DISGUSTED

That’s all I have to say! I’m disgusted! Once again! It just doesn’t seem to stop! And I can’t help keeping my fingers running across the keyboard, as if they had a mind of their own. Because … I just have to write. I have to. Even though I ask myself why I bother. Why I bother reading the news. Again and again. When all they do is make me mad. Hopping mad and angry. 

The vaccination disaster: I could have told you “I told you so”! I TOLD YOU SO! And actually, I already did! When it recently was reported that von der Leyen, the EU commissioner, totally failed in the Covid-19 vaccination issue, I was not surprised. I knew she is incapable. (Not that a woman wouldn’t be capable to be in a top position … but this one? NOPE!) What a failure! They basically had one year to prepare themselves for the case of available vaccines. To plan ahead to get as many people vaccinated as possible, as quickly as possible. To plan ahead and calculate the number of doses necessary. The result? Even though they started the procedures at the end of 2020, it’s pure chaos and hardly any Germans have been vaccinated up to now. The hotlines are incapable of giving out any information, 80-year-olds are supposed to register online – big chance of old people managing something like THAT – and everything is just a big mess. I want to get vaccinated as soon as possible. But I’m not even allowed to register yet. And no one knows when middle aged people will be able to. I already see my Austrian vacation in peril in September with the incredible speed they manage to get on with it. Complete failure. All around! And please, don’t get me started on those stupid conspiracy freaks … and I better not meet one of them personally … or I’d be tempted to shake them senselessly and tell them to just drop Corona dead.

Trump, who else: The second impeachment trial of Trump is the other big issue I could go up the wall about. Even though it was to be expected that once again “the most evil force in the White House we have ever seen” – quote Carl Bernstein on CNN – will be acquitted again, it’s even harder to see this orange-faced devil go free AGAIN. How much proof is needed? To catch him right-handed killing someone with his own hands? Well, he’s too slick for that! He lets others do his work! Fact is, Trump is responsible for the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6th. For months before and after the election Trump did everything in his power with his constant lies to lead up to that day. What makes me so mad is that most GOP senators are still cowardly enough to hold him accountable for his actions. What makes me even madder … exactly those Republicans who supported Trump with his lies, not doing their jobs by protecting the democracy and upholding the constitution, were allowed to vote for or against the impeachment! THEY should themselves be prosecuted and being made accountable for their damaging actions. It’s disgusting! When will someone finally put a stop to the Trump evilness? Of course, he is gloating now, having “won” again, boosting his narcissistic ego, feeling invincible, threatening to run again in 2024. It’s frustrating to see someone like him being able to do whatever he wants without any consequences. And they had the chance to put a stop to him. For once and for all! Bloody GOP cowards! What a disgrace for a once great country! 

The poisoned Putin critic: I’m not sure whether to call nearly dead-as-a-doornail Navalny courageous or plain stupid for returning to Russia. When he clearly knew, what would happen … another farce. So obvious, anything but surprising! Autocrats wherever you look … disgusting as disgusting can be … Not to mention all those countries still in the middle ages, conservative, intolerant, disrespecting women’s and gay people’s rights. 

Would it be better to just NOT read or watch the news anymore? It would definitely be better for my peace of mind … but, well, what would I have to write then anymore apart from my (currently non-existent) travel adventures?

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LET IT SNOW

It’s February and winter is finally here. I could hardly believe my eyes when I opened my eyes and everything was covered in snow. If you live in these parts of Germany, in the middle of North-Rhine Westfalia, you know that snow is basically non-existent in winter time. My fellow occupationers already panic with as little as the rare 5 cm of snow we usually have here, with total chaos on the streets – a situation at which we Austrians wouldn’t even reduce our driving speed. And now it’s snowing heavily. And it’s beautiful! The wonderful clean air, the white calmness, … I couldn’t wait to get outside, finally being able to dig out my skiing vacation Gore-Tex boots – very stylish indeed – from the depths of my closet and actually wear them. 

