Life in the time of Corona – Captain’s log: Day 290

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.

Be kind. Stay safe.

Life in the time of Corona – Captain’s log: Day 289

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.

A quiet end to a different year.

Be kind. Stay safe.

Life in the time of Corona – Captain’s log: Day 288

A while ago I told the story of the bike shop saga.

The Internet saga was nearly as intense, but only nearly.

When I got confirmation of my moving date I got in touch with my Internet supplier, and asked them what I should do to have Internet when I move in, since I work from home. They informed me that I can just notify them online.

So I tried, and failed. Apparently the new address is served by a different region of the supplier, so I have to do this via phone.

So I tried that. I called and told the lady my new address and move in date. She even said she’ll activate it a few days after my call so the package with modem etc arrives once I’m there.

2 days later the package was delivered to my neighbours, while the place still belonged to someone else. But I thought, hey, maybe for once they are ahead of the curve.

Boy, was I wrong.

While looking for a place to connect the modem to, I found nothing. Nada. Zilch. So I get back on the phone. The friendly call centre guy says, oh, he’ll send a technician to help me, and the next available appointment is the next day. So I’m hopeful.

But then the email confirmation comes, and says the technician will come at the appointed time, to my old address.

So I get back on the phone to change it. Only, it seems like my address is not yet updated in the system, even though my move has been registered (I ask you, how does that even work?)! The friendly guy then goes about changing it, and says he can only book an appointment once the change has been accepted in their system, 24 hours later!

Surprisingly, the guy calls back the next day to book an appointment, at the end of the week. Of course this conflicts with the one other appointment I have but what can you do. I accept it and wait.

On the appointment day, the new technician arrives, walks around my apartment, and tells me what I already know and told them on the phone: there’s no point in my apartment. (no sh*t Sherlock) and there’s no cable into it, so a different technician has to install it.

In the mean time Christmas happened and I didn’t really expect anything to happen, but eventually someone got back to work and I received a letter asking for some information. I promptly reply with everything I have at my disposal. Then today I receive another email: it will take 14 weeks for my Internet connection.

Needless to say that is not acceptable and after a couple of calls to the customer service I managed to cancel my subscription without a month’s notice period, because, what will I use in the supposed “notice period”

Now I still don’t have Internet, but at least I don’t have to wait so long for the other supplier (I hope)

Be kind. Stay safe.

Life in the time of Corona – Captain’s log: Day 287

Pearl earrings

On the day I met Marinus, half a year ago, I was on my way to the Mauritshuis in Den Haag. It houses some incredible artworks be the Dutch masters, including the famous “Girl with a pearl earring” by Vermeer.

The plan was to meet for a coffee before my museum time slot, and after a lovely coffee or 2, we had a quick walk around the area before I went into the museum.

A couple of weeks later he asked me to be his girlfriend and the rest, as they say is history.

Today, due to lockdowns and the postal overload, my belated Christmas present arrived in the post: a set of pearl earrings from the museum shop!

Be kind. Stay safe

Life in the time of Corona – Captain’s log: Day 286

After all the excitement of the ladder few days it was wonderful to spend a day at home, doing home things and so.

This is including, but not limited to the following:

  • Setting up and trying the new printer (needs some adjustment to print according to scale , but will revisit when I have a real WiFi network)
  • Finishing one sewing project and starting another
  • Preparing 2 light fittings for hanging by adjusting the cable length
  • Listening to audiobooks (The Ultimate Sherlock Holmes, read by Stephen Fry)
  • Preparing a delicious pie made with leftovers and other findings in the fridge
  • Taking out the trash and a big chunk of recycling (related to moving and other stuff)

All in all, a most excellent day.

Be kind. Stay safe.

Life in the time of Corona – Captain’s log: Day 285

For the second time this year I made a sneaky birthday trip to the east of the country. Last time I went to celebrate my birthday with my best friend, this time for hers.

I packed the carrot cake in my bag along with leftover lamb from Christmas dinner, and made my way to the station.

Luckily I was able to keep a reasonable distance from other passengers and soon enough I was at my destination. Along the way I met up with her sister, who was also travelling the same way.

Our original plan was to go for a walk in the forest, but the weather was miserable so we decided to stay in instead and play a board game. We have been friends for 20 odd years and I am delighted to report that the more things change, the more they stay the same. I am lucky to have someone here who shares a bit of my history and who has over the years become more like family than friends.

Be kind. Stay safe.

Life in the time of Corona – Captain’s log: Day 284

In other parts of the world they call it Boxing day. Over here it’s called: Tweede kersdag, or, Second Christmas day.

The day was gray and cold, and in the afternoon we made our way up north to visit Marinus’s mom for dinner.

We got spoilt rotten, as usual. Coffee, cake, cookies, chocolates and that’s not even to mention the amazing dinner so lovingly prepared.

Along with all the edible treats we also had such an enjoyable time visiting with an amazing person. I am so lucky to have these wonderful people in my life who welcomes me with open arms and doesn’t mind me practicing my wonky Dutch.

Be kind. Stay safe.

Life in the time of Corona – Captain’s log: Day 283

25 December 2020.

We celebrated Christmas alone and all cosy.

I won’t lie, I missed home like crazy and even had to wipe away a tear of longing. But I am thankful that my family is safe and healthy, and that I have someone to share it with.

As always it was warm and lovely hearing from family and friends, near and far.

Maybe next year I can celebrate another summer Christmas.

Be kind. Stay safe.

Life in the time of Corona – Captain’s log: Day 282

Months ago when it looked like travel might be hard this year I decided to have a Christmas dinner for all the stranded South Africans over here. Then as the regulations tightened, I had to revise my plans to “some of the stranded South Africans over here.”

Finally the day for the dinner party arrived and I was as excited as a kid before Christmas.

I slow cooked the leg of lamb overnight and pressure cooked the pork belly in the morning. I precooked the pumpkin and sat all my ingredients ready. Even carved the meat beforehand,also because I didn’t have a dish big enough for the uncarved cut.

Marinus borrowed the neighbour’s outdoor table and we dressed it up in a silver tablecloth, beautiful dinnerware and other bits and bobs we collected for the occasion.

Finally everything was ready, our guests arrived and we had a wonderful, jovial evening where, for a little while, we could forget all about the homesickness and the family we don’t get to see this year.

Be kind. Stay safe.

Life in the time of Corona – Captain’s log: Day 281

I tried to get the last bit of groceries before the holidays yesterday. Evidently the whole world thought the same because the supermarket was super busy. For the first time I felt uncomfortably close to people because of the corona days.

Evidently there are other dangers afoot as well, as I got pick pocketed between entering the supermarket and getting to the till. I scanned my loyalty (and card at the entrance, and when I wanted to pay my whole wallet was gone. I checked my entire trolley and did 3 rounds of the shop, but alas, no sign of my red wallet anywhere. Thank goodness for technology, so I could pay with the bank app on my phone and hope for the best.

I left my number at the info desk and I even returned later, just before closing time to walk the shop once more, but sadly no wallet.

However, the thief must have been an honest one, because this morning I received a call from the police station. Someone had dropped my wallet in their postbox overnight. The cash was gone, up to the last coin, and even the emergency bek jassies that I keep in there, but all my cards and documents were still intact.

I think I might just stop carrying a wallet all together.

Be kind. Stay safe.