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.

Believathon-tbr

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.

Cross stitch progress and what I’m actually stitching…

Today is D-Day, with the D in this case standing for dentist (well, technically I think I’m going to the orthodontist, but O-Day doesn’t work as well…) So today I shall hopefully find out if/when the evil wisdom teeth are to come out. Wish me luck!

So… cross stitch. I’ve been meaning to do the post for a while, but things kept getting in the way. But better late than never, right?
A few people asked me a while ago to put up a picture of what I’m supposed to be stitching so you could compare my version to the real thing. I couldn’t find the cover picture from my cross stitch kit, so I’ve had to steal a photo from elsewhere on the Internet for you. So, finally, here is what I’m trying to stitch:

Picture from monsterpatterns.com
Picture from monsterpatterns.com

And here’s what I’ve got so far:

Getting there...
Getting there…

Obviously I haven’t started the backstitch or anything yet, so there’s not much detail in mine, but I think you get the idea.
Also, I will be replacing the weight with the birth time as I don’t know the weight.

Baby is two weeks old now, so I really need to get on with it!!

This morning, I went to the dentist…

Kawaii Tooth
I inserted this picture purely because it’s cute… (Photo credit: Jenn and Tony Bot)

Yesterday, I woke up with a slight dull ache in the bottom corner of my mouth. It didn’t feel like it was on a tooth, so I figured I had managed to bite the bottom of cheek somehow (I bite the inside of my mouth a lot!) and thought nothing of it, at least until yesterday evening when the pain got worse… and worse. It started getting really painful on the train, and by the time I got home I wanted to cry. Unfortunately, that wasn’t an option, so I tried rinsing my mouth out with warm salt water (tastes disgusting but works amazingly well on mouth ulcers!). It felt slightly better while I was rinsing, but as soon as a spat out the water, the pain came back as bad as ever. Woe, woe, woe, etc. By now the pain was spread, and I was no longer certain whether it was actually the corner of my gum, or a tooth after all.  So I called Jan and told him I wouldn’t be able to do any cooking because a) I had at least an hour of extra work to do if things were going to be finished in time  and b) my mouth was in PAIN! Jan asked if I would want to eat at all if my mouth was sore, and I replied maybe some soup. Then he suggested driking some of the cold water he had put in the fridge to see if that would numb it a bit and volunteered to grab some tins of soup on the way home. Miraculously, the cold water did help a bit (if only for a few minutes at a time) and I was able to do my work without being distracted by pain too much. Shortly before Jan came home, I decided to take an Ibuprofen in the hope that it would kick in before bedtime and allow me to get to sleep…

tomato soup
My soup wasn’t this pretty (Photo credit: sassyradish)

The Ibuprofen started working shortly before we ate, and I was able to consume a bowl of soup and two slices of bread (bread soaked in soup for aaages so it wouldn’t require chewing), then I went to bed. I managed to sleep off and on, with some discomfort, until about 1 a.m. when I woke up in pain again. After tossing and turning for an hour, I went and took another Ibuprofen then lay awake for what seemed like forever waiting for it to kick in. It must have eventually though, because the next thing I knew my alarm was going off.

I had hoped to feel better this morning, but the pain was still there (although not as bad as the night before) and I also noticed I couldn’t open my mouth as wide as usual, so I heaved the greatest of sighs and decided I would have to go to the dentist. Not a good time for it because my colleague is ill and there are only two of us (hence the overtime last night), but there was nothing I could do. Nobody was at work yet, so I logged on and sent an e-mail saying I would work from home and go see a dentist as soon as I (hopefully) got an appointment. Knowing my utter terror of the phone, Jan called his dentist for me and got me an appointment for 10:15. He had to travel elsewhere for work today, so I had to go to the appointment alone…

An image from 1300s (A.D.) England depicting a...
At least my teeth won’t be extracted like this… (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Luckily, the dentist was nice and (the part I was more worried about than the dentist itself), I was able to explain what was wrong and understand what he told me. Apparantly, the wisdom tooth is coming through (so basically I’m teething at thirty!), and there isn’t really enough room for it plus it seems to be coming in at an angle… which is a bad thing. So he said he was going to give me a referral to a “Kieferchirurgen” (literally a “jaw surgeon!” – orthodontist, I presume…) so I could get my jaw x-rayed and figure out what to do next. He also said the fact that my mouth wouldn’t open properly was not right, but that could also be caused by the wisdom tooth. Later, when I got my referral, I saw that he had written on it that I need a consultation due to “restricted opening of mouth” (terrible attempt to translate from the German that, but I’m sure you know what I mean). He also gave me a recommendation for a Kiefer-thingy practice. So now I need to make an appointment with said jaw doctor… I actually tried calling a couple of times today, hetting myself all psyched up each time only for the phone to be engaged! SO eventually I decided to give the contact form on their website a go instead. So now, I wait… and take more Ibuprofen, I guess.

One thing is certain… I am going to this wine festival on Saturday even if I have to drink grape juice all day!

**Update: The “Kiefer” practice called me back! I have an appointment for consultation on Tuesday morning, first one available… to get one after work I would have had to wait til the week after next! The woman on the phone seemed nice, so hopefully it won’t be too bad**