I don’t miss all too much from Austria – well, apart from my family and friends, my ketchup, schnitzel and the culture – but I do miss the snow. I miss skiing. I miss swishing down the mountain, feeling the cold air, the snow spraying everywhere beneath my skis. The crunching sound of the early morning snow and halfway empty slopes, with the sun coming up. The first break at the skiing hut for hot chocolate or tea. The blissful exhaustion after a skiing day and the relief you feel when getting out of your ski boots and into those beautifully ugly Gore-Tex boots. Warm and soft. Looking forward to a well-deserved hot shower or bath. Oh yes, I miss that. And as I crunch my way around the fresh snow here, far away from home, I remember … the luxury of growing up in a small town with the next mountain 15 minutes away and the next lakes even less for skiing and skating. And I remember that we used to sit on benches in front of small huts close to the slopes for rye sourdough bread, Carinthian bacon, cheese, hard boiled eggs and tea in a thermos flask. So simple, so nice. And such a bitter-sweet memory. Just like everything when I think back to my childhood and my parents. 

Incredibly, the snow actually lasted for about two weeks – instead of the usual one or two days max – due to the low temperatures. And I loved every single minute of it. Especially since I didn’t have to drive anywhere because of Corona and being lucky enough to work from home! Even though Rangey sure would have enjoyed an outing in the fresh snow! But knowing my other snow drivers – unskilled, to say the least -, I dispensed with my initial urge and left Rangey and me with our Tyrolean skiing vacation memories. Memories of steep mountain roads, crisp snow … and lots of Schnitzels in my case. Soon, Rangey, soon we’ll go back to Austria … to cruise along the lakes, speed up the mountains and enjoy everything my home country can offer … I can’t wait!

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY

It’s here again: Valentine’s Day. You either hate it or love it. There’s nothing in between. Me? I love to hate it and hate to love it. Does that make sense?

Every year our eyes have to suffer pink and red hearts everywhere, not to mention all those email newsletters we receive with offers for gifts and romantic getaways for our loved ones. As in loving partner.

Does anyone think of all those lonely singles out there, who are confronted by all this romance and love wherever they go, being reminded that THEY won’t receive flowers, chocolates, kitschy cards, even kitschier plush toys … or very classic jewellery or a romantic weekend trip? Of course not! They just have to get through this time, pretend it’s perfectly ok.

Well, my experience with Valentine’s Day is basically non-existent! During my student days, my best buddy not only treated his mother and girlfriend to some flowers but also thought of me and brought me a small bunch of spring flowers for several years, until we lost touch. Which was a lovely gesture. My ex? Well, he conveniently forgot … which once again shows that I’m not missing out on anything being rid of him. My best friends are more caring than he was, we are wishing each other Happy Valentine’s Day. Because, let’s be frank, most of all it’s about showing that you think of each other. 

As usual I have missed out on the typical Valentine Day’s traditions. As kitschy as they are. Even though it’s just another way for commerce to make lots of money with mostly awful things you wouldn’t want anyway. Looking for something to treat myself to – apart from chocolates – I dared start a search for “Valentine Day’s gifts”. Girls, there’s nothing to be jealous about, if you don’t receive a kitschy gift. I didn’t find ANYTHING I could possible want, everything was just crap, plain and simple. Apart from the heart being the main symbol, roses are very popular too. But … do you really want to be gifted with a cheap heart pendent necklace, fake gold decoration rose, a teddy bear made of fake rose petals, a crystal glass 3D heart with engraved names, an ugly pillow that would spoil your classy decoration? Nooo, you don’t! Nevertheless, I know it still can be a bit depressing and frustrating being reminded about your single-dom. Even I, being happy with how it is right now, sometimes get a big maudlin … 

So, how to best survive all those hearts and lovey-dovey displayed everywhere? Being overwhelmed by flashes of red and pink wherever you look? Without starting to have screaming fits and hit heart-shaped balloons whenever you see one? Go with it! Embrace Valentine’s Day! Who says you can’t get a heart shaped box of chocolates – or rather go with the luxurious box of scrumptious Belgian chocolates instead, forgoing the cheap heart shaped box with even cheaper chocolates so that you really have something special to enjoy – and a bunch of your favourite flowers for yourself? (Which are the only sensible gifts anyway, if you don’t want to spend tons of money!) YOU are the one who should love yourself the most! So, don’t be sad! Enjoy your “I love myself” Valentine’s Day with delicious dinner, chocolates, your favourite movie or book and think of those you love and care for!

