May 2020 recap

whats new with you

So another month is over. I can’t say another month of (semi-)lockdown because at this point we’re barely even in lockdown any more. The government still keeps asking us to stay home and for those who can work from home to continue doing so but kindergartens and primary schools, all shops, restaurants, museums and galleries (but not zoos or botanical gardens) opened again on 11 May. The shops have to limit the numbers of people allowed in at one time and restaurants are only allowed four people to a table (exception: parents with 3+ children) so it’s not entirely back to normal but not really any sort of lockdown either. Masks are “recommended” if you can’t keep 2 metres apart but are only mandatory at hairdressers, massage parlours, physiotherapists, etc. Not on public transport. For me, not much has changed though. I don’t feel the need to go in any shops even if the government says it’s okay. So I am continuing to only enter supermarkets and pharmacies – I don’t need new clothes or electronics! And I can’t go into the office (yet) since the border hasn’t reopened. A few of my colleagues have been going in occasionally though, only ever a few at a time so there’s never more than one person working in a room.

One place I did go was the dentist  – for an appointment that was originally supposed to be in March! I had to get a filling and also have my teeth cleaned. It was my first visit to the dentist since moving to Switzerland and the dental assistant (hygienist? technician? What are the ones who clean your teeth called?) wasn’t satisfied so she made me come back 2 weeks later for her to finish the cleaning. Yes, it’s shameful. Consider this me outing myself publicly. The filling wasn’t my fault though – I have two teeth that overlap and even the dentist said it’s really difficult to properly get in there and make sure the surfaces are properly clean.

I finally managed to buy yeast – after trying for 3 weeks! I originally wanted to make hot cross buns for Easter, but figured that ship had sailed, so we made Zopf – a kind of Swiss bread that’s plaited/braided.

We also made Capuns, which are a speciality of Graubünden and involve wrapping a dough/meat mixture in chard leaves then cooking them in a creamy/cheesy sauce. The first time we only had spinach, which worked out well but was so fiddly and took forever. We then tried again actually using chard and it was much easier (but still took a while). The end result was worth the wait though! Two Swiss things… am I integrated now? 😉

Speaking of being integrated, I received my new residence permit – slightly belatedly. I am officially allowed to stay for another 5 years, no matter what happens with Brexit. Hurrah! (I still don’t know whether I’ll be allowed to continue working in Germany after the transition period, but details…).

Apart from that we are continuing to go for walks. We decided to walk into town once (the Saturday before the shops/restaurants were allowed to reopen) to see what it was like and decided we won’t be doing that again any time soon. There were so many people walking by the Rhine without even considering social distancing! Plus joggers, cyclists. Nope… I’ll stick with my walks here in the “countryside”. We also got a car a couple of times and went for a drive, once to a village that’s famous for its stork colony (we saw baby storks!) And once to where some friends (a couple) are staying with his family. We met up and went for a walk in the woods, staying 2 metres apart at all times. This has been allowed in Switzerland from the beginning by the way – the rule was you could meet up outside in a group of up to 5 people, but at the same time they asked us to please stay home whenever possible. We hadn’t met up with anyone until now but with the relaxing of regulations and new cases in Switzerland having stayed consistently under 100 per day for a while now (actually mostly under 40) we decided it would be okay, especially since we know they’ve been isolating and we stayed further away from them than a lot of people bother to do in supermarkets!

We also had an electrician come by last week to look at a light in our corridor that hasn’t worked since the renovation last year. Something had changed and we couldn’t figure out how to make both lights work again. We all wore masks and we even provided hand disinfectant for him to use. And now we have two working lights in the corridor again and the useless dimmer switch that somebody installed in probably the 90s has gone so we can actually use both switches! Also, we supported a local tradesman so yay.

I attempted to dye my hair, but as I mentioned in my latest Style Imitating Art post, it didn’t work out as planned.

On Saturday we walked to the zero-waste/refill supermarket close to the train station and bought some bits  – mainly washing powder, shower gel, shampoo, washing up liquid. Not much food since we still have loads of rice and couscous from a previous trip. We took the tram back since the bags were heavy and the first one was totally full. It’s like lockdown/social distancing never happened! The tram we changed onto was fairly empty, but that’s normal. Not as many people come out to where we live.

