November 2020 recap

Hello! Happy December. I’m not even going to bother expressing any surprise about how we got here already. Honestly, I’ve given up trying to understand time. There are days that I have to work and days that I don’t have to work, and my phone knows the difference. (Note to self: remember to turn off week day alarm once work finishes for Christmas). Anyway, today I am here to talk about November.

Coronavirus cases in Switzerland were high at the beginning of the month and slightly less high by the end (still around 4,000-5,000 per day, i.e. way too high, but better than the previous 9,000-10,000 per day!) – mostly thanks to some of the French-speaking cantons introducing stricter measures, basically amounting to a mini lockdown. Although numbers overall decreased, in Basel they actually rose so towards the end of the month Basel-Stadt (the city canton) also introduced stricter measures. All shops stayed open but bars, restaurants, swimming pools and gyms were made to close. I think I only went into town twice anyway – once to the refill/zero-waste supermarket and once to the post office by the train station to send some Christmas presents (we do have a post office in our town but it closes at 1 p.m. on Saturdays and I’m never ready by then). When I did venture out of the house it was either to go to our local supermarket, take away recycling, post Christmas cards or to go for my weekly walk.

Speaking of Christmas cards… I finished making, wrote and posted Christmas cards for every Post Pals family before November was over! When I say I “made” cards that basically means sticking on either cut out shapes (baubles, Christmas trees, stars) or some stickers and adding a greeting. Very simple cards. I also continued cross stitching Christmas cards for family and friends. I actually took two days off at the beginning of the month to work on them. On the first day I made all the designs I had stitched up to that point into cards while listening to an audiobook (Rise of the Jumbies, if you’re wondering) and the next day I stitched my little fingers off. I was hoping to have them all finished by December but I haven’t quite managed it – there’s only about 2 more to do though. I also bought, wrapped and posted most of my Christmas gifts – or ordered them to be sent directly to the recipients. I still have a couple more to sort but I’m mostly finished.

I managed to do a little bit of decluttering in November, although honestly it doesn’t appear to have made any difference whatsoever. I actually made a tiny space on my bookshelves, which I expect to be quickly filled again once Christmas rolls around!

On the subject of books, it was Believathon so I mainly read children’s books. We consistently watched Richard Osman’s House of Games every week day (sometimes Jan had a meeting at 7 p.m. so I recorded it and we watched it when he was finished). I also watched Children in Need and caught an occasional episode of Father Brown. At the end of the month I ended up watching a documentary about Diego Maradona, which I honestly had no interest in but Jan put it on while I was trying to finish cross stitching a card so I didn’t have much of a choice.

I treated myself to a dress from Popsy Clothing (it’s got penguins on it! I wanted the one with multi-coloured reindeer but it had sold out) and also dyed my hair. The box said it’s “mauve”, although as always it didn’t work the way it’s meant to on my hair. Here’s a photo:

Unlike what feels like the entire rest of the world, I did not put my tree up in November – party because I didn’t even see any for sale until the 27th but mostly because Jan will never in a million years let me have one until at least 23rd December – and even that’s a compromise! Apparently “it’s a Christmas tree, not an advent tree!” If he had his way, it would go up at noon on Christmas Eve, just like when he was growing up but I’ve managed to talk him round to the 23rd. I did, however, bake Vanillekipferl (vanilla crescents – an Austrian speciality) on the first Sunday of advent and I put up a grand total of three decorations on the final day of the month.

Jan’s friend continued to come here to study occasionally – sometimes once a week, sometimes twice, some weeks not at all. (All very coronavirus safe – she arrives with a mask on, we greet each other from a distance with no physical contact and we all sit in separate rooms to work.)

That’s all I can think of.
Oh wait, I almost forgot. Jan’s choir was supposed to have a concert in November but since all events ended up being cancelled they decided to do it as a live stream. It was actually quite nice to sit and watch from my living room with a cup of tea and my cross stitch. Ha! They fell into a grey area since amateur choirs weren’t allowed to practice but professional ones were and around half of that choir are professional/were actually getting paid for doing the concert.

Right, that really is it now. I hope you’re all well and not too stressed in the run up to Christmas. Stay safe and stay cosy (unless it’s summer now where you are, in which case stay cool!)

9 thoughts on “November 2020 recap

  1. I’m with Jan, sorry. I also don’t get why people put up christmas trees so early. For me, it’s the sign that christmas is here, so it has to go up on the 23rd or the 24th. For before, you have the Adventskranz and other decorations. 😉
    Also, I promise there’s a letter coming your way soon.

    1. You Germans sticking together 😉 😂
      We don’t have an Adventskranz.
      I refuse to put up the tree on Christmas Eve – that’s my day to relax! If Jan doesn’t want it up until the 24th he can do it himself!

      1. Pascal is on your side, though. We don’t have a tree, but if we had, he would want it to be up by now. His family’s tree has been up for a week.

  2. I can’t get on board with the trees going up quiiiiite as early as some people do them. At least we have the buffer of Thanksgiving before Christmas, so that’s a hard limit. Also I’m not into artificial trees so it can’t be too early if we want it to last til Christmas. Usually we’ve gone to get one on the second or third Advent weekend, but this year our favorite tree farm doesn’t open until the 15th so I’m hoping we can go sometime that week to pick one out.

    And as always, your card output is incredibly impressive. If I wanted to do that I’d have to start in February.

    1. We get a real tree too. I agree some people are waaaay too early (especially this year!) but I alsofeel like there should be a happy medium somewhere – before December is definitely a no-go but waiting for Christmas Eve seems really long to me! Growing up we usually put the tree up around the time school broke up for Christmas do around the 21st or 22nd.

  3. My family usually put the Christmas decorations (tree included) around December 8th or closest weekend to that – kind of a tradition based around the rough time people from the country would travel to the city for Christmas shopping after getting paid. We did put things up a week earlier this year just because of the year that it’s been and my mum wanting something happy.

    Also, I started doing cross stitch a few months ago – I’ve only finished one piece and am currently on my second – and it’s fun but damn does it take a while! I can’t imagine doing it for Christmas cards, props to you!

  4. I’m with YOU and not Jan on the Christmas tree front- it is SUCH a faff putting it up, it’s worth keeping it up for longer.
    I love your cards- they look great! By the way, I haven’t forgotten about the fox dress, I just haven’t got around to posting yet. It’s a size 8, hoping that is fine.
    It’s nice to watch a concert from your living room- we took part in a Zoom concert- it was really nice to do. I started doing my school choir (but only 3 weeks of it with Year 5) last week and the kids are so grateful to be doing it-they were so sweet today, learning my song- there were about 13 of them- they sang so nicely though.

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