BEST AND WORST TV SHOWS SEEN IN 2020

Living without regular TV is different and I had to get used to it. So, apart from my DVDs – yes, I sometimes still tend to buy DVD series, quite old-fashionedly – I have become a proud member of the Netflix community, becoming hooked on it. Finally, being able to watch everything in English again! (Maybe one day I will also subscribe to Amazon Prime, but for now I’m happy with one streaming service! After all, I have to carefully divide my pandemic free time between my TV and my books!) Some series – and movies – I watched were surprisingly wonderful. However, there were others who were just … awful … or at least close to.

The great ones:

  1. A series of unfortunate events: Having read the books and seen the original movie, the series is a wonderful adaption. Great actors, marvellous set design, wardrobe and make-up, thrilling and funny. And one of my favourite series I was watching while writing my articles. (At least until I was done with the 3 seasons!)
  2. Grand Hotel: a Spanish period series which particularly caught my eyes because it is set at the turn of the 20thcentury. Gorgeous dresses, gorgeous location, gorgeous actors. Thrilling, romantic, binge-worthy! And since it was discontinued on Netflix at the end of December, I basically had to watch the whole series whenever I had a free minute! In Spanish, no less, with English sub-title. (Discovering in the final season that there would have been a German synchronisation available, which I tried for exactly five minutes! I was so used by their Spanish voices by then, that everything else was just too weird!) Funny fact: the villain was called Diego … once again someone I had to associate the name with anything but nice! (My poor cat … has to live with “Spatzi” more often than his given name!)
  3. Hubert & Staller: I guess you won’t know this Bavarian series. Since it’s only available in Germany, discovering it by chance. It’s about two small-town policemen, who constantly stumble upon a dead body – to the great annoyance of their boss, who would just prefer to enjoy a relaxing job. It’s light entertainment, with hilarious main characters. No fast-paced car chases, fighting, blood and gore. Just a nice, good-feel series which I love to watch in between.
  4. Grace and Frankie: Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston. With those actors, it just HAS to be good. And it was! Incredibly funny, ingenious stories about their relationships and just … sweet! Showing us with humour what getting old means …
  5. Scorpion: about a group of geniuses who help solve all kinds of problems and avoid catastrophes. I didn’t quite like the end of the series, but apart from that, just great! Especially the chemistry between the main characters and their character development in the course of the seasons was nice to watch.
  6. Arrow: Who can resist Stephen Amell? The ultimate Green Arrow? 7 hot seasons on Netflix – can’t wait for the final season – with awesome stories and villains, lots of great choreographed fighs, not to mention a lovely love story … the only annoying character was their daughter Mia in the future episodes, who was portrayed by the same actress from the main character of “Shadow Hunters”. Spin-off episodes with “Flash” made me order the first season on DVD right away …

Of course, there were more series that were quite nice to watch, but not worth mentioning …

On top of my list of worst series which I watched in 2020 are definitely …

  1. The Windsors: spoof? Parody? But a very bad one. Usually I like British humour very much, but this is just “below the belt” and far away from being funny. I mean, I did enjoy the Bush parody “That’s my Bush!” by South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, and “Saturday Night Live”! Nothing better … but “The Windsors” was just awful. 
  2. Shadow Hunters: very annoying teen series, with the main character girl even more annoying and jumping from one love interest to another while being just … well, a teenage girl. Impulsive and stupid at times.
  3. Space Force: I had so been looking forward to Steve Carell and the great cast in general. Being a huge “The Office” fan I expected an incredibly funny and genius series … not so much so. There were a few funny scenes … but they were indeed few.
  4. Sherlock: the best and the worst at the same time. Starting out brilliantly, with brilliant actors and a brilliant concept to bring Sherlock Holmes into the 21stcentury, it became weirder and weirder with the final seasons. I could hardly wait until I had finally reached the last episode. Over and done!
  5. Iron Fist: Usually I love Superhero series. I totally loved “Arrow”, which I have been watching recently, or “Flash”. But Iron Fist? Boy, I was so annoyed with the main character Danny. Not Super hero material. Weak, hesitant, naïve. Super heroes need to be Super heroes … I did watch “Defenders” after that, introducing other Marvel characters “Daredevil”, “Jessica Jones” and “Luke Cage”. With Luke Cage the only one I could actually imagine watching. Jessica Jones is just abrasive and Daredevil annoying.
  6.  The Witcher: I’m still not sure whether it belongs right here or to the above “best” section. I don’t know the game, I just know it’s very popular. So I was curious what the hype was all about. Especially since usually I’m not a big fan of “Middle Age style” movies and series. It was definitely … interesting, but very confusing. Until in the course of several episodes the loose threads were coming together slowly and the story became clearer. I guess I will have to wait for Season 2 for the ultimate decision …