I took part in the second Believathon and had lots of fun following the map and reading children’s books for two weeks. I finally read The Neverending Story! You’ll have to wait for Show Us Your Books day to find out my thoughts.


That’s all I’ve got for you. We’re continuing to stay home as much as possible so there isn’t really anything exciting to report. But we’re plodding along and managing not to get on each other’s nerves so far 😉 I hope you’re all doing well and staying happy and healthy!

Don’t forget to go on over the Kristen‘s blog to say hi and check out the link up.

p.s. I’m aware I haven’t addressed everything that’s going on in the world, and particularly the US. I am horrified by the images I see on TV. I have shared things on Twitter and signed various petitions, but beyond that I don’t know what to say. While not racist, I am far from perfect, and I know I have a lot of learning/reading to do. I am also very aware of my own privilege – especially as someone living abroad who has always been accepted without question because I am white and British. Even to the extent of being asked why I wanted to live in a certain part of town in Germany when “that’s where all the foreigners live”. Please don’t think I’m ignorant for continuing to post as normal.


7 thoughts on “May 2020 recap

  1. Things are definitely crazy in the U.S. right now, but I don’t think badly of people that don’t say anything online. Sometimes there are no words – it’s more about what you do anyway. So no worries!

    I can’t wait to see which children’s books you read. I love kid’s books.

    That’s crazy you don’t have to wear a mask on public transportation. I really haven’t left the house in a long time – just car rides or something, but I don’t go in anywhere.


    1. Thank you. I know some people are saying if you’re silent you’re complicit but honestly I have my own things going on that need my attention right now.

      Yeah it’s so weird. Masks are “recommended if you can’t stick to the distancing rules” but if the tram is full and people don’t have a mask with them they just get on without.

  2. Eh, I think you have to take what you see on the news with a grain of salt. The media in the US has no shame in recent months when it comes to coronavirus coverage so they are taking advantage of the current troubles as well.
    Not that it doesn’t exist…I just try to not watch actual coverage on TV.

    It sounds like you’re slowly getting back to normal!

    I don’t mind going to the dentist for cleanings but I’m nervous about having to take my toddler next year. Ugh!

  3. Things are largely peaceful here but change is definitely being demanded and it is 100% needed. Focus is on the violence, as it always is. But figuratively we’re burning, and we should. This is not a just country for all of us and it never has been.

    I am trying to get into my dentist. A cavity half fell out and while they are reopened, she keeps pushing me off.

  4. It seems so backward that museums and galleries can open but not zoos and gardens. So strange! Our bans and restrictions are starting to lift but there are recommended guidelines (like masks and distance). SO many people just ignore them! It makes me so mad! I’m not wearing a mask for me, lady. My immune system is fantastic. I’m doing it for 65 year old Helen who doesn’t wear a mask and gets right in your face to have a conversation. Grrrrr. Restaurants are open but we haven’t been to any. And Maddie hasn’t been in public since mid-March.
    Your bread looks perfect! And yay for renewed residency!

  5. Wow, that bread looks fantastisch! I’d also very much like to try Capons!
    I’m very glad to hear that you have renewed residency- that’s a relief. I’m just so cross that Brexit is making this so insecure!
    It’s good to hear that you have been able to go for SD walk with friends. I saw my Dad, Stepmum and sis at the weekend and it was so nice to see them but weird not to be able to hug and feeling awful if you had to go in to use the toilet (they’d cleaned and prepared the downstairs toilet for just us!).
    On the train, I’ve been wearing my mask as required but lots of people just sit right opposite you on the train when there are other seats. I’ve changed carriages several times to avoid overcrowding (when I say overcrowding, I mean that there’s one person to every six set of seats) but in supermarkets etc some people just will not wait!
    I saw all these photos of people trying to crush their way into the Niketown shop in London yesterday as it opened and I just thought, “You stupid people! Are your trainers THAT important that you will just crush against strangers!”-I have no desire to go to shops unless necessary!!

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