family I was born into, but today I realised again how privileged I am.
I was feeling overwhelmed by the amount of laundry and the mystery stains on my favourite shirt. To top that up it felt like my house isn’t clean enough to my liking and I honestly don’t have an idea how to best clean my windows.
At that moment I realised how much I’ve been spoilt by Maria, Vivienne, Zanele, Anna and Priscilla in my life. Each of these women made something look so easy that I didn’t even realise how much they were doing for me. I even sent Priscilla a text message to tell her how much I miss her. She really has become a friend in the time she worked for me in Peru.
Then I put my problem solving hat on and decided the following: if I could learn to ride a bicycle and swim, and drive a car, then I can learn to clean,and make it part of my life. It can’t be harder than learning to surf, and I managed that. And besides, I like learning new things.
So I did some research, found a really corny website recommended by someone, to help me learn the basics of cleaning. It’s a process, and there’s a long way to go before it becomes like riding a bike, but I am already starting to enjoy the process.
I’ve experienced snow a few times in my life, but it usually involved travelling somewhere to see it. As a student we made a couple of trips to Franschhoek mountains when there were reports of snow, and there was the famous choir tour where we all looked at Brood saying “Kyk! Daar is sneeu op die berg!”
Later in life there was also a stop in Switzerland to have a roadside snow ball fight on my Contiki tour, and a couple of day trips to Hogs Back from East London.
But today I actually saw the snowdrops fall from my own living room window, where I live! No day trip or bus tour.
Marinus and I even had our first snowball fight, and lots of laughs!
A new year dawns, and surprisingly, we’re all still the same.
The world is still in lockdowns all over, people are still surprised (?) about the Dutch fireworks on new years eve, and people on the Internet will do what they always do.
To be honest, I think people on the Internet gets a lot more attention these days than they should, because everyone is at home and a little bit bored.
I had the most relaxing day in months, doing absolutely nothing all day, and it was wonderful.
I have hope for the new year. There are talks of vaccination programs starting around the world and although it may take a few months before I can get it, if might mean that I can see my family again soon.
New years eve 2020. I think many people are happy to see the end of this year.
In the afternoon we biked around town to do a round of cider deliveries. Some of Marinus’s holiday cider still had to be delivered to the recipients and we enjoyed the opportunity to see some friends and have some coffee.
Afterwards Marinus went to pick up some olie bollen and we settled in to a quiet evening at home. I guess it would have been fun to spend it with friends and have a party, but perhaps next year.
As the evening grew late he started a fire in the garden pizza oven, and just before midnight we were ready to say happy new year and drink a glass of bubbly together.
Despite the fireworks ban, there were still many bangs and lights around and we looked at the amateur displays and wished the neighbours a happy new year just after midnight.