Well, to sum it up, 2020 was obviously and not surprisingly a TV and book year. What 2021 will bring? We’ll have to wait and see!

HOW TO SPEND AN HOUR AT THE GARAGE

Oh boy, what an ingenious title! So that absolutely no one can guess what this article will be about! Clever me!

Yes, that’s right, I’m stuck here at a garage waiting for my car to be ready for me again. After barely having been driven the past months – apart from the occasional cat food shopping and Ikea ketchup restocking trip – my Rangey told me exactly what he thought of that. As in, nothing! He wants to be out and about, discovering the country and seeing new places. Instead he is stuck at his very boring parking space, facing a dull wall, with nothing interesting to experience and see. So, he decided to have a doctor’s appointment by draining his battery. Shocking me this morning with his cheery message of “Low battery” and “The system will shut down in 1 minute”. Gee, exactly what I need at 6am in the morning. Luckily, he didn’t complain anymore on my way to the office – the third time since March due to an appointment – and I arrived safely half an hour later. I switched off the CD Player, however, and turned down the temperature to 19 degrees Celsius. Seat heating? Are you kidding? No seat heating! And if it hadn’t been pitch black, I’d also have switched off the lights. Who needs lights anyway.

Well, here I am now. Waiting. Freezing. Writing. Waiting for my Rangey’s battery to be charged … but I guess Rangey deserves a new one sooner rather than later.

Darn, I so hate this! I love my car, but I hate everything that comes with it. It even annoys me to fill up the tank! All I want is to drive! I wish I had someone who would take care of all the annoying rest like checking the oil level, tyre pressures, clean Rangey inside out, drive him to get serviced … but nooo, I have to do all that! But Rangey still loves me! He knows we will return to his home country as soon as possible … and then he will be well again. And me too! We both miss England very much! But first, I guess, he will have to cross some Austrian mountains – which he loves very much too. And it’s high time to visit MY home too! My Austrian supplies are absolutely depleted … so, that’s it! One hour gone, Rangey will be re-charged in a few minutes … and I have totally failed to write a funny article how to ingeniously spend an amusing hour at the garage while waiting for your car! Soooorrrry! Toodle-oo!

NEVER AGAIN …

… or: learning from past mistakes.

Having too much time on my hands due to the pandemic and – as usual – too much time to think, I can’t help but come to the conclusion that I’ve been too nice and generous in the past. With people who didn’t really deserve it. Especially with HIM and HIS awful family.

Why in the hell was I selling too much of MY stuff before moving in together, losing tons of money in the process? Not that he ever really appreciated it, he didn’t care anyway! But still, it rankles … looking at the pictures I still have stored on my notebook of all the things I gave away or sold on Ebay … and sometimes I think of some of the things … and I apologize to my dead father for giving away / selling the white-blue woven carpet he lugged back from Iran. (One for me, one for my sister.) Or the oriental mini-skewers one could use for antipasti and pickles. Or the coffee porcelain set I inherited from a great-great aunt. Or … there’s too much to count. And I still start crying when I see a similar comfy chair to the one from the 30s I had to give away to bulky waste, being destroyed, just like that. Because of no space. Stupid, stupid, stupid! At least I could save my father’s tallboy.

Why in the hell was I donating so much of my stuff to a charity organization to resell it? Just because of no space, again! (Well, my consolation is that at least I was doing something good, helping an organization who employs long-time unemployed people and making low-income people happy with some of my stuff they could actually afford and buy cheaply.) 

Why in the hell was I so stupid to support my ex with 100€ a month when his awful daughter moved out to live in her own apartment, because she couldn’t move back in with her mother and sister? Because they couldn’t live with her either? Why, why, why? 

Why in the hell was I bringing back souvenirs for him and his brood when in the end nothing what I did before mattered anyway? And I was the bad one?

Why in the hell did I leave behind some of my Hutschenreuther china, out of false generousness because he wouldn’t have dishes after my leaving? Or clothes hangers (the expensive slim line flocked ones)? Or my expensive heavy duty garage shelves? Why was I so stupid? Throwing money away? 

Why in the hell did I let his relatives take some of my kitchen appliances and flatware? Just like that? Like my relatively new electric kettle? Which I had then to buy new!? Or the plush red carpet which I now could have used for my study to keep my feet warm while working?

Why did I pay for half of my birthday present – having the car deep cleaned and polished – because I felt bad about the price? Not being used to generous gifts and as usual trying to be fair … I should have just taken it! Accepted it! I was generous enough! And lost enough money!

Why? Why? Why? I was really stupid! Too excited to move in with someone for the first time in my life. Expecting to have a loving and caring relationship the way my parents had. The way my dad treated my mum. Big disappointment! BIG disappointment! Is it German men? Probably they are just unable to be warm hearted and caring, generous … Or maybe I just caught the wrong one!

But it was a lesson I obviously had to learn. To not change for other people. To stick to what’s important to me! Never again …

SPAM

Yes, I know you know! Or is it too confusing? SPAM? You don’t really think I’m gonna write about spam mail, do you? Even though … spam mail IS annoying. Getting at least a dozen daily as well too. 

SPAM is my beloved, favourite trash food as advertised in Monty Python’s legendary sketch. Which made me so curious that I just had to try it. And fell in love instantly! 

Well, it’s not easy to get SPAM in Germany. So, I had to wait until my next England trip to stock up on SPAM and try every SPAM recipe I could find. After all, you only need SPAM! Eggs with SPAM, pasta with SPAM, potatoes with SPAM, rice with SPAM, veggies with SPAM, SPAM burger, SPAM salad, SPAM sandwich, SPAM pizza, SPAM wrap, SPAM sweet & sour, SPAM with SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM. Cut in cubes, slices, scrambled … fried, grilled, breaded. Classic SPAM, SPAM Lite, SPAM with less sodium, SPAM with real bacon, Hickory smoke SPAM, SPAM oven roasted Turkey … I tried them all (apart from the spicy varieties). For breakfast, lunch and dinner.

My last SPAM tin is long gone – since my last England trip was more than one year ago – and due to Covid-19 I’m not only deprived of my SPAM supply but many other British essential groceries as well. Like my favourite tea biscuits from M&S, water crackers, cheddar of all kinds of various maturity, Stilton, bagels and scones, Horlicks malt drink, cake mixes and frostings, shortbread, cereals with peanut butter crisps, and whatever interesting food I can lay my hands on. I so miss England! And shopping in England! Not only groceries but all my favourite shops! (Oops, guess I kind of strayed from the topic at hand: SPAM!)

So, back to the meat that is not really meat but probably the cheapest and most worthless meat available. Trash meat. But sooo delicious! THE comfort food together with Mac&Cheese (another awesome combination). 

To my utter surprise, I discovered a SPAM replacement, right here in Germany: Tulip breakfast meat! It’s not SPAM, but it’s acceptable! And once again I can wallow in SPAM style comfort food, the ultimate solution on bad days! Dreaming of my next England trip to stock up on the real thing!

Have a SPAM weekend with lots of SPAM, SPAM, SPAM and SPAM and SPAM and SPAM, SPAM and SPAM! 

PURE EVIL

Relieved! I was so relieved! Joyously dancing around my apartment, shouting, “Yes, Yes, Yes!” Why? Because Biden will be the new president! Thank God! Trump is out! Thank God there are only 11 days left! 

After the first excitement and relief of Biden’s win and Trump’s failures again and again to overturn the election I became worried again. And still am! Extremely worried about the evilness of this man who has called himself the President of the United States for the past four years. I knew he wouldn’t go easily and the military would probably have to drag him out of the White House kicking and screaming … but the way he behaved these past two months is beyond anything I could have imagined. It just shows that he doesn’t care one bit about all those Americans dying from Covid-19. Nearly 350 000 lives lost by now. Still spewing lies about a rigged election, that it was stolen from him despite being thrown out from court case after case because there is just no evidence! Think about that: NO EVIDENCE! And his followers are still stupid enough to believe his evil lies and even donate money for his “fight against those democrats and the false election”. With the only goal to actually pay off his debts … nothing else. This evil human being just cares about himself and what he can gain in terms of money from the presidency. A grift. It’s that simple. He is a grifter and the presidency is his grift. (As very ingeniously described on CNN.) Not to mention doling out pardons like candy … plus the danger of pre-emptive pardons for his corrupt kids and even himself. A leader? A liar! Playing golf, hiding in the White House like a petulant child, not facing the facts and doing everything in his power to damage the country even more. And if you think it can’t possibly become worse, it does! Resulting in this week’s criminal behaviour in wanting Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” 11000 votes … if this isn’t an abuse of presidential power, then I don’t know what. Apart from the minor issue of supporting his crazy supporters who stormed the Capitol in his name, with Trump smiling gleefully about all this and not taking measures to involve the National Guard. No, VP Pence had to step in and “saved the day” – I’m so disgusted I can barely breathe! January 20thcan’t come early enough! Every day he is out and about in his official capacity as the President, he is killing more people and destroying everything that’s in his way, firing people he doesn’t like or who dare to tell the truth, turning against HIM. Oh yeah, how could they! He is GOD! He is the winner! Trump doesn’t lose! … This is all wrong! This is just wrong! Has been wrong for too long! With horrid Republican senators still empowering him by backing him, thinking about their “future” instead of upholding the constitution and putting the country first. Disgusting! When will it stop? Who will finally stop him? And why hasn’t anyone put a stop to it a long time ago? Reigned him in? Closed down his Twitter and Facebook accounts for good, for example? Locking him up in an asylum? Because, he is just insane. Criminally insane. Cleverly disguised. I just see two options: 1.) He and his likewise evil kids are finally thrown behind bars for a long, long time, being made responsible for their actions, the fraud, the evilness, the racism, the sexual misconducts, the abuse of power … and killing American people. And 2.) I’m still hoping for the junk food induced fatal heart attack. Preferably while tweeting sitting on the toilet … what a fitting way to go for the scum of this earth …

GOODBYE 2020, WELCOME 2021

Thank God, 2020 is over! I bet this thought might have crossed the one or other’s mind! What an awful year with many restrictions and changes!

For me personally, 2020 was not so bad! Not bad at all! Sure, it started out shockingly with the separation! But in the end, I couldn’t wait to get away from this horrible family. The only one I still miss is tomcat Tristan and I try not to think about him too much. Or that I don’t receive any information how he’s doing. Well, I guess that just shows the loving and considerate human being I escaped from …

But apart from that, my year was really great! My new home is beautiful, I can have as many plants as I want, buy new bed linens whenever I want to have one more set to choose from, read all day if it suits me, display my shoes and bags again … I can do whatever I want without anyone reprimanding me. And no annoying high-strung and spoilt teens and awful boyfriend-relatives to be nice to. It’s the ultimate freedom. With my “old life” thrown in for some loving, affection and fun. And whatever the future brings … I’m looking forward to it.

I also have to admit, I enjoy Home Office very much! Of course, I’m very lucky in this situation! I have an extra study, which is also part wardrobe, library and cat playroom. Without kids disturbing me at work – just my kitty-cat, who tends to bring me his toy mouse and demands loudly meowing to throw it around. Or complaining that it’s time for some food again. Or at least a treat. 

But that’s small stuff compared to the issues some of my colleagues had to go through this past year. Working from home at the kitchen table, in between doing some home schooling and taking care of everything else. So, yes, I consider myself very lucky. And being used to most of my friends being hundreds of kilometres away anyway, the now necessary social distancing and using the phone instead of personal visits, is normal for me and no big deal. 

I do miss my shopping trips, Saturday coffee at coffee shops … and travelling. Of course, I miss travelling. But I’m sure the situation will improve 2021 and slowly we will get back to more normalcy. So that I can start making plans again. For a skiing vacation, England, Austria, weekend trips … or just enjoy meeting friends and hugging them again without feeling bad.

My resolutions for 2021? Well, the usual, I guess! Getting back into shape after the Corona year … but most of all: just being happy!

A 2020 CHRISTMAS CAROL

My 2020 Christmas Carol! 

Christmas past! I’ve already covered that more than once! And every year again memories surface … beautiful and painful at the same time!

Christmas present! (Which, if you take it strictly, is already a thing of the past too!) But, regardless, it’s the most current and I have to say: My Christmas was marvellous! I started the day with getting the last few groceries for my Christmas fondue, had a relaxing breakfast while watching “A series of unfortunate events” on Netflix, then prepared the fondue sauces and spent a likewise relaxing day with reading, chatting with friends and family and preparing everything else for my festivities.

At 5 p.m. on the dot I sat down for Fondue dinner with the ancient Fondue set from my parents, stylishly in 70s design, me being dressed up in my red wrap dress. (After all it’s Christmas!) And while I fried franks, mushrooms and chicken, I got entertained by another Netflix marvel. This time: the latest season of “The Crown”. One has to keep one’s standards up!

My cat was looking on jealously as I enjoyed his favourite foods – even though he was treated with cooked chicken all day and a piece of franks as well. But the smells were just too delicious …

After dinner, I lit all candles in the living room and the ones on the tree, rang the bell like we used to and stood in front of my Christmas tree with “Silent night” playing old-fashionedly on my CD player. Of course, I couldn’t help crying my eyes out after all. Because I miss them so much! I miss the laughter and silliness! Watching each other unwrapping our gifts, full of joy! But I also knew they are proud of me for finally embracing the Christmas season again, the way I did this year. With the cookie baking, the decorating, the holding up of our traditions … And I enjoyed it. All of it! Resulting in spending one and a half hours of unpacking my Amazon gifts to myself. And even though I knew basically what I had ordered, it was still a surprise which parcel contained what. I have to admit, I went a little overboard with my presents to myself and to my cat, but I enjoyed it immensely. Knowing that of course this is also just my way to compensate for the loneliness and still feeling grief as well as the already experienced horror of not having a single Christmas gift underneath the tree. Never again … and if I have to gift myself!

Christmas Yet-to-come! What I also realized this year? How lucky I am! I literally escaped the horror of future Christmases with people I can’t stand. Just thinking about what it would be like 10 years from now or so … with my ex’s daughters plus attachments and eventually grandkids visiting or – horror of all horrors – even staying over for the holidays, a time I usually desperately need to refuel my batteries and not play host all the time … I shudder with absolute terror. Can you imagine ME sitting there, having to listen to the little ones performing Christmas songs, poems or – God forbid – screeching on their musical instruments!? With the proud parents and grandparents applauding and praising the little brats? Hell no! That’s not me! That’s just not me! Not to mention his other weird relatives I don’t have to endure anymore! Even during my relationship these thoughts of the future had popped up and even then, I had nightmares about it! Panicked! Just like before the move when it was clear his spoiled teen daughter would move in with us after all!

I know I can’t have back what I had at home … spending the Christmases of my past … but what I need? That would be someone unattached, without the baggage. Someone to celebrate Christmas with, relaxing days without hurrying from one family appointment to another, no annoying kids running around and demanding all the attention. Just the two of us over the Christmas holidays … and over New Year’s Eve go somewhere with friends, like skiing or London or New York or … Yep, that would be nice! But … as for now, I’m perfectly happy and having experienced “the other side” I now know even better what I want … and don’t want.

I never thought I would say this, since I had really awful Christmases too in my depressive days, but this one really was close to perfect! As perfect as a Christmas alone can be! Even though not seeing my closest buddy for the usual few minutes on the 24thput a little damper on my perfect day and made me feel a bit … forgotten and not important enough to at least have 10 minutes for me. But it is as it is and I try to put it out of my mind and not let it pull me down …

Merry Christmas, you all!